Conference files, lot 60 D 627, CF 306
Memorandum by the Adviser to the United States Delegation (Dwan)1
Comments On Vietminh Draft Armistice Agreement For Vietnam2
- Vietminh draft is based on French draft, follows its organization, and in many cases borrows whole paragraphs.
- It establishes a single military demarcation line but does not say where.
- 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.)
- 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.
- 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.
- It permits transfer of civilians from one zone to the other.
- It prohibits introduction into Vietnam of reinforcing military personnel (although permitting individual and small unit rotation), except during 180 day period of evacuation.
- 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).
- Neutral control commission to observe and inspect reliefs and replacements at specific ports of entry.
- 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.