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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 341

  Progressive Vietnamese Government. Our Legation publicity section
  would be, glad to, assist to that end. Bao Daij agreed to this thesis but
  did not volunteer how-or when he would work for its accomplishment.
    5. I went on to say that in viewý of the critical situation and
  'difficulties with his own government, it seemed to me indispensable
  that he take up: residence in Saigon. He had informed me in our last
  meeting he was not going to press for th e turnover of the High
  Commissioner's palace since De Lattre evidently did not want to sur-
  render it and Bao Dai counted on friendly relations with De Lattre
  to accomplish Vietnamese aims, particularly the formation of the
  national'army. 1I inquired of Bao Dai why he did not take up resi-
  dence in the La Grandiere Palace.or General Carpentier's2 house and
  speculated whether: his temporarily occupying inferior quarters in
  Saigon might not hasten the turning over of the High Commissioner's
  palace already promised by, Letourneau3 and Pignon,* I emphasized
  these observations were purely personal ones. I was without any in-
  structions from my government to discuss the matter with him. I
  personally felt very strongly, however, that he could not manage
  affairs from Dalat. Bao Dai demurred he could not move down to
  Saigon until tlhe French were readyto make the "elegant gesture"
  voluntarily turning over the High Commissioner's palace to him, His
  Vietnamese subjects, he argued, would not understand his accepting
  inferior quarters in Saigon.
  6. Bao Dai felt De Lattre was sincere in his desire to create-a Viet-
  namese national army, to support Bao IDai's regime and to put up a
  real fight in "the north. De Lattre was going to France in the middle
  of January to endeavor to obtain an extra division of French troops.
  Bao Dai thought that one division utterly insufficient reinforcement.
  He thought De Lattre ,and the French with encouragement of the
  British were harboring the illusion it wOuld be possible to transform
  Mao Tse- tung 5 -int0 a Tito.6 I3ao iDai thought there was not a chance
  of such an occurrence;. On the other hand., he did not believe that the
  Chinese would o0penly invade Indochina. We [He] indeed hoped that
  they would because then, and only then, could he really go to the Viet-
  namese people! with a cause.demanding their support. THe thought
  it more likely that the Chinese would send in supporting troops and
  increased assistance but would keep Viet Minh formations in the actual
  line of attack. Already, according to Bao Dai's information, there
  'Gen. Marcel Carpentier, Commander of French Union forces in Indochina,
  Jean Letourneau, French Minister for the Associated States.
  L'on Pignon, French High Commissioner in Indochina, 1948-1950.
  Chairman of the Central People's Government Council, People's Republic
China,- and Chairman of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of
  6 Josip Broz-Tlto, Yugoslav Prime Minister and Minister of Defense; Secre-
tary General of the Yugoslav¢ Communist Party.
     538-617 77--23

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