110.11 DU/6–1154: Telegram

The United States Delegation to the Department of State


Dulte 172. Repeated information Saigon 162, Paris 419. Re Tedul 1591 and Secto 422.2 In view of the deteriorating situation in Indochina and Frederic-Du Pont’s statement, with which I agree, that Bao Dai’s staying on in France intensifies highly adverse French opinion of him (Secto 389, June 53), I believe if Bao Dai does not come to Annecy or Evian in the immediate future where I can talk with him personally, that Heath might see him in Cannes.4

While I would raise the question of a consultative-constituent assembly suggested in Tedul 110, May 225 and would draw him out, as suggested in Tedul 159, as to what the French could do to establish conviction in the Vietnamese people to fight for independence and how a more effective government can be established, my main theme would be to impress on him the necessity of his immediate return to his country to see that necessary political and military reform measures were undertaken with maximum determination.

I would expect him to press for assurance that America would back his government with arms and financial aid whether or not the French stayed in. In this case I would remind him of the important aid which Vietnam had received and is receiving and our continuing efforts to promote united action in the area, but I would definitely refuse to give him any assurance that his government will be backed by US.6 I would remind him, however, of what you said when his Foreign Minister called on you, “that any nation determined to fight on to preserve its independence would find friends and allies but would find none if there was no will to continue the struggle”. (Dulte 50, May 47).

  1. Dated June 5, p. 1044.
  2. Dated June 11, p. 1106.
  3. Telegram Secto 389, not printed, transmitted a report on a meeting of Heath and Frederic-Dupont. For a memorandum of that conversation, see p. 1041.
  4. The Department of State instructed the U.S. Delegation in telegram Tedul 190, June 12 as follows: “During present French governmental crisis, and pending a decision as to what we may be able to do in Indochina, I think it just as well that you should not seek an interview with Bao Dai. If he should ask to see you, however, we shall consider together at that time what you could most appropriately say to him.” (110.11 DU/6–1154)
  5. Ante, p. 892.
  6. At his news conference of June 10, President Eisenhower indicated that he did not intend to request special authority to take action in Indochina from Congress before it recessed for the summer. For the record of the news conference, see Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1954, pp. 545–554.
  7. Ante, p. 666.