Conference files, lot 60 D 627, CF 241: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Department of State


Secto 14. Repeated information Geneva 118, London 965, Moscow 320, Saigon 472, Seoul 2. At tripartite meeting this afternoon between Secretary, Eden and Bidault, it was agreed Bidault would transmit note dated 24 April to Eden, Secretary and Molotov, calling for a meeting at Geneva 11:30 a.m. 26 April, to discuss “a certain number of points touching on the organization of the conference with regard to Indochina.1 It was also decided Eden would request a meeting with Molotov Monday2 morning to resolve outstanding questions on Korean phase conference. Principal unresolved question now appears to be chairmanship. On chairmanship, it was agreed first position should be rotation chairmanship among US, UK, French and USSR. Any Soviet proposal for rotation among US, UK, France, USSR and Communist China will be categorically rejected and rotation among 19 also be rejected. Second position will be choice of permanent chairman from among delegations eliminating “Big Four” from consideration and rejecting North Korea or Communist China. Will accept [Page 140] anyone our side putting forward Pearson, Prince Wan, Ambassador Xueleta [Zuleta]. For third position, will suggest Swiss national, Jean de Salis. Are also considering possibility Swedish nationals Ekeberg, President Court of Appeals Stockholm, Richard Sandler and Bertil Ohlin. (Separate telegram3 being sent Stockholm asking views on these men.) Failing agreement foregoing, suggestion will be made conference meet under provisional chairman (chosen so as exclude any possibility Communist China, North Korea) but with first order business conference selection permanent chairman presumably by majority vote.

Question composition Indochinese phase discussed, Bidault making suggestion three Associated States and three limitrophes states. Eden stated Casey would be “bothered by” inclusion Thailand and Burma and exclusion Australia. Secretary pointed out if Australia invited, probably would have to invite Indonesia and strongly reiterated fact that Communist China had been invited only as it was the source of aggression in Indochina and had in its power the control Indochinese war and not in any “Big Five” sense. Bidault stated French desire keep conference small as possible and difficulties excluding Ho from conference. Three Ministers agreed that initial position on participation would be four plus Communist China and three Associated States.

Bidault made suggestion that French, English, Russian and Chinese be considered official languages for Indochinese phase and that technical arrangements be left to experts in light of Korean phase precedents.

Eden suggested meeting of fifteen allied side prior to opening of conference and Secretary agreed to hold such a meeting at US delegation offices 11 a.m. Monday.4

  1. Not printed.
  2. Apr. 26.
  3. Not printed.
  4. See telegram Secto 9, Apr. 26, from Geneva, p. 143.