CFM Files: Lot M–88: Box 152: Pre Mins 1–5

United States Delegation Minutes, Fifth Session, Preliminary Conversations for the September Foreign Ministers Meetings, Washington, September 1, 1950, 10:30 a. m. to 12:45 p. m. 1



British French United States
Sir Derick Hover Ambassador Bonnet Ambassador Jessup
Millar2 Mr. Daridan Mr. Perkins4
Mr. Burrows Mr. de Margerie Mr. Yost
Mr. Graves Mr. Millet Mr. Raynor
Mr. Burns3 Mr. Jackson
Mr. Watson Mr. O’Shaughnessy
Mr. Marten Mr. McSweeney
Earl Jellicoe (Recorder)

Ambassador Jessup welcomed the British and French delegations. He stated that the work done in preceding conversations had been very satisfactory. There are a number of points which cannot be dealt with at this moment. The function of these meetings should be to develop the points as much as possible, sharpening the documents so that they will [Page 1167] contain the most important points for the Foreign Ministers. It was agreed that today’s meeting would attempt to cover all the documents, leaving Tuesday available for another meeting if necessary.

Document 4 (D–4)—Policy Toward the Soviet Union in Light of Recent Developments.5

Ambassador Jessup pointed out that at the May meeting of the Foreign Ministers6 full agreement was reached on this subject, with the approval by Messrs. Schuman and Bevin of the seven points made by Secretary Acheson which constituted a general program. The two striking things which have occurred since then are the Korean aggression and the response of the free world to the aggression. The aggression makes clear that the Soviets will resort to open aggression through the use of satellite forces if advantageous to them. The free world’s resistance to the aggression should make it evident to the Soviets that such use of satellite forces is not a useful exercise. We cannot exclude the possibility of similar action in other theaters but the US sees no reason to believe that the USSR desires to resort to general warfare. There is little precise work that could be done in this paper but it does illustrate the advantage of a Foreign Ministers’ meeting to provide for a frank exchange of views by the Ministers.

With reference to Paragraph 5, probably all sides agree with the proposition put forth there, but it should be remembered that the Soviets never hesitate to accuse us of provocation although we have been relatively restrained in the general tone of our discussion of items relating to the Soviet Union. The Soviet government is used to sharp talk. Verbal exchanges, therefore, are not necessarily provocative. In our discussion of the Korean situation, although we have refrained from naming the Soviet as the aggressor, our tone made our intent plain to them and we have explicitly urged them to use their influence to end the war if they so desire. The Ministers may wish to discuss the way in which we should treat Soviet responsibility in case of further aggression by the satellites.

Ambassador Bonnet referred to Paragraph 2 of the paper, emphasizing the need for effective action involving complete unity and real integration of the military forces and war industries. He suggested that Paragraph 2 be amended to indicate that there should be a machinery to effect a unity of command in both military and economic [Page 1168] fields. After the UK and US delegations pointed out that details of organization are being discussed by the NAT Deputies and that this paper is supposed to be more general in nature, Ambassador Bonnet agreed to the proposal that the drafting group should amend the paragraph by adding a reference to the expected detailed proposals which will be laid before the Foreign Ministers by the NAT Deputies. Mr. Schuman may bring up the question of unified command in the Foreign Ministers’ meeting.

The British delegation suggested slight amendments to Paragraph 3 and an inclusion of reference to the NAT in Paragraph 4. This was referred to the drafting group. It was further agreed to employ the word “local” in place of “indigenous” in Paragraph 8.

Ambassador Bonnet raised the question of the possibility of negotiation with the Soviets on particular matters as a means of avoiding conflicts which would tend to dissipate our forces. It was agreed that the May Foreign Ministers had come to agreement on the question of negotiation with the Soviet Union and that the drafting group should include a reference to that agreement.

Document 3 (D–5)—East-West Trade 7

It was agreed that the present paper represents only a statement of the views of the UK and US. The British delegation stated that there has been no change of the UK position up to the present and that the matter must be discussed by the Foreign Ministers, Mr. Jessup mentioned that Secretary Acheson can be expected to express our view strongly. Ambassador Bonnet suggested that the paper be left as it stands and noted that the French will have comments later. It was agreed to approve the paper on this basis.

Document 2 (D–6)—Southeast Asia 8

Ambassador Jessup mentioned that this is a difficult and complex subject but suggested that the paper be condensed as much as possible. This was agreed. It was also agreed that Points 2 and 4 of the Questions for Ministerial Decision may not in fact have to be discussed by the Foreign Ministers.

Ambassador Bonnet stated there may have been a mistake in the figure 50,000,000 francs and that inquiry will be made of Paris. It was agreed to make clear the exact amount involved in view of the difference in terminology between British and American practice.

With reference to Item 1.g. (Indo-China), Ambassador Jessup explained the American point of view regarding UN on-the-spot investigation [Page 1169] as in the case of recent complaints regarding Formosa and Manchuria, i. e., (1) We are glad to have the UN see what we are doing, and (2) Although it is unlikely that the other side would agree to investigation, it is tactically advisable for us to continue this position. Ambassador Bonnet stated that the Indo-China case is different, and that France would oppose reference of the Indo-China problem to the UN except in case of overt attack by the Chinese communists.

Document 5 (D–6) [(D–6/1)]—Korea 9

The UK delegation suggested that the phrase “Similarly without UN direction …” be added at the beginning of A.3.

Ambassador Jessup pointed out that in the matter of military action north of the 38th parallel, we are not talking about military actions, such as bombing attacks which may be carried out for strategic or tactical purposes in the course of the present action, but rather of the use of UN forces, presently in Korea to prevent aggression, to bring about unification of Korea.

Ambassador Jessup raised the question of the meaning of “permanent occupation” in Paragraph 6, page 2, and stated that he assumed that this would not exclude the use of UN forces in the period of pacification of the area. The British delegation stated it felt the phrase meant something like “unduly prolonged occupation” but that the phrase was taken from Foreign Office instructions.

Document 7 (D–6/2)—Formosa 10

The paper was approved with minor modifications which will be made by the drafting group.

Document 6 (D–7)—Security of Greece and Turkey 11

In a general discussion it was agreed to redraft the paper retaining the general paragraphs and omitting the partial list of considerations affecting Turkey’s admission to the NAT. This matter may be covered more fully in the recommendation of the three NAT Deputies.

It was agreed that the Ambassador should meet next week if, as is hoped, one or more of the delegations shall have more definite and firm proposals to make on this subject.

Press Policy

It was agreed that the question of handling the press at the Foreign Ministers meeting will be discussed next week.

[Page 1170]

Revision of Papers

It was agreed that the drafting group should make the agreed changes in the reports to the Foreign Ministers and that the reports would then be considered as approved at this level without further review.12

  1. Attached to the source text was a cover sheet, not printed, which indicated that the series designator for these minutes was SFM Pre 5.
  2. Sir Frederick R. Hoyer Millar, British Deputy at the North Atlantic Council.
  3. George W. Perkins, Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs.
  4. Robert Burns, Counselor (commercial) of the British Embassy in Washington.
  5. The document under reference here was prepared by a tripartite drafting group on August 31 and submitted to the Ambassadors on September 1. In the series of documents prepared for the Foreign Ministers meeting it was designated Document 4 [D–4] and its text is indicated in the footnotes to Document 9 [D–4a], infra.
  6. For documentation on the Foreign Ministers discussion of the Soviet Union at their May meeting in London, See pp. 1001 ff.
  7. For the text of Document 3 [D–5], prepared by the tripartite working group on August 31, see supra.
  8. For the text of Documents [D–6], prepared by the tripartite drafting group on August 31, see Document 8 [D–6a], p. 1172, and footnotes thereto.
  9. For the text of Document 5 [D–6/1], prepared by the tripartite drafting group on August 31, see Document 12 [D–6/1a], p. 1176, and footnotes thereto.
  10. For the text of Document 7 [D–6/2], prepared by the tripartite drafting group on August 31, see Document 11 [D–6/2a], p. 1177, and footnotes thereto.
  11. For the text of Document 6 [D–7], prepared by the tripartite drafting group on August 31, see Document 10 [D–7a], p. 1179, and footnotes thereto.
  12. Attached to the source text was a summary of Secretary Acheson’s preliminary remarks at a meeting of the three Western Foreign Ministers with their Benelux counterparts on September 19 with respect to the work of the ISG. Regarding this meeting, see p. 1242.