396.1 GE/7–1354: Telegram

BonsalBoris Meeting, July 13, Afternoon: The United States Delegation to the Department of State

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Secto 598. Repeated information Paris 48. Limit distribution. Eyes only for Dillon and Johnson. Boris, who is Mendes-France special assistant, this afternoon referred to French draft of proposed declaration to be issued by conference as part of its final proceedings (unofficial translation contained Secto 5971). Boris stated this draft had been or was being made available today to all conference delegates for their comments and suggestions. French consider it working document at this stage. Boris expressed regret at delay in getting us copy.

Boris summarized briefly Mendes-France’s recent conversation with Dong. He said that Dong had agreed that date of elections could not be fixed at this time but that it should be result of negotiations between State of Vietnam and Democratic Republic of Vietnam at later date. Boris described this as important achievement “since it is to our interest to delay elections as long as possible”.

On matter of demarcation line, Boris stated that Dong today made a concession in sense of moving line up from 13th to 14th parallel. Concession which presumably will be described in detail by Mendes-France to Secretary is regarded as wholly insufficient and Dong has [Page 1347]been so informed. Mendes-France has reiterated importance of 18th parallel (Dong Hoi).

Boris intimated that current French thinking is to effect there should be no enclaves on either side of demarcation line. A proposal to preserve Haiphong and coal mines was examined by French military experts and rejected.

Boris stated that Chou En-lai in his recent talk with Mendes-France indicated desire to be helpful but spoke in very general terms. On 2 occasions during conversation, Chou En-lai attacked US attitude and influence. According to Boris, Mendes-France cut him off short both times, stressing Franco-American solidarity.

Bonsal
  1. Dated July 13, p. 1355.