396.1 GE/6–854: Telegram

The Ambassador in the United Kingdom (Aldrich) to the Department of State

secret

5588. Repeated information Geneva 132 for Under Secretary. Limit distribution. At meeting in Kirkpatrick’s office today to which I brought Merchant and Butterworth and at which Sir Frank Roberts was present the following of immediate interest transpired.

Kirkpatrick indicated that Eden had reported to cabinet over weekend that due to vacillating tactics of the French the Communists had been so encouraged that he was now convinced that an agreement at Geneva was now most unlikely. Eden therefore believes attempt should be made to bring conference to close within the next week or 10 days but in a manner which will consolidate and increase the progress already made in convincing the Asiatic members of the Commonwealth in particular and the rest of the world in general that Communist intransigency was responsible for the failure at Geneva. In this connection Kirkpatrick said that Eden felt that considerable progress had been made with respect to Burmese opinions and intentions during the past few weeks and that Eden was not unhopeful of an attitude of semi-benevolent neutrality on the part of India with participation by Burma in a Southeast Asian arrangement. Kirkpatrick also went on to say [Page 1067]that in prevailing circumstances Eden was now disposed to move more rapidly in formation of collective defense for Southeast Asia. The inference was that he would be prepared actively to start on this immediately following failure of conference.

Aldrich