396.1 GE/7–1654: Telegram
The Secretary of State to the United States Delegation 1
Tosec 558. We agree French redraft of proposed conference declaration transmitted Secto 6282 marks some advance, subject to comments made Tosec 555.3
We are however still perturbed by numbered paragraph six which says elections are to be held in Vietnam when “in opinion of competent representative authorities in each zone” such action is feasible. Assuming “competent representative authorities” to mean governments of respective zones, we foresee almost certain disagreement between them with result that elections in Vietminh zone might take place few months hence while being delayed much longer time in non-Communist zone. We fear any disagreement between zones on this issue would tend be resolved in favor Vietminh with corresponding prejudice to interests of free world. How does working group propose such situation should be dealt with?
With reference to numbered paragraph 8, would proposed French declaration state or imply French troops would be withdrawn only “at request of governments concerned” and not before or otherwise?
We agree with Bonsal‘s remarks to Cambodian delegates, but we do not wish them to be left with impression US will be willing discuss question of Cambodian security only if and when satisfactory ceasefire is achieved throughout Indochina.