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United States Department of State / Foreign relations of the United States, 1952-1954. Indochina (in two parts)
(1952-1954)

Policy of the United States with respect to the situation in Indochina during the period of the Geneva Conference, April-July 1954: U.S. concern regarding the military ascendancy of the Viet Minh; planning for the post-Geneva period,   pp. 1410-1866 PDF (177.8 MB)


Page 1410


POLICY OF THE UNITED STATES WITH RESPECT TO THE
   SITUATION IN INDOCHINA DURING THE PERIOD OF
   THE   GENEVA      CONFERENCE, APRIL-JULY            1954: U.S.
   CONCERN REGARDING THE MILITARY ASCENDANCY
   OF THE VIET MINH; PLANNING FOR THE POST-
   GENEVA PERIOD
 Eisenhower Library, James C. Hagerty papers
                  Hagerty Diary, April 26, 19541
                             [Extracts]
                                           [WASHINGTON, undated.]
   Indo China-The President said that the French "are weary as
 hell"--he said that it didn't look as though Dien Bien Phu could hold
 out for more than a week and would fall possibly sooner-Reported
 that the British thought that the French were not putting out as much
 as they could, but that he did not necessarily agree with their viewpoint.
 "The French go up and down every day-they are very voluble. They
 thing [think] they are a great power one day and they feel sorry for
 themselves the next day." The President said that if we were to put
 one combat soldier into Indo China, then our entire prestige would be
 at stake, not only in that area but throughout the world-The Presi-
 dent said the British are worried about Hong Kong and hope it will
 be left alone. They are fearful that if they move in Indo China the
 Chinese Reds will move against Hong Kong and could take it easily-
 "My argument to the British has been that if we all went in together
 into Indo China at the same time, that would be fine but if they don't
 go in with us, they don't expect us to help them defend Hong Kong.
 We must have collective security or we'll fall."-The President said
the
 situation looked very grim this morning but that he and Dulles were
 1The extracts printed here comprise Press Secretary Hagerty's diary entry
on
 discussion of Indochina at a White House meeting with Republican legislative
 leaders held on Apr. 26 at 8:"30 a. m. Those present were the President;
Vice
 President Nixon; Senators William F. Knowland of California, Homer Ferguson
 of Michigan, Eugene D. Millikin of Colorado, and Styles Bridges of New Hamp-
 shire; Representatives Joseph M. Martin, Jr., of Massachusetts (Speaker),
 Charles A. Halleck of Indiana. Teslie C. Arends of Irlinois, and Leo E.
Allen of
 Illinois; and Sherman Adams, Wilton B. Persons, Robert Cutler, Arthur Minnich,
 Hagerty, and other members of the White House staff. With regard to this
meet-
 ing, see also memorandum by Minnich, infra ; editorial note, p. 1414; and
telegram
Tedul 16 to Geneva, Apr. 28, containing a summary by Cutler of the principal
points made by the President, vol. xvi, p. 599.
     1410


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