751G.00/6–1054: Telegram

The Chargé at Saigon (McClintock) to the Department of State

top secret

2714. Repeated information Paris 967, Geneva 214. Paris for Ambassador. Geneva for Under Secretary. General Valluy’s appreciation of the situation as set out Department telegram 2527, sent Geneva Tedul 171, repeated Paris 44481 is exceedingly good—in fact almost too good. Although there are one or two points to which we might take exception from purely military aspect, I desire to confine my comment to political connotations of Valluy’s statement. I have impression that under instructions he made this very concise evaluation less with military considerations in mind than with political objectives in view. I think that Valluy was looking as much at the French Parliament as he was at the Tonkin delta when he made his speech. General Ely has twice in my presence stated that his keenest desire is for United States to enter this war. Only yesterday his Chief of Staff, Colonel Brohan, repeated this comment. My belief is that purpose of Valluy statement was either to bring us and, if possible, other five powers into conflict here or, failing that, to prepare excuse before history for an impending armistice which French would then request of Viet Minh.

  1. Dated June 7, p. 1056.