396.1 GE/7–1954: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the United States Delegation1

top secret

Tosec 576. For Under Secretary from Secretary. Your Sectos 666, 667, 668, 669.2 As requested 669 you may expand proposed unilateral declaration so as to take note of paragraphs 1 to 8 of the proposed Conference Declaration with understanding that US obligations “with regard to aforesaid agreements and paragraphs of Declaration” are limited to those expressed Subparagraphs 1 and 3 of Annex B of your instructions.3

The foregoing is on the assumption that the Declaration in its final form does not materially differ from Secto 667. As to non-materiality of differences, would like you to obtain Phleger‘s legal judgment.

Have no objection to including first portion of paragraph 9 of proposed Conference Declaration but am concerned as to effect of including second portion of paragraph 9 as this seems to imply a multilateral [Page 1460]engagement with Communists which would be inconsistent with our basic approach and which subsequently might enable Communist China to charge us with alleged violations of agreement to which it might claim both governments became parties.

While we don’t want to take responsibility of imposing our views on the French, I feel particularly concerned about provisions of paragraph 6 which gives the Control Commission constituted as per Secto 666 authority also to control the general elections. The ink is hardly dry on the Declaration of President Eisenhower and Prime Minister Churchill of June 294 to the effect that “In the case of nations now divided against their will, we shall continue to seek to achieve unity through free elections supervised by the UN to insure that they are conducted fairly.” It is rather humiliating to see that Declaration now so quickly go down the drain with our apparent acquiescence.

With reference to 668 believe something like this is acceptable if obtainable. Believe that this would not necessitate these states dealing only with or through France as suggested your 650 and 652.5 We hope that this possibility of direct assistance for genuinely defensive and internal security purposes and not involving any US bases can be preserved as it may very well be that as a result of surrender in Tonkin Delta French will become so highly unpopular that their effort to maintain authority in other areas would in fact lead to these other areas surely falling under Communist domination.6

  1. Drafted by the Secretary of State.
  2. All dated July 19, p. 1455, infra , pp. 1456 and 1452, respectively.
  3. Dated July 16, p. 1391.
  4. See editorial note, p. 1260, for the text of this declaration.
  5. Both dated July 18, pp. 1425 and 1426, respectively.
  6. For the Vietnamese Government’s views on the Tonkin Delta issue, see telegram 248 from Saigon, July 19, in volume xiii .