226. Memorandum of a Conversation, Department of State, Washington, January 31, 1956, 10:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.1



  • US
    • The Secretary
    • Under Secretary Hoover
    • Ambassador Aldrich
    • Mr. Prochnow
    • Mr. MacArthur
    • Mr. Merchant
    • Mr. Robertson
    • Mr. McCardle
    • Mr. Bowie
    • Mr. Young
    • Mr. McConaughy
    • Mr. Goodkind
    • Mr. Cottman
  • UK
    • Foreign Secretary Lloyd
    • Ambassador Makins
    • Sir Harold Caccia
    • Sir Leslie Rowan
    • Sir Hubert Graves
    • Mr. Coulson

[Here follows a list of subjects discussed.]



[For text of this discussion, see volume I, pages 627–630.]


[For text of this discussion and subsequent discussion of neutralism, see volume XXI, pages 169–171.]


Mr. Robertson summarized the US viewpoint on Laos. The ICC resolution of January 72 while not perfect had the virtue of carrying out the intent of the Geneva agreement regarding the sovereignty and integrity of Laos. This resolution and its intent should be strongly supported. The Pathet Lao has not yet accepted it although they have passed the deadline set down by the Commission. Instead the Pathet Lao seeks a permanent division of Laos and the Communists are trying to connect a settlement in Laos with that in Viet-Nam. The US strongly believes there is no such connection. The sovereignty of the [Page 623] Government of Laos was recognized at the Geneva Conference and that should be firmly supported. The Canadians have done a stalwart job with the Poles always in the opposition and the Indians in the middle trying to win over the Poles. If the situation deteriorates and the problem of the two provinces is not solved, there could be trouble if the Royal Government should seek a military solution. The Communists have been putting on a propaganda offensive in South Viet-Nam to accuse the Vietnamese and the U.S. of all sorts of infringements of the Geneva Accords. Actually the real and flagrant violation of the Geneva Accords has been by the Communists in Laos. All possible influence should be used with the Commission to take a firm position on the observance of the Geneva Agreement. It would be helpful if the UK could persuade India along these lines.

Sir Harold said that it was important to tell Nehru that the Geneva Agreements should be considered as a whole in their implementation. Mr. Lloyd expressed the importance of keeping the Indians on our side in both Laos and Viet-Nam. He said that the British would consider sending a message to Nehru along the lines that another conference on Indochina would be impossible before the March elections in Viet-Nam. Such a message would have to make the points that the Geneva Agreements should be kept intact and any elections in Viet-Nam must be genuinely free and properly supervised. Mr. Lloyd said that he would think it over to see if there might be some way to stiffen the Indians.

The Secretary commented that he assumed Mr. Lloyd’s immediately preceding remarks did not imply that the UK would favor a conference after Vietnamese elections in March. The Secretary repeated his statement that the resumption of a conference would have dangerous possibilities and he doubted whether the US would attend. Mr. Lloyd assured the Secretary that he meant to imply no such thing. His view was negative regarding a conference but positive for genuinely free elections.


[For text of this discussion, see volume XXI, pages 171–172.]


[For text of this discussion and subsequent discussion on Chinese representation in the United Nations, see volume III, pages 286–293. For text of the discussion of trade controls, particularly on trade with the People’s Republic of China, see volume X, pages 304–308.]

The discussion of Far Eastern matters terminated at this point.

  1. Source: Department of State, Conference Files: Lot 62 D 181, CF 648. Secret. No drafting information appears on the source text. This memorandum was given restricted circulation to appropriate U.S. officials on February 7.
  2. The International Control Commission for Laos called for the restoration of government authority in two provinces still held by Pathet Lao forces.