396.1 GE/6–1754: Telegram
The United States Delegation to the Department of State
Dulte 193. Repeated information London 298, Paris 452, Saigon 176. London, Paris and Saigon eyes only Ambassadors. Reference Secto 463, repeated information London 297, Paris 451, Saigon 175.1 Dennis Allen (UK) gave Johnson this morning additional details on conversation with Chou En-lai. Chou stated that in case Cambodia resistance forces were small and all that was necessary was a political settlement by the present royal government with them “which could easily be obtained.” In case of Laos, the resistance forces were larger, and it would be necessary recognize this fact by formation of regrouping areas along the border with Vietnam and China. The task in both states was twofold: The removal of foreign forces and dealing with [Page 1174] the problem of domestic resistance movements. The military staff should get down to this task.
In reply to Eden’s query as to whether it would not be difficult obtain Viet Minh admission Viet Minh forces were in Laos and Cambodia, Chou stated it would “not be difficult” to get Viet Minh to agree to withdrawal their forces from those two states in context with withdrawal all foreign forces. Chou made no direct reply to Eden’s reference to French-Laotian treaty on French bases in Laos. Eden expressed personal view that Chou wants settlement, but has some doubt with regard to degree of control he exercises over Viet Minh.
In long talk with Bidault this morning (first direct contact between Chinese and French) Chou substantially repeated what he told Eden yesterday (in conversation with Bidault, Chou referred to Viet Minh forces in Laos and Cambodia as “volunteers”). Bidault had also seen Molotov this morning and reported that both Molotov and Chou are obviously greatly concerned over any break-up Indochina conference in pattern of Korean conference as well as of lowering level conference below level of Foreign Ministers. Bidault said they clearly want to keep the conference going. Bidault and I agree (Eden did not comment) that it was important we do nothing dispel Chou’s worries over US bases in Laos and Cambodia.
I also expressed personal opinion that important Laos and Cambodia move ahead as quickly and as vigorously as possible with appeal to UN. Eden and Bidault agreed, Eden adding that important Vietnam not get mixed up with Laos and Cambodia cases UN.
Chauvel showed me handwritten note from Ely, in his political capacity, urging against attempting hold any enclave in delta and recommending straight partition formula. I could not resist expressing contempt for such an easy “sellout” of last remaining foothold in north and said we could under no circumstances publicly associate ourselves with such a solution