Indochina - Views of the United States and France on the Eve of the Geneva Conference: Joint Statement by the Secretary of State and the French Foreign Minister, April 14, 1954(1)

Following their conversations in Paris on April 14th, the United States Secretary of State, Mr. John Foster Dulles, and the French Minister of Foreign Affairs, M. Bidault, issued the following statement:

For nearly two centuries it has been the practice for representatives of our two nations to meet together to discuss the grave issues which from time to time have confronted us.

In pursuance of this custom, which we hope to continue to the benefit of ourselves and others, we have had an exchange of views on Indochina and Southeast Asia.

Mr. Dulles expressed admiration for the gallant fight of the French Union forces, who continue with unshakeable courage and determination to repel Communist aggression.

We deplore the fact that on the eve of the Geneva Conference this aggression has reached a new climax in Viet-Nam particularly at Dien-Bien-Phu and has been renewed in Laos and extended to Cambodia.

The independence of the three Associated States within the French Union, which new agreements are to complete, is at stake in these battles.

We recognize that the prolongation of the war in Indochina, which endangers the security of the countries immediately affected, also threatens the entire area of Southeast Asia and of the Western Pacific. In close association with other interested nations, we will examine the possibility of establishing, within the framework of the United Nations Charter, a collective defense to assure the peace, security and freedom of this area.

We recognize that our basic objective at the Geneva Conference will be to seek the re-establishment of a peace in Indochina which will safeguard the freedom of its people and the independence of the Associated States. We are convinced that the possibility of obtaining this objective depends upon our solidarity.

(1) Issued at Paris; Department of State Bulletin, Apr. 26, 1954, pp. 622-623. Back

American Foreign Policy 1950-1955
Basic Documents Volumes I and II
Department of State Publication 6446
General Foreign Policy Series 117
Washington, DC : U.S. Governemnt Printing Office, 1957

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