026 China/7–1949

Memorandum of Conversation, by the Assistant Secretary of State for Congressional Relations (Gross)

Participants: Senator Tom Connally,31 Secretary of State Acheson, Dr. Francis Wilcox,32 and Ernest A. Gross.

The Secretary called on Senator Connally to advise him that the China White Paper would be issued next week, and to discuss with the Senator consultations with the Committee regarding the White Paper and the development of Far Eastern policies in the future.

The Secretary stressed to Senator Connally the desirability of assuring bipartisan consultation regarding these matters. The Secretary said that he had discussed this with the President and was authorized to take up what was in effect the offer made by Senator Vandenberg on the floor of the Senate on June 24, 1949, for close liaison between the Executive and Congress on Far Eastern policy.33 Senator Connally said he thought it was a good idea “to get the Republicans in”. The Senator also agreed with the Secretary that meetings with the Foreign Relations Committee would be a good method of maintaining bipartisan relations.

The Secretary offered to meet with the Committee prior to the issuance of the White Paper for the purpose of informing them about it and of discussing with the Committee procedures by which the Secretary intended to have studies made of Far Eastern policies in the future. At this meeting with the Committee the Secretary would also indicate his desire to consult with the Committee regarding recommendations which might be made to the Secretary by his advisers. Senator Connally thought it was a very good idea for the Secretary to meet with the Committee for the foregoing purposes and also the Secretary to meet with the Committee at fairly frequent times to discuss Far Eastern developments and policies on a confidential basis.

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Senator Connally said he thought it would be desirable to hold up action on the nomination of Walton Butterworth34 until after issuance of the White Paper. The Secretary agreed.

E[rnest] A. G[ross]
  1. Chairman, Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
  2. Chief of Staff, Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
  3. Following an exchange in the Senate on the subject of recognizing the Chinese Communists, Senator Vandenberg observed there “was no such liaison in respect to China policy” and “I disassociate myself … from the China policy which we pursued”; see Congressional Record, vol. 95, pt. 6, p. 8294.
  4. As Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs.