501.BB Korea/2–548: Telegram

The Political Adviser in Korea (Jacobs) to the Secretary of State


55. Cite Zpol 134. At plenary session today Jackson (Australia) swung commissioners around to following viewpoint (except for China, Salvador and Philippines which continue to want elections with or without reference to Little Assembly):

Refer entire matter back to Interim Committee in form of questionnaire, question number 1 being along this line: in view of situation now prevailing, does Interim Committee desire that commission carry out paragraph 4 of resolution 2 regarding establishment of national government, et cetera, and question number 2 being if free atmosphere for elections can be established in South Korea, shall commission proceed with implementing resolution 1 regarding consultation.

Thinking of the majority group, led by Jackson, is that no national government should be set up for South Korea alone; that if Interim Committee desires that elections be held in South Korea, the persons elected definitely should not constitute a government or national assembly, or anything more than group of representatives of South Korea to consult with UN, representatives from North Korea or anyone else.

Foregoing proposal, if adopted, would carry with it recommendation that Interim Committee act quickly so that final decision can be announced before March 1 and elections, if to be held, can be completed by first week of May before planting season begins. Commission meets [Page 1094] tomorrow morning at 11 o’clock to pursue matter further and if possible reach decision.

I have previously used the word “floundering” in describing commission’s activities. I now wish to add that I feel they have fallen over backwards to the extent of being unfair in refusing to seek any expression of opinion from the members of the command and of State Department staff here familiar with Korean problem. The commissioners have definitely tried to keep Americans at arms length on the pretext that they did not wish to have the Soviets and the world feel that they are being unduly influenced by the Americans. Consequently the hasty decision which the commissioners seem on the verge of making is based almost solely on testimony given by politically immature Korean leaders who are continuing their shameful course of seeking political preference for themselves and completely overlooking the need for unity on a sensible, coherent plan for salvaging what may yet be salvaged for their country. I have done all I can, without making myself appear as abject suppliant, to persuade the commissioners in the few contacts I have been able to have with them to adopt a more realistic approach. Confidentially I have feeling that Australia and Canada are following instructions which are based on British policy which seeks to keep US tied up in Korea and their idea of best way to accomplish this is prevent elections for establishment of a government in South Korea.