RECENT CONVERSATIONS WITH (DELETED)

Created: 4/16/1955

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

fi. Neither Dieai'a Vietnamese nor foreign advisors have yet produced effective suggestion* for Government action to solve the critical Binh Xuyen problem by political means. Acbessador CollIns, General Ely, Foreign Minister Do,ell advocate ooderetlon and conciliation, but their efforts in this direction during the last two weeks have admittedly not produced concrete results. All etteapts to negotiate with the Binharch confirmrevious and current estimate that the Binh suyen is not prepared to negotiate but is staking everything onrigid poeitlon in the hope that Diem will give in to Binh Xuyen demands and/or resign.

fc. Those of Diem's advisors who advocate the use of force against the Binh Xuyen are pressing him for action. They point out that the only elements profiting free the present stalemate are the Viet Minh and those who are seeking for their own purposes to disrupt free Vietnam.

etter todatedpru General Ely informed bin that he continued to oppose Dion's plan to take control of the Surete by force because bloodshed and civil war would result. Dies gathered from his interview ofpril with Ambassador Collins that the Utter has eade no progress In obtaining Sao Dai's support for the transfer of the Surete.

d- As ofpril French and American thinking appearst the time of the Hinh crisis. When Dlen insisted on

removing Hinh, both the French and the Americana claimed that this action would lead to bloodshed and civil war, that the FAVN supported Hinh and would rlss against the Government, and that the Government should temporize andegotiated solution. Diem believes that in this instancen borne out by eventsi Hinh was removed and neither civil war nor FAVH revolt followed. Similarly in the present crisis Die* believas that his Judgment is correct. He does not think that using force against the Sinh Xuyen will bring on civil war. Ke believes rather that the use of force is essential to remove the Binh Xuyen fron the Surete and thus establish

tha Governirent'a authority in toe capital. Thisrerequisite to proceeding vith plana for demobilization and training of the FAVN andolution of such problems as the sects, the National Assembly, land reform.

ici

mm

ft. The 3lnh Xuyen la not likely to withdraw from the city and go underground as guerrillas, either in the region south and east of the city or in the Hoa Hao areas of western Cochinchina. The region aouth of Saigon la short of food and drinking water and itslsparse population is not sympathetic to the Binh Xuyen. The region would probably have to be supplied by the Saigon-Baria highwayajor interest to the French since its the principal link between Saigon and the French bases in and about Cap St. Jacquoa and Long Hal. Withdrawal westward to the Hoa Hao area would also be highly unsatisfactory for the Binh Xuyen. They have no lasting political or religious ties with the Hoa Hao people and are presently allied to General Soai onlyommon desire to overthrow Diem. Under these circumstances It la doubtful that Soai would consent to absorb Into his territories any large numbers of Binh Xuyen forcea.

b,. Though Bay Vlen is personally capable of ordering his forcea to carry out acts of wanton destruction If attacked by the FAVN, there is some question whether he could enforce such an order. Some correnders would undoubtedly refuse to carry out such orders utlch would be tantamount to signing their own death sentences.

fi. The present Government plan to use force for the sole objective of taking control of the Surete combined with an offer to Integrate some Binh Xuyen forces into the FAVN probably represents the best solution. By Halting its target to obtaining control of the Surete the Government cakes it clear that it is not acting against all Binh Xuyen personnel and miniaizea the extent of political repercussions, since control of the Surete isorron investment of the sects or of the unified Front but is anien's. Moreover, Diem'a proposed action does not Involve

HI

?ao Pal In the present crisis,. This appears desirable from the point of view ,. of eotn men! Lien noes not wish to appear dependent on Bao Dai; Bao Dai> popularly believed to have aold control of the Surete to Bay Vlen hands one priest

It is impossible for Diem to broaden his Government and to proceed with constructive programs while Bay Vlen remains in control of the Surete and the FAVN is immobilised. Political figures will not accept responsibility as members of the Diem Government while Diem Is unable to guarantee thornodicur of protection against lawless elenentB or even against the Surete Itself.

mm-

e.. The Government realisesolution of the Binh Xuyen problem will still leave the Hoa Kao to be dealt with. However, the Koa Hao dissidents will be confined to the western areas of Cochinehlna and vlll have little political support from other groups. Sons Boa Hao elements are prepared to cooperate with the Government, and General Soai'a position will quickly deteriorate if heuerrilla role in Long Xuyen, In any case, the insediate problem is that the effective conduct of Government business is et present largely paralyzed by Binh Xuyen control of the Surete and the presence of Binh Xuyen armed forces within and on the outskirts of the national capital.

rs (C)

Original document.

Comment about this article or add new information about this topic:

CAPTCHA