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United States Department of State / Foreign relations of the United States : diplomatic papers, 1945. The British Commonwealth, the Far East

French Indochina,   pp. 293-315 PDF (8.3 MB)

Page 313

Memorandum of Conversation, by the Director of the Offie of Far
                    Eastern A4ffairs (Vincent)
                               [WASHINGTON,] September 24, 1945.
      Participants: Sir George Sansom,32 British Embassy;
                     Mr. John Carter Vincent, FE;
                     Mr. Abbot Low Moffat,33 SEA.
  Sir George Sansom called personally to express concern over the
British position in Indochina. He stated that there had been several
anti-British demonstrations in Saigon as the people did not wish the
French to return and felt that the British were supporting the French.
He stated that the British were there only to disarm the Japanese
  Mr. Moffat inquired whether Sir George was familiar with the
statement of General Slim, commander of the SEAC land forces, that
the British would be in Indochina to disarm the Japanese and to main-
tain order until French troops could arrive; and also that martial law
was reported to have been proclaimed with the death penalty to any-
one, including the Annamese, found bearing arms.
  Sir George, speaking personally, expressed deep concern at the dan-
ger of repercussions which an explosion in Indochina would have in
all other colonial areas. Speaking personally, we expressed the view
that some effort should be made to secure negotiations between the
French and the moderate Annamese elements. Sir George indicated
that he personally shared this view.
                                      J[OHN] C[ARTER] V[INCENT]
851G.01/10-545 Telegram
The Acting Secretary of State to the Charge in China (Robertson)
                             WASHINGTON, October 5, 1945-6 p. m.
  1622. Following pertinent extracts from Dept 657 August 30 to
New Delhi 34 for Bishop 35 are repeated for your information.
  "US has no thought of opposing the reestablishment of French con-
trol in Indochina and no official statement by US Govt has questioned
-even by implication French sovereignty over Indochina. However,
it is not the policy of this Govt to assist the French to reestablish
their control over Indochina by force and the willingness of the US
to see French control reestablished assumes that French claim to
have the support of the population of Indochina is borne out by
future events."
                                                         A CHESON
  '2 British Minister.
  3 Chief of the Division of Southeast Asian Affairs.
  Not printed.
  25 Max W. Bishop, Secretary of the American Commission at New Delhi.
     692-141-69  21

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