396.1 GE/7–1454: Telegram
The United States Delegation to the Department of State
Secto 601. Repeated information Paris 52, priority Saigon 31. Re Secto 599, repeated information Paris 49, Saigon 301 concerning Viet Minh proposal that agreement on cessation of hostilities include clause [Page 1359] providing for free exchange of goods between regrouping zones, delegation agrees with French judgment that this clause would be of economic importance to Viet Minh. Also, delegation believes clause would probably work to political advantage of Viet Minh through facilitating Communist infiltration and subversion in non-Communist zones.
Request comments Saigon and guidance Department concerning attitude delegation should adopt toward Viet Minh proposal.2
- Dated July 13, p. 1356.↩
The Department’s reply was contained in telegram Tosec 550, July 16, p. 1393.
The Embassy at Saigon responded in telegram 194 to the Department (repeated to Geneva as telegram 38), July 15, that it concurred in the “delegation’s estimate as expressed latter telegram [Secto 601]. However, in a country such as this where corruption and contraband are almost of a professional standard, we believe that too much importance should not be attached to wording of the agreement since ways in any event will be found by Viet Minh and interested persons on Vietnamese side to evade the engagement.” (396.1 GE/7–1554) For additional comments on this question, see telegram 218 from Saigon, July 17, p. 1423.↩