396.1 GE/7–1654: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the United States Delegation1

top secret

Tosec 555. Secto 597.2 US position is still that it will not negotiate and sign with Communist bloc any multilateral declaration on Geneva conference or on any agreement issuing therefrom.

With respect French draft we note with concern political content particularly commitment to hold elections in Vietnam at time to be chosen by “competent representative authorities”.

Final paragraph draft appears contemplate perpetuation of conference through imposing on participant states obligation to act as referee on matters submitted by International Control Commissions. This seems be off-hand manner of charging such states with obligation to “guarantee” Geneva settlement which US not prepared accept.

Following comments apply to numbered paragraphs Soviet counterproposal Secto 6153 and Working Group comments Secto 617:4

Agree with USDel comment.
Agree with Working Group amendment. Soviet recognition of territorial integrity of Vietnam indicates they have no doubt as to who would win any elections held as early as June 1955.
It would be interesting know exactly what this paragraph signifies to Soviets. Is this paragraph and its French counterpart intended [Page 1397]to include formal diplomatic recognition all around? How are Vietnam and the Vietminh regimes to be accommodated within this formula?
Who are the “parties”: military commands? In the Working Group comment on this paragraph what is meant by “representative authority”?
Again who are the “parties”? Will Russians openly acknowledge that paragraph applies to Vietminh also?
This paragraph is of great interest to US because of prospective Southeast Asia security pact. In its present form it is accordingly wholly unacceptable to us. Do Russians mean it to be applicable to Vietminh also?
What is meant by second sentence? Who are “the interested parties”?
Agree with French comment. We note that under this proposal elections would have taken place before expiration 380 days French propose as period for separating opposing forces (Gento 815).
We consider this paragraph irrelevant and objectionable.
As received this paragraph says authorities must not “permit” individual or collective collaboration. We assume this should read “punish”, and agree with French comment.
Would implementation of this paragraph on movement of persons be left to chance?
Department’s comment on similar French proposal applies. Laloy‘s remark on this subject is not clear.

It strikes us that Soviets in this draft have done masterly job of masking existence of Vietminh.

We agree with Laloy‘s three numbered objections stated at beginning of message.

Question of financing will be taken under advisement.

  1. Drafted by Sturm of FE/PSA. Repeated to Paris as telegram 211 and to Saigon as telegram 208.
  2. Dated July 13, p. 1355.
  3. Dated July 15, p. 1384.
  4. Dated July 15, p. 1376.
  5. Dated July 15, p. 1382.