The Pentagon Papers
Document 33, Telegram to Ambassador Dillon in Paris from Secretary of State Dulles on US Position on Indochina, 5 April 1954, p 476
April 5, 1954
SENT TO: Amembassy PARIS 3482
EYES ONLY FOR AMBASSADOR FROM SECRETARY
As I personally explain to Ely in presence of Radford, it is not (rpt not) possible for US to commit belligerent acts in Indochina without full political understanding with France and the other countries. In addition, Congressional action would be required. After conference at highest level, I must confirm this position. US is doing everything possible as indicated my 5175 to prepare public, Congressional and Constitutional basis for united action in Indochina. However, such action is impossible except on coalition basis with active British Commonwealth participation. Meanwhile US prepared, as has been demonstrated, to do everything short of belligerency.
FYI US cannot and will not be put in position of alone salvaging British Commonwealth
interests in Malaya, Australia and New Zealand. This matter now under discussion
with UK at highest level.
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