751G.5 MSP/6–1254: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Embassy in France 1


4853. Re Deptel 4852 repeated Geneva Tosec 489 and Saigon 2746.2 In concert with your U.K. colleague you should when further instructed by Department make parallel communication following reply to French aide-mémoire set forth reftel. This reply has been cleared by Eden and we expect Churchill‘s concurrence tomorrow morning.

In drafting this reply below we had in mind that it should tend stiffen French position so that they would not accept terms which we would be unwilling respect. (FYI U.K. sending a similar message Jebb but is informing him that he may orally add that HMG would be willing if French Government desires to give diplomatic support to [Page 1257] French Government in order secure an agreement on lines set forth joint instruction below. This we are unwilling to do as we informed British. End FYI.)

Begin verbatim text. The U.S. Government/HMG have taken note of the French Government’s communication. They appreciate being informed of this expression of the French Government’s position in the current negotiations for an armistice agreement on Indo-China. The U.S. Government/HMG would be willing to respect an agreement which:

Preserves the integrity and independence of Laos and Cambodia and assures the withdrawal of Viet Minh forces therefrom;
Preserves at least the southern half of Vietnam, and if possible an enclave in the delta; in this connection we would be unwilling to see the line of division of responsibility drawn further south than a line running generally west from Donghoi;
Does not impose on Laos, Cambodia or retained Vietnam any restrictions materially impairing their capacity to maintain stable non-Communist regimes; and especially restrictions impairing their right to maintain adequate forces for internal security, to import arms and to employ foreign advisers;
Does not contain political provisions which would risk loss of the retained area to Communist control;
Does not exclude the possibility of the ultimate unification of Vietnam by peaceful means;
Provides for the peaceful and humane transfer, under international supervision, of those people desiring to be moved from one zone to another of Vietnam;
Provides effective machinery for international supervision of the agreement. End text.

  1. Repeated to London as telegram 7147, to Saigon as telegram 2748, and to Geneva as telegram Tosec 490.
  2. Infra .