396.1 GE/7–254: Telegram

The United States Delegation to the Department of State

confidential

Secto 552. Repeated information Paris 05, Saigon 03. Tran Van Do has called on US Delegation to state he is personal representative of Ngo Dinh Diem and is taking charge Vietnamese Delegation here.1 His status will be regularized when Diem forms his cabinet. Do is generally critical of previous Vietnamese political and military efforts and of French attitude toward those efforts. He is aware that before present Government can expect to enlist greater measure of outside support, it must prove that it has internal strength and support. He is also aware of extremely short time at Diem‘s disposal. Do informed [Page 1272]US that Vietminh here has refused any contact with Vietnamese Delegation (Do is known only to members US Delegation here as plausible fence-sitter; any information available to Paris and Saigon re his present status would be appreciated).

Johnson
  1. The Embassy in Saigon reported in telegram 79, July 6, that “Tran Van Do has been named Foreign Minister new Vietnamese Government.” Embassy reported that Do‘s “views on political scene in Vietnam have usually been interesting but always pessimistic. He has been fence sitter and regarded as intellectual and talker rather than doer.” Embassy said he was “believed to have been friend for considerable time of brother of President Diem, Ngo Dinh Luyen, and to share his views.” (751G.02/7–654)