175. Telegram From the Embassy in Vietnam to the Department of State1

2314. Eyes only for Rusk and McNamara from Lodge.

Recalling my conversation of last Thursday,2 I asked General Khanh today, Monday, what actual evidence the GVN has against General Kim and General Xuan.
General Khanh said that one of the key figures in the whole French neutralist conspiracy is Tran Dinh Lam, who is a French citizen and French officer, who arrived in Saigon quite unexpectedly, and whose arrival attracted a good deal of attention. Khanh says that they have the following information: [Page 381]
General Kim, in his capacity as Secretary General of the Military Revolutionary Committee and as the member of the Military Revolutionary Committee for Foreign Affairs, gave the order to bring Lam back from France.
Kim was involved in the coup of November 11, 1960, a coup the promoters of which “were closely tied with the French” and they were backing Kim as the new “chief of government.”
These facts have just come to light as a result of the analysis which General Khiem is making of the captured Diem documents. The information in the documents is absolutely definite, said Khanh, and there can be no doubt about it.
Therefore, the outlook is that General Don will probably fare quite well, that Generals Kim and Xuan will not, and that it is a tossup on General Dinh. The trial will be in Dalat this week. The implications for General Minh may be far-reaching.
  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 15–1 VIET S. Top Secret. Sent to the Office of the Secretary of Defense on receipt in the Department of State.
  2. May 21; see footnote 3, Document 165.