University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Foreign Relations of the United States

Page View

United States Department of State / Foreign relations of the United States, 1951. Asia and the Pacific (in two parts)

Indochina,   pp. 332-582 PDF (99.7 MB)

Page 333

                             INDOCHINA                         333
   2. Policy must be based on assumption of invasion by Chinese as
 organized units from now on. Chinese Communist units plus VM
 could within six months liquidate Haiphong, obtain control of IC
 south at least to Vinh. Concurrently VM activities and terrorism may
 increase in south sufficiently to contain French and Viet forces there.
 Combined VM    forces would then be in position directly to assault
 south Vietnam, or turn against Laos, Cambodia, Burma and Thai-
 land for forced or negotiated surrenders.5 Situation would not be lost
 at this point but with VM installed in Hanoi, one of historic Asian
 capitals and city which typifies Viet nationalism to much greater
 degree than Saigon, with Chinese and VM troops supreme in north,
 and with Chinese and Soviet representatives installed in *capital of
 government they recognize, weight of manpower, logistics and morale
 would then be in Sino-VM favor and defense of IC and SEA would
 enter final phase, in truth, last ditch affair.
   (B) Most important policy aspects IC political situation at end
1950 were:
   1. Organic relationship  between  Associated  States (AS) and
 France, while not yet contending Viet nationals had more satisfactory
 and viable framework than at any previous time since end last war.
 Transfer substantial economic sovereignty to AS at Pau,6 decision to
 activate true national armies, assurance drastic reduction number
 French officials in IC, cession all local revenues to AS have established
 new high water mark IC progress toward independence. Good will
 which might normally have attached to French as result this body
 of concessions is, however, marred by Viet suspicions that VM strength,
 menace of Chinese Communists, imperative of French position in
 Europe contributed preponderantly to grants of last two months.
 Volatile Viets who only recently complained French would never leave
 now have begun to doubt French intent to see war in IC through.
 Had French willingly made two years ago 1950 concessions and had
 Bao Dai and his government had two years experience under new
 formula, there would have been radically different IC situation. Basis
 political question today is whether there is time enough to utilize
 new political framework to mobilize mass allegiance behind Bao Dai.
   2. Viet Government has thus far failed to display any real dynam-
ism and has not yet won confidence of public in its ability to provide
security or welfare. The Chief of State has yet to exhibit sustained
energy or the know-how of leadership, its cabinet lacks stature, color,
and broad representativeness; its administrators are generally in-
experienced and frequently venal. 'There have, however, been occa-
sional flashes of energy; in Huu,7 Giao 8 and Tri,9 Bao Dai has a
  5 For additional documentation on U.S. concern regarding the Communist
threat to Southeast Asia, see pp. 1 ff.
  'The interstate conference at Pau, France, attended by representatives
France and the Associated States of Indochina, ended on November 27, 1950,
after almost five mo~nths of negotiations. For texts of ten quadripartite
menits concluded at the conference and signed on December 16, 1950, see France,
Direction de Ia Documentation, Notes et Etudles Documentaires, No. 1425
(January 24, 1951), pp. 1--38.
  7Tran Van Huu, Prime Minister of Viet-Nam.
  8 Phan Van Giao, Governor of Central Viet-Nam.
  D      Hgyntuu Tri, Governor of Tonkin.

Go up to Top of Page