Conference files, lot 60 D 627, CF 306

Memorandum by the Adviser to the United States Delegation (Dwan)1

confidential

Comments On Vietminh Draft Armistice Agreement For Vietnam2

1.
Vietminh draft is based on French draft, follows its organization, and in many cases borrows whole paragraphs.
2.
It establishes a single military demarcation line but does not say where.
3.
It requires transfer of all forces of both sides to their respective sides of the line within 180 days. (French draft provides for 380 days.)
4.
It omits any reference to intermediate regroupment zones as French draft covers so completely, and calls instead for withdrawal in two stages—air and naval forces and two-thirds of the ground forces during first three months, balance in last three months. Draft leaves up to the representatives of the two commands on the spot to work out further details.
5.
It provides that turnover of civil authority between each side begins at the outset of the withdrawal and transfer of troops, specifically requiring that such transfer of civil administration of Hanoi be completed within 60 days and of Haiphong within 180 days.
6.
It permits transfer of civilians from one zone to the other.
7.
It prohibits introduction into Vietnam of reinforcing military personnel (although permitting individual and small unit rotation), except during 180 day period of evacuation.
8.
It prohibits introduction of reinforcing arms and ammunition (but permits piece for piece replacement only during period between completion of transfer of forces and withdrawal of foreign forces).
9.
Neutral control commission to observe and inspect reliefs and replacements at specific ports of entry.
10.
It prohibits creation of new military bases, and reinforcement of existing bases, and reestablishment of old bases.

Draft is exceedingly vague on details and phasing of regroupment of forces, leaving details to two commanders to work out. It appears constructed so as to permit the spirit of the agreement to be violated through imprecision of the letter.

It calls for transfer of forces in a time period less than that French say is needed to evacuate Delta in orderly fashion.

[Attachment]

Summary Of Provisions Of Vietminh Draft Armistice Proposal For Vietnam

Demarcation Line and Demilitarized Zones

1.
Provides for provisional military demarcation line and 10-kilometer demilitarized zone.
2.
Location of line to be indicated on attached map.3
3.
Forces of both sides to be regrouped on either side of the line within 180 days after armistice comes into effect.

Principles for Implementation of Armistice Agreement

1.
Establishes principle of simultaneous ceasefire throughout all Indochina as of (blank) hour and date.
2.
Requires conference to establish a schedule for the meeting in Indochina of representatives of the two opposing commands who will handle operations connected with the cessation of hostilities.
3.
Pending general elections for unification of Vietnam, civil administration in each regroupment zone to be conducted by the side regrouping therein. (Comment: question of elections not mentioned in French draft.)
4.
Transfer of civil administration from one party to the other to begin at the outset of the withdrawals and to be completed when the withdrawal is completed. Specifically, transfer of civil administration of Hanoi to Vietminh must be completed within at least 60 days from date armistice comes into effect; that for Haiphong within 180 days. (Comment: French draft provides that civil administration remain in hands of one side until all its forces are withdrawn from zone concerned.)
5.
Prohibits reprisals against persons and organizations having collaborated with other side during hostilities and guarantee of their democratic liberties.
6.
Between time armistice enters into effect and completion of transfers of troops, civilians desiring to move from the zone of one side to the zone of the other will be authorized and assisted to do so by the authorities of zone in which they are now living.
7.
Withdrawals of forces and equipment to be made by sector or province in the following order: all combat aircraft, naval units, and two-thirds of the ground forces to be evacuated in the first three months; the balance of forces and supplies to be totally evacuated in the last three months.
8.
The Joint Commission and the neutral control commission to observe measures guaranteeing security of the forces during withdrawals and transfers.
9.
A meeting of the representatives of the two high commands in Indochina will determine specific conditions for withdrawals and transfers according to the above principles.

Prohibition of the Introduction of New Troops, Military Personnel, Arms and New Ammunition, and the Question of Military Bases

1.
All reinforcing troops and additional military personnel prohibited from entering Vietnam after the ceasefire.
2.
Arrival of individual military personnel into Vietnam for temporary duty and return to Vietnam of individual military personnel after short periods of leave or temporary duty outside Vietnam to be authorized under the following conditions: relief of units and personnel not authorized during evacuation period of 180 days; term “relief” means replacement of units or personnel by other units of the same echelon or of other personnel arriving in Vietnam for military [Page 1447]service there; relief units not to be larger than battalion size or equivalent naval and air units; relief to be man for man and no more than 1000 men to be admitted within any one month; units and personnel to enter and leave Vietnam only at points set forth below; neutral control commission, through its inspection teams, to observe and inspect reliefs at locations mentioned below.
3.
Introduction of reinforcing armaments and ammunition and other war materials into Vietnam is prohibited, such as combat aircraft, naval units, artillery, recoilless weapons, armored vehicles, etc.; piece for piece replacement permitted between completion of transfer of forces to withdrawal of all foreign forces; neutral control commission, through its inspection teams, to observe and inspect these replacements.
4.
From proclamation of ceasefire, creation of new military bases (naval and air) and construction work on existing military bases and restoration of bases will be prohibited.
5.
Points of entry and exit for relief personnel and equipment (to be defined later).

POW and Civilian Internees

1.
Vietnamese nationals, French and other nationalities, to be liberated within period of (blank) days from effective date of armistice.
2.
Term “civilian internees” to include those arrested and detained for having contributed to armed or political struggle between the sides.

Additional Provisions

1.
Commanders of both sides to accord protection and assistance to Joint Commission and the neutral nations control commission.
2.
Expenses of the commissions to be shared, etc.
  1. The handwritten initials of U. Alexis Johnson appear on the source text.
  2. Summary of the Viet Minh draft agreement is attached; it was transmitted to the Departments of Defense and State in telegram Gento 84, July 19. (Conference files, lot 60 D 627, CF 307)
  3. Not printed.