Seated in Louis XVI armchairs around a long table in Paris, some 20 French and Vietnamese officials agreed "in principle" and at long last to a two-treaty package.
Treaty No. ¹: France to grant "total" independence to Viet Nam.
Treaty No. 2: Viet Nam to remain "inside" the French Union.
The ceremony lasted no more than twelve minutes, and there was no diplomatic glass of champagne afterwards. The French had long been unwilling to grant their Vietnamese subjects even this much independence; they had delayed the agreement right up to the Geneva Conference, when it finally became necessary to remove the stigma...