396.1 GE/6–1254: Telegram

The United States Delegation to the Department of State

top secret

Dulte 173. Repeated information Paris 422, Moscow 118, London 271. Limit distribution. Last evening Bidault informed me French officer had contacted alone Viet Minh officer who said Viet Minh would demand Tonkin, and would be disposed to be “generous” in the south. He continued he did not like present military situation in delta where Viet Minh much stronger and thinking aloud wondered whether it might not be wiser to give up entire area through negotiation than lose it militarily once it had been determined French could not hold out. Thus it might be possible evacuate French and Vietnamese forces. Said in any event he would consult French military authority.

I outlined to him Zhukov’s remarks to Kingsbury-Smith (reference Secto 423, repeated information Paris 418, Moscow 116, London 268),1 saying that Zhukov was sometimes rather reliable but that I doubted Viet Minh would offer Hanoi and Haiphong, although this might be their final selling price for most of interior.

  1. Telegram Secto 423, June 11, not printed, transmitted a summary of the Zhukov-Kingsbury Smith conversation to the Department. (396.1 GE/6–1154) For a memorandum of the conversation, dated June 10, see p. 1109.