751G.00/7–854: Telegram

The Ambassador in the United Kingdom (Aldrich) to the Department of State

top secret

124. Eyes only Secretary. Re Deptel 101.1 I saw Eden this afternoon. He will answer your message soonest.2 Meanwhile he asked me to say he is going to Geneva Monday,3 and will meet Mendes-France. Mendes-France wished him to come Paris over week-end but he is unable to do this. Eden will support French at Geneva in attempt to get most favorable possible settlement. He has no information or idea how matter may work out because Russians have not disclosed their hand and he is sure they will not do so until meetings take place in Geneva. [Page 1305] Weakness of French position is of course fact that election would undoubtedly result in all Viet Minh going Communist and therefore division of country in all probability best solution. It is impossible to foresee how this trump card may be played by Communists. Eden does not think it would be fair to you to expect you to attend Geneva Conference this juncture but thinks it would be very helpful to him and the French if Bedell could be there and hopes that if Bedell comes he will stop in London on way.

Comment: I am sure Eden is extremely anxious to have Bedell present because of Bedell‘s intimate knowledge of personalities involved at Geneva and of manner in which situation has developed.

  1. Dated July 7, p. 1294.
  2. On July 8, Ambassador Makins transmitted to Secretary Dulles a message from Foreign Secretary Eden in which Eden indicated that he hoped “very much that you or Bedell will be able to return to Geneva early next week.” The Foreign Secretary said that “one cannot yet be sure how things will work out because the Communists will certainly not show their hand until the final stages of the negotiations have been reached.” (611.93/7–854)
  3. July 12.