396.1 GE/7–1854: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the United States Delegation1

top secret

Tosec 572. For General Smith from Secretary. Makins came in this afternoon and gave me copy of message2 (which is practically identical to that contained in your Secto 6443) from Eden to Govts five Colombo powers plus Australia and New Zealand. Message contained Annex A—possible points for inclusion in Declaration of Support on [Page 1454]an agreement for Indochina; and Annex B—draft declaration of intention on Collective defense.4

I observed that Eden‘s message might leave impression that if agreement which we could respect was reached we might join in multilateral statement with Communists. Makins said he was sure this was not contemplated.

Re point 3 of Annex A which reads: “Undertake to treat violation of Indochina settlement as threat to international peace and security” I pointed out difference between this wording and that contained in Annex B of your instructions under which we “would view any renewal of the aggression in violation of these agreements with grave concern and as seriously threatening international peace and security”. I explained that while we did not expect that any non-Communist state would violate the agreements, we were unwilling to enter into an engagement which might place us in position of having to side with Communists against a non-Communist state. Makins readily saw point and said he would report it to his Govt. He pointed out that Eden‘s wording was not “sacrosanct” and had been conveyed to other Commonwealth Govts in order to elicit views.

Re Annex B I suggested that final clause concerning “conclusion of a collective defense agreement, etc.” be changed to “establishment of a collective defense, etc.”. (I had in mind that with this change it would be easier for us to move expeditiously in establishment of ad hoc machinery before details of agreement were finally worked out which might take some time.) Makins thought this change would be an improvement.

I suggest you convey substance of above to Eden at your earliest opportunity.

  1. Drafted by Bonbright of EUR.
  2. Not printed.
  3. Dated July 18, p. 1434.
  4. For text of Annex B, see telegram Secto 644, July 18, p. 1434; for text of Annex A, see footnote 5, p. 1436.