Statement by Secretary Dulles Made at Augusta, Georgia, April 19, 1954, on Conversations in London and Paris Concerning Indochina, Department of State Bulletin, May 3, 1954, p. 668:


"I have reported to President Eisenhower on my recent trip to London and Paris, where I discussed the position in Indochina.

"I found in both Capitals recognition that the armed Communist threat endangered vital free world interest and made it appropriate that the free nations most immediately concerned should explore the possibility of establishing a collective defense. This same recognition had already been expressed by other nations of the Southeast Asian area.

"The Communists in Viet-Nam, spurred on by Red China, have acted on the assumption that a quick, easy victory at Dien-Bien-Phu would open the door to a rapid Communist advance to domination of the entire Southeast Asian area. They concluded they were justified in recklessly squandering the lives of their subjects to conquer this strongpoint so as to confront the Geneva Conference with what could be portrayed as both a military and political victory for communism.

"The gallant defenders of Dien-Bien-Phu have done their part to assure a frustration of the Communist strategy. They have taken a toll such that, from a military standpoint, the attackers already lost more than they could win. From a political standpoint, the defenders of Dien-Bien-Phu have dramatized the struggle for freedom so that the free world sees more clearly than ever before the issues that are at stake and once again is drawing closer together in unity of purpose.

"The Communist rulers are learning again that the will of the free is not broken by violence or intimidation.

"The brutal Soviet conquest of Czechoslovakia did not disintegrate the will of the West. It led to the formation of the North Atlantic Treaty alliance.

"The violent conquest of the China mainland followed by the Korean aggression did not paralyze the will of the free nations. It led to a series of Pacific mutual security pacts and to the creation under the North Atlantic Treaty of a powerful defensive force-in-being.

"The violent battles now being waged in Viet-Nam and the aggressions against Laos and Cambodia are not creating any spirit of defeatism. On the contrary, they are rousing the free nations to measures which we hope will be sufficiently timely and vigorous to preserve these vital areas from Communist domination.

"In this course lies the best hope of achieving at Geneva the restoration of peace with freedom and justice."

* * *


Source: The Pentagon Papers, Gravel Edition, Vol. 1 (Boston: Beacon Press, 1971), p. 598-9


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