12. Editorial Note

On February 8 the Secretary discussed a number of subjects with French Ambassador Maurice Couve de Murville. Assistant Secretary Merchant’s memorandum of this conversation reads in part:

“The Secretary then asked whom the French would send to Bangkok and the Ambassador said he supposed the Foreign Minister whoever he might be. He asked if we considered it an important conference and the Secretary answered that he regarded it as extremely important, particularly in light of the call for the Afro-Asian Conference later in the spring. One line which can be expected to emerge from the latter conference is Asia for the Asians. If France, Great Britain and the U.S. are excluded from Asian affairs then the entire region will fall under the domination of China and the Soviet Union. Accordingly, it was of first importance that the Bangkok Conference should present a success to the world and thereby demonstrate that free Asian countries and western countries could deal together with profit and harmony.” (Department of State, Secretary’s Memoranda of Conversation: Lot 64 D 199)

The chief of the French Delegation at Bangkok was Henri Bonnet, Ambassador to the United States until January 1955. At the [Page 31] time of the Bangkok meeting, an interim cabinet was in office in France.