dated June 2, 1954: France unrelenting

The trend of the Paris negotiations on the future of the French Indian settlements, according to reports reaching New Delhi, does not encourage the hope of an early solution. The French are still harping on a referendum, while India maintains that a referendum is unnecessary and impossible to hold. It is felt in New Delhi that unless the French show a last minute inclination to revise their present attitude, it would be futile to continue the talks beyond this week.

The French Government are apparently looking at the problem not on its intrinsic merits, but in the context of its world position. The French feeling appears to be that any yielding on the question of the Indian settlements close on the heels of their military reverses in Indo-China would affect national prestige and morale.