396.1 GE/7–1554: Telegram

The United States Delegation to the Department of State

top secret

Secto 615. Sent Paris 63, Saigon 35. Following is unofficial translation made by UK del of Soviet counterproposal to French draft declaration (Secto 5971) to be issued by conference:

  • “1. The participants of the Geneva conference on the question of reestablishing peace in Indochina approve the bilateral agreements which put an end to hostilities in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia and which establish an international control and supervision over the implementation of the said decisions.
  • 2. The conference takes note with satisfaction of the statement made by the French Government to the effect that, when settling all problems connected with the re-establishment and consolidation of peace in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, it proceeds from the recognition of the complete sovereignty and independence, unity and territorial integrity of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.
  • 3. In its relations with Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, each participant of the Geneva conference, regardless of its political, military, [Page 1385]diplomatic or other relations with the said states, at the time of the signature of the agreements on the cessation of hostilities, undertakes to recognize and respect the sovereignty, independence, unity and integrity of the said states and to refrain from any interference in their internal affairs.
  • 4. The conference takes note of the agreement of the parties that all foreign troops and foreign military personnel will be withdrawn from the territories of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia within time limits to be determined by agreement between the parties.
  • 5. The conference takes note of the agreement, reached between the parties, that the transfer from abroad into Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, of new military units and military personnel, of all kinds of arms and ammunition will not be permitted and that the import of arms into Laos and Cambodia will be limited in relation to the established defense requirements of these countries.
  • 6. The conference takes note of the agreement reached by the parties, that after the cessation of hostilities, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia must not enter any military alliances whatsoever, and that the establishment of foreign bases on the territories of the said states must not be permitted.
  • 7. The conference notes that the agreements regarding Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia have as their goal the settlement of military questions in order to put an end to hostilities in Indochina. As far as political problems are concerned, these will be settled within the shortest possible time by means of direct negotiations between the interested parties in accordance with the provisions contained in the present declaration.
  • 8. The conference declares that, in respect of Vietnam, the settlement of political problems effected on the basis of respect for the principles of the independence, unity and fundamental freedoms guaranteed by democratic institutions established as a result of free elections by secret ballot. These elections will be conducted under the control of an International Commission composed of representatives of the member states of the commission for control and supervision mentioned in the agreement on the cessation of hostilities, when the agreed opinion, reached by consultation between the competent representative authorities of the northern and southern zones of Vietnam, is that the re-establishment of peace in the country shall have made sufficient progress and when all the conditions necessary for a free expression of the national will shall have been created, but not later than June 1955.
  • 9. The conference takes note of the declaration by the Governments of Cambodia and Laos of their intention to hold general free elections by secret ballot, and to take all measures to enable all citizens to take their place in the national community. These elections should take place before June 1955. In order to conduct general free elections, the Governments of Cambodia and Laos must ensure individual rights and democratic freedoms for the whole population of these states, in particular, freedom of speech and press, freedom of meetings and organizations, freedom of residence and of movement.
  • 10. The competent representative authorities of the northern and southern zones of Vietnam as well as the authorities of Laos and Cambodia [Page 1386]must not permit individual or collective collaboration in any way with one or the other side during the war. These persons and the members of their families should be afforded individual freedom and freedom of political activity and right to elect and be elected.
  • 11. The provisions contained in the agreement on the cessation of hostilities, aimed at protecting persons’ property, must be very strictly implemented, and should in particular afford any person in Vietnam the right to choose the zone in which he wishes to reside.
  • 12. The members of the conference agree to hold consultations among themselves on any question referred to them by the International Commission on control and supervision, in order to consider collective measures which may prove to be necessary in order to ensure observance of the agreement on the cessation of hostilities in Indochina.
  • 13. The members of the Geneva conference express their confidence that, as a result of the implementation of the provisions contained in the present declaration and in the agreement on the cessation of hostilities, which ensure the re-establishment of peace in Indochina, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia will freely develop in conditions of independence and sovereignty along the road of improving their economy and raising the standard of living of their people, and will make their useful contribution to the common cause of consolidating peace and cooperation among peoples.”

  1. Dated July 13, p. 1355.