Page:Pentagon-Papers-Part IV. A. 3.djvu/17

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Declassified per Executive Order 13526, Section 3.3
NND Project Number: NND 63316. By: NWD Date: 2011

TOP SECRET – Sensitive

dissuaded Diem from taking on Bay Vien's 6000-man force at this time, and the French then negotiated a truce between Diem and the Binh Xuyen.
7 Apr 55 Collins and Ely agree Diem must go Collins says Diem has proved himself incapable of inspiring unity, and must be replaced. Dulles demurs, then agrees to consider a change if Collins will fly to Washington for consultations.
23 Apr 55 Diem proposes to broaden the government Diem calls for a national referendum and elections for a national assembly within six months. The Front scores the proposal.
26 Apr 55 Diem fires Sang (Collins had left Saigon for Washington.) Diem replaces Sang with a man loyal to his regime but Sang refuses to resign saying only Bao Dai had the legal authority to remove him.
27 Apr 55 Dulles agrees to a change in Saigon Collins met with Dulles in Washington. Dulles agreed to consider an alternate to Diem but was determined to keep this from the French until their purposes were clear and their promise to unequivocally support a new regime firm. Saigon was informed of this new policy.
28 Apr 55 Diem hits the Binh Xuyen Diem struck at the Sureté—and Sang—after fighting erupted between the VNA and Binh Xuyen forces in Cholon. The French said Diem instigated the fight; Americans supported Diem's version that the Binh Xuyen began firing first. Whatever its origin, the fight ended with a VNA victory. The Binh Xuyen were driven out of Cholon into the Rung Sat swamps.
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