190. National Security Council Report1
U.S. POLICY ON ALL-VIETNAM ELECTIONS
Note by the Executive Secretary to the National Security Council
The enclosed draft statement of policy on the subject, prepared by the NSC Planning Board, is transmitted herewith for consideration by the National Security Council at its meeting on Thursday, June 2, 1955.5
A Staff Study on the subject6 is also enclosed for the information of the Council.
It is recommended that, if the Council adopts the enclosed statement of policy, it be submitted to the President with the recommendation that he approve it, direct its implementation by all appropriate executive departments and agencies of the U.S. Government, and designate the Operations Coordinating Board as the coordinating agency.[Page 411]
It is requested that special security precautions be observed in the handling of the enclosure, which is being given a limited distribution.
[Here follows a table of contents.]
- Source: Department of State, S/S–NSC Files: Lot 63 D 351, NSC 5519 Series. Top Secret. The attached draft statement and staff study were initially prepared by officers in the Department of State and submitted to the NSC Planning Board, where they were discussed and revised. For texts of those drafts considered by the Planning Board, see ibid.: Lot 62 D 1, NSC 5519.↩
- For the text of NSC 5405, “United States Objectives and Courses of Action With Respect to Southeast Asia”, January 16, 1954, which deals in part with Vietnam, see Foreign Relations, 1952–1954, vol. xii, Part 1, p. 366.↩
- For the text of NSC 5429/5, “Current U.S. Policy in the Far East”, December 22, 1954, which deals in part with Vietnam, see ibid., p. 1062. Annex A to NSC 5429/5 contains a list of objectives for U.S. policy in Indochina; for text, see the editorial note, ibid., vol. xiii, Part 2, p. 2412.↩
- See footnote 11, Document 28.↩
- NSC consideration of this paper was postponed for reasons outlined in Document 205.↩
- Not printed.↩
For examples of such guarantees, see para. 8 of the attached Staff Study. [Footnote in the source text. Paragraph 8 reads as follows:
[“8. In negotiating for conditions of genuine freedom for the holding of elections, Free Vietnam can serve both these objectives by insisting on provisions such as those already supported by the Western Powers at Berlin: Agreement on safeguards to assure conditions of genuine freedom before, after, and during elections; full powers for any Supervisory Commission to act to ensure free elections and to guarantee against prior coercion or subsequent reprisal; adequate guarantees for, among other things, freedom of movement, freedom of presentation of candidates, immunity of candidates, freedom from arbitrary arrest or victimization, freedom of association and political meetings, freedom of expression for all, freedom of press, radio, and free circulation of newspapers, secrecy of vote, security of polling stations and ballot boxes. The Communists would find it most difficult to accept such conditions or to allow their implementation if accepted. Accordingly, it would be useful for the Free Vietnamese to center their position on securing agreement to conditions for free elections prior to discussion of the forms and objectives of the elections.”]↩