396.1 GE/7–354: Telegram

BonsalDo Meeting, Geneva, July 3, Morning: The United States Delegation to the Department of State


Secto 555. Repeated information Paris 8, Saigon 6. Tran Van Do (Secto 5521) called on Bonsal this morning. He expressed view French negotiating with Viet Minh without adequately informing or consulting Vietnamese Government. He is endeavoring to see Chauvel but latter has been “too busy” to give him early appointment.

Do said withdrawal from south delta serious blow to new Vietnamese Government. Do claims that new French Minister of Associated States had assured Diem before latter’s departure for Saigon that no important decisions would be taken by French without at least advance notification to Diem. Although making allowances for need for secrecy in operation of this nature, Do believes commitment was not kept.

Do inquired as to possibility of expression of US moral and material support for new Vietnamese Government. Bonsal replied since this government had not yet even been formed and since little is known regarding its intentions, capacities and possibilities, it would presumably be difficult for US Government to consider any specific action in regard to it at this time. Do was also told that discussions of this subject should take place in Saigon and Washington rather than Geneva. He was reminded that US had in past wholeheartedly in moral and material fashion supported French and Vietnamese efforts to defeat Communists in Vietnam. Do‘s reaction was cordial and understanding.

Do stated his belief that French have decided to give up Tonkin without further fight and to endeavor to hold Cochinchina where majority of their material interests are located. He expressed view they count on international guarantee to help achieve this end. He continues to view French actions and intentions as though colonial era still alive. Bonsal reiterated well known US attitude regarding complete independence of Associated States.

  1. Dated July 2, p. 1271.