The Secretary said that last night they had talked about letting Peiping
know that there would be no attack. He said the Peiping regime had
broadcast an article which described these measures as defensive. In
addition, from their information, the scale does not indicate offensive
action, which was confirmed by the air dispositions and the fact that
there were no assault boats being assembled.
Lord Home remarked that their
recent Charge in Peiping had said that nothing would induce the Chinese
to ask for aid. He said he felt there was nothing to do in the
circumstances but be ready to consult together if any request was
received. He mentioned that Averell
Harriman had suggested that the UK should talk to the Chinese about the off-shore islands
but that they were not in very good odor in Peiping at the moment. He
wondered if it would be worthwhile. He said they would be prepared to do
so if necessary, but doubted the desirability of doing it now. He said
the new Charge would be going to Peiping in the latter part of July. The
Secretary suggested that he might be briefed to be ready to act if and
when it was necessary and the British agreed.
The Secretary mentioned, in this connection, that Ambassador Cabot in Poland, discussed this matter
with the Chinese Ambassador. In fact, Wang had brought it up. He said it was our impression
that the Chinese communist leadership was less arrogant and less
confident than previously.
Mr. Bohlen mentioned certain
intelligence indications that we had had of a certain dampening-down of
the Chinese-Soviet dispute in recent months.
Lord Home said that the Chinese
refugees trying to get into Hong Kong had been very interesting and
appeared to reveal that the provincial authorities were not in complete
control, but that when the national government had taken over the matter
the action was very quick. The Secretary said that we felt that the
unrest in China might have been a factor in the military buildup off
Taiwan. Lord Home remarked that
they had that information; that there had been no censorship of letters
coming from overseas from Chinese who had written urging their relatives
to come out.
Turning to the question of the General Assembly this fall, the Secretary
mentioned that our people in New York felt that it would follow very
much the lines of last year. They had found little enthusiasm for the
study commission, but thought it was well to keep it alive for possible
use in the future.
Mr. Godber said that he thought this time it would be less procedural
than last year and would concentrate more on the central question—that
is, who would represent China. He felt that the study group might be a
means of stiffening the interest in this question.
Department of State, Central Files, 110.11-RU/6-2562. Secret; Limit
Distribution. Drafted by Bohlen and approved in S on July 3. The conversation
was held at the Foreign Ministry.
2Lord Home raised the
question of sending food to China in a May 20 message to Rusk, who replied noncommittally in
a May 22 letter to British Ambassador David Ormsby Gore. (Both in
Department of State, Central Files, 893.49/5-2262) A British
aide-memoire of May 29 conveyed a suggestion by former Japanese
Prime Minister Yoshida for an international consortium to provide
food to China. (Ibid., 893.49/5-2962) On June 12 Rusk authorized discussion of the
proposal with the British Embassy. (Memorandum from Harriman to Rusk, ibid., 893.02/6-1262)
indicated to Ledward U.S. willingness to discuss the proposal, but
by that time British interest had apparently subsided. (Memorandum
of conversation, July 9; ibid., 893.49/7-962)
3Kennedy stated on June 14, in
response to a question asked at a meeting with the headquarters
staff of the Peace Corps, that U.S. policy was “to do nothing on the
food until there is some indication that the Chinese Communists
desire it” and to “consider it on an independent basis at that
time.” (Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States:
John F. Kennedy, 1962,
4Documentation concerning GRC interest in naming a new Security Council
representative as well as a new Permanent Representative to replace
Tsiang is in Department of
State, Central File 303.