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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 582

751G.00/12-3151: Telegram
  The Ambassador in France (Bruce) to the Secretary of State
TOP SECRET                       PARIS, December 31, 1951-8 p.4m.
  3913. Schuman gave me this afternoon for transmittal to Dept aide-
mnmoire dated Dec 31 rough translation of which follows. I told him
we expect to have shortly information to effect Secretary Lovett had
advised Ambassador Bonnet of accurate status of arms shipments
to Indochina.
  "At time of his recent trip to US, Gen De Lattre obtained assur-
ance that principal critical materiel for French Union forces IC wld
be delivered prior Dec 31. This materiel included particularly: all
general purpose vehicles jeep, dodge, GMC, or 4500 vehicles; majority
combat vehicles, or 220 out of 330; all automatic arms, or 9400; 00
radio sets out of 2700, remainder to be delivered as manufactured.
  "More recently, Dec 20, State Dept, in reply to Demarche French
Emb Washington on this subject, indicated that:
      "(1) All trucks expected, plus -200 supplementary trucks, shld
    arrive Saigon prior Dec 31;
      "(2) All radio sets were going to be expedited, their delivery
    risking maximum delay one month;
      "(3) Automatic arms were in process being shipped.
  "Subsequent to this info, French command IC studied with Gen
Brink deliveries materiel promised for end of year. In light this study,
it appears that commitments taken vis-a-vis French High Comm IC,
and which had been confirmed to him by Gen Collins, will not be kept
for Dec 31.
  "Nevertheless, Gen Brink has affirmed that certain number ships
have left US and are expected IC between Dec 25 and Jan 15, carry-
ing about 100 radio sets, 975 vehicles, 77 combat vehicles, munitions
and miscellaneous materiel; on other hand, 10 tank-destroyers with
90 millimeter guns arrived this week.
  "Despite effort thus made to end year by US services, it appears that
important deficit will remain to be made up on Dec 31.
  "At time fighting resuming with increased intensity on Tonkin
front, French Govt calls most serious attention of US Govt to grave
consequences which such delays in deliveries US materiel risk involv-
ing for conduct operations.
  "On other hand, French Govt wld like to know as soon as possible:
      "(1) List of ships presently at sea or which will sail before
    Jan 15, with tonnage and type of materiel carried;
      "(2) Volume of aid which will remain to be furnished on
    Jan 15 under 1950-51 aid".
Dept also pass Saigon sent Dept 3913 rptd info Saigon 236.

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