213. Telegram From the Secretary of State to the Department of State 1

Secto 3. At tripartite meeting2 this morning Macmillan gave representation of problem raised by receipt of Indian aide-mémoire on question Vietnam election. He felt would be mistake handle this matter through joint efforts of co-chairmen and also would be undesirable involve ICC as proposed. He commented Canadians would certainly oppose any such involvement.

On other hand Macmillan felt was essential for UK reply Indian proposal which though unacceptable should be provided with alternative. UK therefore proposed instructing HBM Ambassador Saigon make démarche along lines gist previously furnished Department and forwarded Saigon. He referred to June 18 discussions Washington working group3 which had agreed UK proposal omitting words “time and place and level of representation”. If this agreeable would send necessary instructions at once at same time informing Indians along these lines and saying in opinion UK nothing further to be done at this time.

Secretary mentioned reported effort Diem connect FEC and High Command problem Vietnam with elections saying in effect until Vietnamese have completed these arrangements and are masters their own house they cannot go forward with elections. Pinay said that Chau had been sent Paris and saw him on day his arrival. Chau had pressed for military convention to settle FEC problem. This seemed all he wanted and had not been linked with question of elections.

It was agreed this problem would not be raised in tonight’s quadripartite meeting with Molotov but should latter bring up question would tell him of reply given to Indians and felt nothing further to be done at this time. In any event UK would immediately instruct HBM Ambassador Saigon make démarche along lines indicated above.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 751G.00/6–2055. Secret; Priority. Repeated for information to Saigon, Paris, and London.
  2. The Foreign Ministers of France, the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union, and the United States attended the tenth anniversary ceremonies of the founding of the United Nations. They held a series of meetings among themselves—bilateral, tripartite, and quadripartite.
  3. See supra .