EXTENSION OF MILITARY AND ECONOMIC AID: Statement by the Secretary of State, May 8, 1950

(Hostilities between the French and Viet Minh Forces began late in 1946 and gradually worsened until the Geneva Agreements of 1954. This statement marks the beginning of U.S. military and economic assistance to the Associated States and France to restore stability in the area. Formal agreements were signed later.)

The [French] Foreign Minister and I have just had an exchange of views on the situation m Indochina and are in general agreement both as to the urgency of the situation in that area and as to the necessity for remedial action. We have noted the fact that the problem of meeting the threat to the security of Viet Nam, Cambodia, and Laos which now enjoy independence within the French Union is primarily the responsibility of France and the Governments and peoples of Indochina. The United States recognizes that the solution of the Indochina problem depends both upon the restoration of security and upon the development of genuine nationalism and that United States assistance can and should contribute to these major objectives.

The United States Government, convinced that neither national independence nor democratic evolution exist in any area dominated by Soviet imperialism, considers the situation to be such as to warrant its according economic aid and military equipment to the Associated States of Indochina and to France in order to assist them in restoring stability and permitting these states to pursue their peaceful and democratic development.

Source: U.S. Congress, Senate, Committee on Foreign Relations, 90th Congress, 1st Session, Background Information Relating to Southeast Asia and Vietnam (3d Revised Edition) (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, July 1967), p. 44.

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