Conference files, lot 60 D 627, CF 285
Memorandum by the Special Adviser to the United States Delegation (Heath) to the Head of the Delegation (Smith)
Geneva, June 16, 1954.secret
- Meeting of the Six this morning.
- Bidault is returning to Geneva this afternoon at about 5:00 and remaining through tomorrow morning. He will not be present at this afternoon’s session. He will, however, wish to see Mr. Molotov and the heads of the five friendly delegations.
- Chauvel stated French most anxious to avoid giving the impression that the windup of the Korean phase is a precedent for a similar windup of the Indochina phase. He recognized, however, that the heads of some of the delegations might have to return home. After referring to recent discussions regarding the control problem and particularly to Eden’s proposal of June 2nd regarding reference of the French proposal of that date to a technical committee and after referring to Molotov’s proposal of June 14, Chauvel said that perhaps the time had come to refer this whole matter to a committee made up [Page 1156]of representatives of the nine delegations who would study it. Chauvel tabled a paper on this subject (translation attached).1 Chauvel said that he was thinking of presenting this proposal this afternoon. The Cambodian Delegation took a strong position against the introduction of any proposal that would tend to relate to the particular case of Laos and Cambodia. He furthermore criticized Chauvel’s proposal as putting Laos and Cambodia in the same class as Vietnam. I stated that I would have to refer the matter back to the head of my delegation but that it seemed to me there was considerable question as to timing and that we were perhaps not ready for the committee at this stage. The Vietnamese delegate also stated that he thought Chauvel’s proposal would be premature. He added that reference should be made in the terms of reference of the proposed committee to the “authority” from which the control organism would depend (i.e., the guarantors). (Later Offroy made it very clear that what the French wish to avoid is any departure from the conference of the leading figures without leaving representatives of the nine delegations apparently engaged in useful work. Offroy referred to the Eden proposal of a recess pending a report from the military conversations and said that the French wished to avoid any complete recess.)
- With regard to the specific matter of Laos and Cambodia which is to be discussed this afternoon, it was agreed that the Cambodians and Laotians in that order would present their cases. The Cambodians have already made a specific proposal (June 8), the Laotians will make a similar one this afternoon. The French do not plan to make their statement in support of the Laotians and Cambodians until after hearing from the Communists. (The British representative indicated that Molotov had told Eden that the Soviets would have some suggestions to make.) I indicated that we would speak but I did not state at what point. (Chauvel at one point suggested the possibility of military talks on Laos and Cambodia but did not develop his thinking.)
- It was suggested that it would be good tactics to avoid strong statements on our side until after we had heard from the Communists.
- The Cambodians will again stress their willingness to make commitments regarding the nonintroduction of foreign troops into Cambodia and the restriction of the Cambodian military establishment to what is required for Cambodian defense.
- Ambassador Offroy told me that he saw no objection to the mention in your remarks of specific Vietminh units which have invaded Laos and Cambodia.
- Not attached to the source text.↩