396.1 GE/7–1354: Telegram

The United States Delegation to the Department of State


Secto 596. Repeated information Paris 46, Saigon 29. Tosec 533.1 I conveyed substance Secretary’s message to Diem to Tran Van Do. He expressed appreciation. I also informed French here that I had done so in general terms. Boris informs me Chauvel had long talk with Do today and French now feel Do up to date regarding negotiations between French and Viet Minh.

In reply to question on results his talks this morning with Pham Van Dong, Do stated little accomplished from viewpoint progress or determining exactly what Viet Minh envisage as terms of agreement. He described at some length atmosphere of talk which he said was on basis of equals and in serious vein. He believes Viet Minh worried over genuine nationalist character Ngo Dinh Diem Government and its potential popular appeal. He also thinks Viet Minh extremely worried by thought of US intervention and concerned that Diem backed by US.

Do agreed with thought that assets our side this juncture include Vietnamese political leadership, Vietnamese military potential and French Union Expenditionary Corps and that misunderstandings and bickerings must be avoided at this serious juncture if our side is to get best results out of these assets and to induce maximum possible free world support and confidence. He talked moderately and with understanding of probability of settlement which would be difficult but unavoidable. I had distinct impression that he is beginning to face situation with considerable realism and courage.