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Digital Archive International History Declassified

May 31, 1963

SECRET TELEGRAM FROM MANELI (SAIGON) TO SPASOWSKI (WARSAW) [CIPHERGRAM NO. 7353]

This document was made possible with support from the Leon Levy Foundation

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    Report from Polish official in Saigon, Maneli, to Warsaw, on his meeting with Pham Van Dong. Dong describes plans for South Vietnam's future government and neutrality, along with North Vietnam's compliance with the Geneva Accords. Reports that Soviet Ambassador Tovmassian was surprised at the high degree of Chinese participation in Vietnam.
    "Secret Telegram from Maneli (Saigon) to Spasowski (Warsaw) [Ciphergram No. 7353]," May 31, 1963, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, AMSZ, Warsaw, 6/77, w-102, t-625, obtained and translated by Margaret Gnoinska. Published in CWIHP Working Paper No. 45. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/118950
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Secret

Ciphergram No. 7353

From…Saigon……dispatched on 5.31 at 10:00 hours……..received 6.1 at 9:58 hours……

Came in to the Decoding Department…6.1. at 14:30 hours…………………………………..

Spasowski

FYI  – Trojanowski, Thee, Chodorek

I am reporting further results of the consultations in Hanoi.

1.   The conversation with the Premier [Pham Van Dong] was planned for one hour.  On his initiative, it lasted two hours.  The issue of the development of the Diem- US spat was discussed in detail. He presented his own, not abridged, assessment. Once again, he expressed his will to comply with the Geneva Accords.  As far as the South is concerned, the formula of wide neutral coalition government still applies. As to the question of who is to make up the right and the center, he replied: This will crystallize itself, the presence of certain people from the Diem regime is not out of the question. The people of the right will only be a fiction for the countries abroad, without a significant influence on governing. It is true that the Laotian example did not work out – this does not matter. The change in government in the South will happen after military defeats. Only then will the Americans and Diem be forced to participate in an international conference. In exchange for the neutrality of the South, the North will comply with the Geneva Accords.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs asked to relay to those interested in the South that they wanted to begin cultural [exchanges] and trade (rice, coal) before political settlements [were reached]. Both strongly asked that the probes be expanded, which is mentioned in the previous no. 255.

2.   The Premier was saying almost the same thing during my previous visit, as if nothing changed on their end. He emphasized the work of the Poles for Vietnam. He used the word “socialist camp,” talking about the role of the USSR; he did not mention China even once. Ambassador Tovmassian was very pleased with these statements of the Premier.

3.   The formula along the line of 1954 is more strongly evident in all the reports. The Chinese Ambassador was talking about the new Dien Bien Phu, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs about the defeat in Algeria. Ambassador Tovmassian found out, unofficially, that they were planning to organize a 500 thousand men army in the South by 1965.  The costs of maintenance were paid by the Chinese, and the rest came from local sources.  The high degree of participation of the Chinese is a surprise to Cde. Tovmassian.

4.   The special intelligence gathered for us regarding the battles in the South confirms our assessment relayed in a report: the balance of forces. They admitted defeat, but they still maintain that they control 75 percent of the territory and 50 percent of the population, even though certain changes have occurred as to the spheres of influence.

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/-/ Maneli

No. 262

Deciphered on 6.1. at 9:00 hours

Deciphered by Jochimek, signed by Fiutowski