396.1 GE/7–1654: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the United States Delegation1


Tosec 557. Secto 618.2 US-UK seven points3 given Prime Minister Diem in Secretary’s message4 were edited to eliminate references to Laos and Cambodia and state in general terms territorial conditions as they affect Vietnam. Mention of enclave in northern delta purposely eliminated since condition was softened by phrase “if possible” and [Page 1398]developments since adoption of seven points indicated unlikelihood that any such enclave could in fact be retained for more than transitional period.

Ambassador Johnson should take appropriate occasion state to Tran Van Do and Ambassador Heath to Prime Minister Diem, that Department fully recognizes justice of Vietnamese Government’s claim to sovereignty over all national territory and views loss of northern areas, which it cannot accept as final, as dictated by harsh military necessity. They should also indicate that in our discussions with French and British we specifically stressed great importance of maintaining enclave and that this was implied in our phrase “at least” in point two.

We would welcome any estimate USDel and Saigon can furnish on basis present information with respect Vietnamese intentions, if military agreement does not provide northern enclave. Specifically are they likely to pull out of Geneva? If so will Diem resign or undertake independent action in Vietnam?

It has never yet been made clear how or through what agency Vietnamese people will or will not be associated with agreement between military commands which provides for division of country.5

  1. Drafted by Sturm of FE/PSA and Gullion of S/P. Repeated to Saigon as telegram 210 and to Paris as telegram 216.
  2. Dated July 16, p. 1386.
  3. For text, see telegram 4853 to Paris. June 28, p. 1256.
  4. For text, see telegram Tosec 529, July 10, p. 1324.
  5. The U.S. Delegation reported in telegram Secto 643, July 18, that “with reference final paragraph reference telegram [Tosec 557], demarcation line will be established through agreement on cessation of hostilities signed by Franco-Vietnamese and Vietminh military commands. Members of conference including Vietnamese Government will presumably ‘take note’ of agreement (with exception, of course, of US). No other ‘association’ of Vietnamese people with this purely military division of country is contemplated so far as we are aware.” (396.1 GE/7–1854)