396.1 GE/6–2854: Telegram

The United States Delegation to the Department of State

secret
priority

Secto 538. Repeated information Paris 515, Saigon 222, London 329. Limit distribution. Paris for eyes only Ambassador; Saigon eyes only Chargé; London eyes only Ambassador. Chauvel this morning told me he had had further discussions with Kuznetsov when returning his call Saturday and also with Chinese Communists re control problem but nothing concrete had developed. Chauvel has impression Soviets are maintaining lead in matter of international control while Chinese Communists maintaining initiative re military conversations. Chauvel is asking Offroy (French Ambassador in Thailand and former diplomatic counselor in Saigon) to work on USSR June 14 proposal (Secto 4421) with view to preparing commentary which Chauvel may make at tomorrow’s restricted meeting. (In this connection I again noted Colonel Dwan‘s knowledge of Korean armistice details and pitfalls could be made available to Offroy if desires.)

I took occasion to stress point made into Section [Tosec] 4852 re our views on inclusion Communist satellite state on control commission. Lamb (UK representative who was present for part of my talk with Chauvel) seemed support this point of view. We were generally agreed re Colombo powers but I have impression Chauvel estimates at least one Communist power may in end have to be accepted by France. Fact French, as one of belligerents, willing to submit to control of purely Asian group whereas other side demanded inclusion one or more European satellites of USSR evidence French good faith and gives good talking point on this issue. I urged “impartial” be used in [Page 1256]referring control commission rather than Communist terminology of “neutral”.

Chauvel is currently considering informally setting up without reference to conference a group of three (France, UK and USSR) at expert level to consider and compare current proposals on control as well as negotiate ad referendum on this subject. Chauvel said Lamb somewhat reticent on this proposal and Chauvel is asking Paris to instruct French Embassy in London to urge it on Foreign Office. Chauvel very concerned existing wide differences on control and is trying to push toward agreement on details at least to point of refining issues for quick decision by ministers when they reconvene to consider reports of military conversations.

Chauvel reports military talks with Viet Minh on Saturday were unsatisfactory. Viet Minh allegedly worried about change in French Government and wishes assurance Chauvel, Brebisson and others fully qualified to speak for new government. Chauvel says he has reported this to Paris and expects following Cabinet meeting this afternoon, “it will be taken care of” but result, according to Chauvel is loss of two days in military talks. Further complicating factor is absence authorized representatives of new Vietnamese Government.

Re recently opened military discussions between belligerents in field, Chauvel stated that until talks here have made further progress he unable to see what can be achieved in field other than establishment of contact and necessary facilities.

Johnson
  1. Dated June 14, p. 1143.
  2. Dated June 25; see footnote 2 to telegram Secto 511, p. 1229.