751G.00/7–254: Telegram

The United States Delegation to the Department of State

top secret

Secto 553. Repeated information Paris 6, Saigon 4. Department limit distribution. Paris eyes only Ambassador; Saigon eyes only Chargé. Reference Tosec 506, sent Paris 8, repeated Saigon 15.1 Have discussed subject second paragraph reference telegram with Chauvel who stated current negotiations with Viet Minh are concerned with question regrouping forces of both belligerents in Vietnam and that from French point of view this involves movement troops both sides in accordance demarcation line and other arrangements. Question of withdrawal from Indochina of French Union troops not within scope of present military or “underground” conversations and not contemplated.

With respect newspaper accounts unmolested French military withdrawal (Tosec 503),2 Chauvel states categorically there was no FrancoViet Minh agreement or understanding on this subject. French movements reflect decisions taken last May 14 at National Defense Council in Paris for purpose insuring safety expeditionary corps by concentrating forces in positions where they will be able successfully resist enemy attack. He states withdrawal caught Viet Minh by surprise and probably for this reason movement accomplished largely without molestation.

Colonel Brebisson gave Bonsal same information that Chauvel gave me.

Chauvel stated UK delegate Lamb has now received instructions from Foreign Office to arrange for member his delegation work informally with members French and Soviet delegations in order to attempt make progress on matters of control. Lamb confirmed this.

In reply to my query Chauvel assured me French view basic control principles same as ours and that he would inform me of any substantive changes therein.

Chauvel reiterated his intention of discussing demarcation line with Dong this evening or tomorrow morning along lines set forth Secto 549.3 Chauvel stated Viet Minh had been asking for line running northwest from Tuy Hoa (about 13th parallel) to Pleiku and thence west to Cambodian border.

  1. Dated July 1, p. 1270.
  2. Not printed.
  3. Dated July 1, p. 1266.