396.1 GE/6–1554: Telegram

The United States Delegation to the Department of State


Secto 448. Repeated information Paris 437, Saigon 169, London 286. Limit distribution. Molotov asked to see Eden this morning re Soviet proposals yesterday regarding Indochina.

Re composition: Molotov suggested possible addition Indonesia to four countries already proposed by Communists. He said Indonesia was Colombo power and had indicated interest in problem by sending representative Geneva to discuss matters with Soviet and other delegations. Eden said Burma better addition since it was limitrophe country. Molotov agreed Burma interested party but said if limitrophe country added someone might propose Thailand which was unacceptable. Eden had impression Molotov’s opposition to Burma not absolute.

Re supervision: Molotov stressed importance mixed commission not subordinate to international commission. Did not see how this could work in practice unless international commission would bring in large army and he was opposed to that.

Eden replied that there must be provision for resolving cases where mixed committee unable reach agreement. This could be done only by international commission on the spot with authority to arbitrate, give rulings, and reach decisions by majority vote on all subjects with which authorized to deal.

Molotov replied his latest proposal provided for majority vote on number questions and only reserved for unanimous decision questions liable lead to reopening of hostilities or related to amendments to the agreement. Eden asked how international commission would decide whether a question was one for decision by majority or unanimous vote. Moltov said only serious cases would require unanimity. He did not deny that difficulties would arise over determination of what constituted serious cases and finally suggested this question might be discussed further. Eden agreed and added it would be less difficult to settle questions re supervision if the military talks on Vietnam had reached conclusion and we knew what sort of military agreement was to be supervised. Molotov agreed it would be great advance if military agreement reached and that this might also facilitate discussion supervisory arrangements.

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In answer Eden’s question, Molotov said no military contacts made yesterday since French colonel in Paris.

Molotov told Eden he would “suggest something” tomorrow re Laos and Cambodia. Eden got word to Chinese today that UK absolutely firm on Laos and Cambodia.

New subject: Chauvel wishes establish nine-nation group to work on technical aspects control in order avoid appearance French being left alone to deal with Viet Minh. Chinese made similar suggestion to French Deputy Secretary-General this morning.