Franklin Roosevelt on French Rule in Indochina, Press Conference, February 23, 1945, from Major Problems in American Foreign Policy, Volume II: Since 1914, 4th edition, edited by Thomas G. Paterson and Dennis Merrill (Lexington, MA: D.C. Heath and Company, 1995), p. 190.

With the Indo-Chinese, there is a feeling they ought to be independent but are not ready for it. I suggested at the time [19431, to Chiang, that Indo-China be set up under a trusteeship--have a Frenchman, one or two Indo-Chinese, and a Chinese and a Russian because they are on the coast, and maybe a Filipino and an American--to educate them for self-government. It took fifty years for us to do it in the Philippines.

Stalin liked the idea. China liked the idea. The British don't like it. It might bust up their empire, because if the Indo-Chinese were to work together and eventually get their independence, the Burmese might do the same thing to England. The French have talked about how they expect to recapture Indo-China, but they haven't got any shipping to do it with. It would only get the British mad. Chiang would go along. Stalin would go along. As for the British, it would only make the British mad. Better to keep quiet just now.

Return to Vinnie's Home Page

Return to Documents Relating to Vietnam

Return to Documents on World War II