Statement by Jameson Parker, Department Press Officer, read to Correspondents April 17, 1954, on U.S. Policy Toward Indochina, Department of State Bulletin, April 26, 1954, p. 623:


"Certain remarks with regard to United States policy toward Indochina have been attributed to a high Government official [Vice President Nixon]. The contents of the speech referred to and questions and answers which followed were off the record, but a complete report of the speech has been made available to the State Department.

"The speech enunciated no new United States policy with regard to Indochina. It expressed full agreement with and support for the policy with respect to Indochina previously enunciated by the President and the Secretary of State.

"That policy was authoritatively set forth by the Secretary of State in his speech of March 29, 1954, in which he said:

"'Under the conditions of today, the imposition on Southeast Asia of the political system of Communist Russia and its Chinese Communist ally, by whatever means, would be a grave threat to the whole free community. The United States feels that that possibility should not be passively accepted but should be met by united action. This might involve serious risks. But these risks are far less than those that will face us a few years from now if we dare not be resolute today.'

"In regard to a hypothetical question as to whether United States forces should be sent to Indochina in the event of French withdrawal, the high Government official categorically rejected the premise of possible French withdrawal. Insofar as the use of United States forces in Indochina was concerned, he was stating a course of possible action which he was personally prepared to support under a highly unlikely hypothesis.

"The answer to the question correctly emphasized the fact that the interests of the United States and other free nations are vitally involved with the interests of France and the Associated States in resisting Communist domination of Indochina."


Source: The Pentagon Papers, Gravel Edition, Vol. 1 (Boston: Beacon Press, 1971), p. 599-600


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