751G.00/7–1454

France-United States Position Paper 1

classified
1.

France and the Associated States of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia are recognized to be those which, on the non-Communist side, are primarily interested in the Indochina phase of the Geneva Conference.

The United States is interested primarily as a friendly nation which desires to assist, where desired, in arriving at a just settlement, but it will not seek, or be expected, to impose its views in any way upon those primarily interested.

2.
The attached seven points constitute a result which France believes to be obtainable by negotiation at Geneva and which would be acceptable to France and, France believes, to the Associated States. The United States, while recognizing the right of those primarily interested to accept different terms, will itself be prepared to respect terms conforming to the attached. The United States will not be asked or expected by France to respect terms which in its opinion differ materially from the attached, and it may publicly disassociate itself from such differing terms.
3.
If the settlement is one which the United States is prepared to “respect” its position will be expressed unilaterally or in association only with non-Communist states in terms which apply to the situation the principles of non-use of forces which are embodied in Article 2(4) and (6) of the Charter of the United Nations.
4.
The United States is prepared to seek, with other interested nations, a collective defense association designed to preserve, against [Page 1364] direct and indirect aggression, the integrity of the non-Communist areas of Southeast Asia following any settlement.
5.
If there is no settlement, the United States and French governments will consult together on the measures to be taken. This will not preclude the United States, if it so desires, bringing the matter before the United Nations as involving a threat to peace as dealt with by Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations.
6.
France reaffirms the principle of independence for the Associated States in equal and voluntary association as members of the French Union.

July 14, 1954.

Mendes-France

John Foster Dulles

Annex

Memorandum of Points Referred to in Paragraph 2 of the France–United States Position Paper

An agreement which:

1.
preserves the integrity and independence of Laos and Cambodia and assures the withdrawal of Vietminh forces therefrom;
2.
in connection with the line of military demarcation, preserves at least the southern half of Vietnam and if possible an enclave in the Delta; in this connection we would be unwilling to see the line of division of responsibility drawn further south than a line running generally west from Dong Hoi;
3.
does not impose on Laos, Cambodia or retained Vietnam any restrictions materially impairing their capacity to maintain stable nonCommunist regimes; and especially restrictions impairing their right to maintain adequate forces for internal security, to import arms and to employ foreign advisers;
4.
does not contain political provisions which would risk loss of the retained area to Communist control;
5.
does not exclude the possibility of the ultimate unification of the Vietnam by peaceful means;
6.
provides for the peaceful and humane transfer, under international supervision, of those people desiring to be moved from one zone to another of Vietnam; and
7.
provides effective machinery for international supervision of the agreement.

July 14, 1954.

John Foster Dulles

Mendes-France
  1. This paper was approved by Secretary Dulles and Premier Mendès-France at Paris on July 14. The text was transmitted to Washington in telegram 179 from Paris, July 14. (751G.00/7–1454)