FDR on Indochina

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FDR on Indochina[1]

Discussions Regarding the Future Status

of French Indochina and French Participation

in its Liberation from Japanese Occupation[2]

Memorandum by President Roosevelt for the Secretary of State

WASHINGTON, January 1, 1945. I still do not want to get mixed up in any Indochina decision. It is a matter for post-war.

By the same token, I do not want to get mixed up in any military effort toward the liberation of Indochina from the Japanese.

You can tell Halifax[3] that I made this very clear to Mr. Churchill.[4] From both the military and civil point of view, action at this time is premature.[5]


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  1. FOREIGN RELATIONS OF THE UNITED STATES – TRUMAN - 1945 Document 0001. 740.0011 PW/1-145
  2. Continued from Foreign Relations, 1944, vol. iii, pp. 769 ff. For the Department of State's estimate of conditions in French Indochina at the end of the war and an account of United States policy in connection with this French colony, see the policy paper of June 22, pp. 556, 567. For previous documentation on postwar policy planning in regard to areas under Japanese control, see Foreign Relations, 1944, vol. v, pp. 1186 ff.
  3. Viscount Halifax, British Ambassador in the United States.
  4. Winston S. Churchill, British Prime Minister. Conversation on the subject took place at the Second Quebec Conference in September 1944. Documentation on that Conference is scheduled for publication in a subsequent volume of Foreign Relations.
  5. See also President Roosevelt's comments on Indochina in memorandum of March 15 by the Adviser on Caribbean Affairs (Taussig), especially first and last two paragraphs, vol. i, p. 121.