026 China/7–1549

Memorandum by the Director of the Office for Far Eastern Affairs (Butterworth) to the Secretary of State

At a White Paper meeting in Ambassador Jessup’s office this forenoon, Mr. Gross’ assistant Mr. Howard28 stated that the bipartisan foreign policy might be importantly jeopardized by the issuance of the White Paper since Senator Vandenberg29 had indicated his opposition to its publication at a time when sizable areas on the Mainland and Formosa have not fallen under Chinese Communist control. Quite apart from the validity of this view, it occurred to me that an approach might be made to Senator Vandenberg to the effect that, in the interest of preserving and possibly extending the area of bipartisan foreign policy, if his party in Congress would refrain from ex parte attacks on the Government’s China policy, the issuance of the White Paper would be delayed indefinitely or at any rate until such a time as the National Government was no longer functioning in an important area in China. There is also to be said in favor of such a procedure that the issuance of the White Paper dealing as it does importantly with the Generalissimo may have unforeseeable consequences on the Formosan situation.

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It is, of course, a question as to whether Senator Vandenberg personally can bring his own party to accept such a procedure. If he cannot do it, or will not attempt it, you will have made a contribution vis-à-vis him in preserving the bipartisan foreign policy to which he has in the past contributed so significantly.

For my part, I do not think that the momentum for publication has gone so far that a contrary decision can not be made now if it is in the larger interest to do so. There would, of course, be a squall but not a storm through which one could not ride.

There is this further consideration that the decision to refer the White Paper for concurrence to the NME30 will, I think, in all likelihood result in either a refusal of concurrence or fairly widespread recommendations for change which at the least will entail delaying the publication date. Will not this become known with unseemly results? If this be so, should not time be taken by the forelock and an immediate approach made to Senator Vandenberg?

W. W[alton] B[utterworth]
  1. John H. Howard, Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of State for Congressional Relations (Gross).
  2. Arthur H. Vandenberg, of Michigan, ranking Republican member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.
  3. National Military Establishment.