396.1 GE/7–1354: Telegram
The United States Delegation to the Department of State
Secto 599. Repeated information priority Paris 49. French delegate today furnished me with draft of clause to be included in agreement on cessation of hostilities in Vietnam covering guarantees for individuals and communities against political reprisals, the right of choice for civilian populations and the protection of foreign property and persons. This draft has not yet been cleared by Foreign Office legal expert Gros but it has been shown to Viet Minh though text not supplied them. Viet Minh reaction was that some such clause might be included in agreement on cessation of hostilities but suggestion was made that there also be included a clause desired by the Viet Minh and providing for free exchange of goods between proposed regrouping zones. (According to French delegate, this clause would be of economic importance to Viet Minh.)
Unofficial translation follows:
“The two sides conscious of the need for sparing the populations concerned further trials, will each of them take the necessary measures so that, in the areas where the regroupings contemplated by this agreement will take place,
- There will be assured the protection and the safety of French and foreign nationals (ressortissants) residing in these areas as well as of Vietnamese who have collaborated with the other parties and in order that these different categories of citizens may be effectively guaranteed against any reprisals, any arbitrary political and administrative action and any discriminatory measures.
- That a right of choice be recognized, during a certain period, to all Vietnamese desiring to fix their domicile in another region of Vietnam and that their transfer there be freely assured.
- That all facilities be granted to Frenchmen and to foreigners desiring to break up their present establishment or temporarily to quit the region of Vietnam where they reside.”
French delegate would welcome our comments on above working text.