The Pentagon Papers
Gravel Edition
Volume 1
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.

DULLES


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