396.1 GE/6–2654: Telegram

The United States Delegation to the Department of State

secret
priority

Secto 531. Repeated information Paris 509, Saigon 218, Phnom Penh 12. Re Tosec 479, repeated Paris 4810, Saigon 2721, Phnom Penh [Page 1252]81.1 Preliminary oral reply conveyed today by Ambassador Heath to Cambodian Foreign Minister in accordance with Tosec 479. He expressed general satisfaction and agreement. With reference to longer term, he indicated Cambodian attitude regarding French Union would depend largely on French attitude. “If they continue to treat us like children, we will not stay in the Union.”

Heath endeavored to make point that Cambodia as injured party insisting on withdrawal Viet Minh troops, should not put itself in position of making concessions to Viet Minh such as agreements regarding future Cambodian defense dispositions.

Ambassador Heath recalled that Cambodian delegation has unilaterally indicated its nonaggressive intentions, its determination to take appropriate steps, including foreign military personnel and matériel, to build up Cambodian national army to point required for self-defense and has indicated that it would be willing to report to International Commission regarding such measures. The evaluation of those measures in view of conditions for durable armistice would be province of International Commission.

Foreign Minister advised us that Cambodian mission for bilateral military conversations will depart Saigon June 27 and will consist of Tiou Long, two regular Cambodian officers and Dap Chuon, Puth Chay and Chantarangsei, latter three being leaders of former resistance bands who have rallied to Royal Government. Foreign Minister stated that he did not envisage presence of any French officer at conversations even in observer status although he recognized there would have to be some sort of liaison so that withdrawal of Viet Minh troops from Cambodia could be coordinated with whatever dispositions are made for the regrouping of Viet Minh troops in Vietnam.

Johnson
  1. Dated June 25, p. 1246.