The Pentagon Papers
Gravel Edition
Volume 1
Document 90, Telegram from Walter Bedell Smith to Secretary of State Dulles on the Conference Declaration, 19 July 1954, pp. 567-68.

FROM: Geneva

TO: Secretary of State

NO: SECTO 669, July 19, 8 p.m.


I had long talk with Mendes-France this afternoon, as I told you. He urgently asked that we expand our proposed unilateral declaration so as take note not (repeat not) only of agreements between military commands, but also take note of paragraphs one to nine proposed conference declaration. (See SECTOs 628 and 647). I made it clear that we could under no circumstances associate ourselves with conference declaration even though it is anticipated it will be only conference document and not signed agreement, nor could we note or otherwise imply any acquiescence in or approval of paragraph 10 which provides for consultation among conference members on questions transmitted to them by international control commissions.

Text of declaration not yet agreed between French and Communists, but I am transmitting immediately by following telegram French estimate probable final text. I am also transmitting teYts of unilateral statements to which Laos and Cambodia have agreed which are referred to in paragraph 4 draft declaration and draft French unilateral declaration referred to in paragraph 8.

French position is this conference declaration is integral part of agreements reached at conference and they will be sorely disappointed if we simply disassociate ourselves from declaration without even taking note in same manner as with respect to cease-fire agreements. I recommend that I be authorized amend our proposed declaration (Annex B my instructions) by inserting a brief addition taking note of paragraphs one to nine of conference declaration if its final content does not too greatly differ from that which French have indicated they prepared to accept. I would like some latitude on this, and am sure I know what would be acceptable to you. I will, of course, have to state in conference that the US is unable to join in a multilateral declaration (since the one planned would include the Communists) but it is making a declaration of its own position, et cetera. This may come to a head tomorrow afternoon or evening, and while it would be possible to make our declaration later it is infinitely preferable to do it at the time of settlement. Otherwise we will have to disassociate ourselves with a lengthy and detailed conference declaration without anything of our own to offer except the very brief declaration we already have prepared.


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