Skip to main content

Sainteny, Jean

Sainteny, Jean

Fonds papier

Born in 1907 in Vésinet, Jean Sainteny joined the Banque de l’Indochine (Indochina Bank) in 1929 and was later sent to the Far East. Though he stayed there for only two years, it was enough for him to form a long-lasting attachment with the region.
Head of the military mission in China in 1945, he was appointed commissioner of the Republic for Tonkin and North Annam in December, 1945. It was with this title that he signed with Ho Chi Minh the agreements of 6 March 1945, which allowed the entry of General Leclerc’s non-combatant troops into Hanoi, the first attempt at a peaceful decolonization.
However, by 19 December, the situation had evolved into a general insurrection: start of the Indochina War. In February 1947, Jean Sainteny returned to France and was tasked with diverse missions until his nomination in 1954 as general delegate of France in North Vietnam, a post he occupied until 1958. He established and maintained good relations with the authorities of the new State.
In 1969, he founded the International Buddhist Institute, which led to the construction of a pagoda in the Bois de Vincennes.
Along with his role in the decolonization of Indochina, Jean Sainteny was also an unwavering Gaullist. During the German occupation, he became one of the chiefs of the Alliance network, which tied itself to the British Intelligence Service. In charge of the North East section, he went by the pseudonym “Dragon.”
From 1959 to 1962, he was appointed general commissioner of tourism. Elected deputy UNR-UDT in November 1962, he was able to obtain the same year the portfolio of Veterans in the Pompidou government. He would keep it until January 1966. Two years later, he was appointed member of the Constitutional Council.
He died in 1978.
 

File(s) for download

Sainteny_Vietnamese_version.pdf

Archives content

1 SA 1-12: MISSION V AND COMMISSIONER OF THE FRENCH REPUBLIC FOR TONKIN AND NORTH ANNAM
1 SA 1-1945
Activities of the mission V in Tonkin and in China: varied missions (correspondence, accounts); Section of the French relation in the Far East: Kunming-Calcutta relation (correspondence, notes)
1 SA 2/3
Hanoi (political and military situation)
1 SA 4/5 – 1946
6 March 1946 agreements; Ho Chi Minh’s stay in France and Fontainebleau conference; correspondence between the Indochina High Commissioner and J. Sainteny (Aug. – Nov. 1946); 19 December 1946 insurrection: witnesses, press, photographs, correspondence, texts from Ho to L. Blum; telegrams, correspondence; political, cultural, economic and social accounts; press
1 SA 6/10 – 1947
Political situation Jan-Aug 1947; general secretary of the Indochina Committee: Association France-Vietnam; correspondence, telegrams (Jan-Oct 1947), press
1 SA 11/12 – 1948-1953
Accounts, press, correspondence; affair Sainteny 1947-1948: accounts, interrogation, correspondence, press

1 SA 13-19: GENERAL DELEGATION OF THE GOVERNMENT OF THE FRENCH REPUBLIC IN NORTH VIETNAM
1 SA 13/14
Geneva conference (26/04/54 – 21/07/54); nomination de J. Sainteny; political problems: Sainteny’s notes, political situation in North Vietnam 1954-1958
1 SA 15/17
Cultural problems: generalities, Ecole française d’Extreme-Orient, lycée Albert Sarraut (Hanoi), Saint-Paul hospital, the commissioners, economic problems: generalities,
1 SA 18
Telegrams: departure from Hanoi (1954), trip to Paris (1955), difficulties over the Geneva treaty (1956), Haiphong Maison de France (1957), 147 press cuts (Vietnamese newspapers), newspapers, reviews

1 SA 20-26: JEAN SAINTENY AND VIETNAM
1 SA 20/24
• Trips to the Far East, June-July 1966
Preparatory documents, travelling notes, graves of French soldiers (Hanoi), stay in India, relations with the press, press cuts (June-Sept. 1966)
• Ho Chi Minh’s funeral, Sept. 1969, 9 photos, press, notes
• J. Sainteny’s contact with American figures during the Vietnam war, 1966-1973
Including: correspondence with Kissinger, Nixon’s letter to Ho Chi Minh, J. Sainteny’s letter to M. Schumann
• Accounts on the political situation in Vietnam
Sino-Soviet rivalry in Southeast Asia; Franco-Vietnamese relations; France and the North-South conflict; files on de Gaulle and Indochina: correspondence with Ho Chi Minh, Brazzaville’s declaration; Paris treaty (Jan. 1973); files: General Tran Van Don; government of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam
• Correspondence 1959-1977

1 SA 27-30: CONFERENCES, INTERVIEWS, PROGRAMS, WORKS OF JEAN SAINTENY ON VIETNAM

1 SA 31-32: INTERNATIONAL BUDDHIST INSTITUTE
Correspondence, notes; financial situation 1969-1978; plans, installations; statues “Unsui Gunzo”: official delivery of a group of statues to the city of Paris, offered by the Japanese committee in support of the International Buddhist Institute; inauguration of the Buddhist temple in the Bois de Vincennes (photos)

1 SA 33-35: PRESS, DOCUMENTATION
Documents, brochures concerning Cambodia and China

2 SA 1-3: THE WAR 1939-1945 – THE RESISTANCE
1939-1946: military career, J. Roger
Notes, Air ministry, 11 aerial photographs

2 SA 4-5: COMRADE OF THE LIBERATION, COMMITTEE OF HISTORY OF THE SECOND WORLD WAR
Comrades of the Liberation
Notes, correspondence, memorandums

Committee of history of the Second World War
Organizations, activities: library, archives, photograph library, different surveys; maps: Resistance and deportation in different departments; brochures, reviews; bulletin of Comité d’histoire de la 2e Guerre Mondiale

2 SA 6-14: JEAN SAINTENY, MINISTER OF VETERANS AND WAR VICTIMS

3 SA 1-5: TOURISM
Mission in Africa, 1954
Preparatory documents, travelling notes, mission accounts, correspondence, press
General Commission of Tourism
Nomination of J.Sainteny, press, overseas missions, documentation, correspondence, photographs 1960-1962

3 SA 6-11: ENVIRONMENT
The World Wildlife Fund (WWF)
Chart, projects and implementations, memorandums; Association française du Fonds mondial pour la nature (president J. Sainteny)
French collection on nature and the environment
Function 1971-1973
Association française du WWF et FFNE (documents, publications, accounts with diverse associations)
High committee for the environment
Reunions, folders addressed to members; inter-ministerial committee acting for nature and the environment (CIANE): thematic files
Hunting
House of hunting and nature: brochures, correspondence; diverse documents

4 SA 1-10: POLITICAL LIFE
Elections
Legislatives 1962: electoral campaign of J. Sainteny (support committee, correspondence, press); municipal and presidential elections 1965; legislative 1967; files 2nd district of Paris
Constitutional Council
Nomination J. Sainteny (1968); election of the European Assembly by universal suffrage; press and documents concerning different laws; 1972 referendum results; 1974 presidential elections
Political movements, associations 1958-1978
Different political movements and associations created in order to support General de Gaulle’s action

5 SA 1-6: INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE OF PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION
• Elections
General documents; administration council 1968-1974; budgets 1973-1978; counseling folders of councils of development from the department of Asia
 

6 SA 1
International Buddhist Institute, 1969-1978
Construction of a pagoda in Paris (notes, correspondence)

Committee of Franco-Vietnamese mutual assistance, 1975-1978
Correspondence

Vietnamese interventions, 1975-1978
29 folders arranged in alphabetical order by name

Interventions
27 folders arranged in alphabetical order by name

French Association of Global Funds for nature, 1966-1971
Correspondence, notes

Institute Charles de Gaulle, 1971-1972
Correspondence