396.1 GE/7–1954: Telegram

The United States Delegation to the Department of State


Secto 667. Repeated information Paris 103, Saigon 72. Following is best French estimate text of conference declaration which they expect will be adopted.

  • “1. The conference takes note of the agreements which terminate hostilities in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam and which organize international control and supervision of the implementation of the provisions of these agreements.
  • 2. The conference is pleased to see peace re-established in Cambodia and Laos, which countries, following the placing in effect of the provisions contemplated in this declaration and in the agreements on the cessation of hostilities, will be able thereafter to take up, in full independence [Page 1461]and sovereignty, their role in the peaceful community of nations. (Note: French will accept wording here to general effect peace will also be restored in Vietnam following but not preceding placing in effect of provisions of declaration.)
  • 3. The conference takes note of the declarations made by the Governments of Cambodia and Laos with reference to their intent of adopting measures which will permit all citizens to take their place in the national community, especially by participating in the next general elections which, in accordance with the constitutions of each of these countries, will take place in September 1955 for Cambodia and in August 1955 for Laos with secret ballot and with respect for fundamental liberties.
  • 4. The conference also takes note of the declarations of these governments according to which (text to be drafted on the basis of the declarations of the Governments of Laos and of Cambodia regarding their defense needs). (See Secto 668 for current draft.1)
  • 5. The conference notes that the agreement concerning Vietnam has as its essential goal the settlement of military questions in order to put an end to hostilities and that the military demarcation line does not constitute a definitive territorial or political boundary. It expresses the conviction that the placing in effect of the provisions contemplated in this declaration and in the agreement on the cessation of hostilities has created the necessary premises for realizing in the near future a political settlement in Vietnam.
  • 6. The conference declares that the settlement of political problems in Vietnam must be effectuated on the basis of respect for the principles of the independence, of the unity, and the territorial integrity of Vietnam. This settlement will involve free general elections, with secret ballot, which will take place in the course of the year 1956, under the control of an international commission composed of the representatives of the states members of the international control commission, it being requisite that all conditions must be present to assure the respect of fundamental liberties and of free expression of the national will.
  • 7. The provisions of the agreements on the cessation of hostilities meant to assure the protection of persons and property must be applied in the strictest fashion and particularly must permit everyone in Vietnam to decide freely as to the zone where he wishes to live.
  • 8. The conference notes the declaration of the Government of the French Republic according to which that government is prepared to withdraw its troops from the territories of Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam in agreement with the governments concerned.
  • 9. The conference takes note of the declaration of the French Government according to which the settlement of all the problems related to the restoration and to the strengthening of peace in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam will be based upon respect for the independence, the sovereignty, the unity and the territorial integrity of Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam.

    In its relations with Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam each member of the Geneva conference undertakes to respect the sovereignty, the independence, the unity and the territorial integrity of the said states and to refrain from any interference in their internal affairs.

  • 10. The members of the conference agree to consult together on any question which may be transmitted to them by the international control commissions, in order to study the measures (USSR: Collective) (French-UK: … or individual) which might appear necessary to insure observance of the agreements on the cessation of hostilities in Indochina.”

Note: In addition French would agree to following desired by Soviets. “The competent representative authorities of the northern and southern zones of Vietnam as well as the authorities of Laos and Cambodia must not permit individual or collective persecution of persons, or members of their families, who had collaborated in any way with one or the other side during the war”. (This omits last sentence of Article 10 of Soviet draft transmitted in Secto 615.2)

  1. Dated July 19, p. 1456.
  2. Dated July 15, p. 1384.