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795B.00/4–150: Telegram

The Ambassador in Korea (Muccio) to the Secretary of State

confidential

432. Reference Embtels 427, March 31, 431 April 1,1 and Deptel 317 March 31.2

Consider additional comments criticizing attempted postponement elections desirable addition aide-mémoire. Should proposed 1950–51 budget, new taxes be voted, but elections postponed as President suggesting, latter would become more serious than economic problems discussed in proposed aide-mémoire. Have appointment Monday morning when intend urge President most strongly against this course, but if Secretary of State does not mention same subject Ambassador Chang, might have appearance only Embassy concerned. Therefore suggest following paragraph be added following paragraph 4 of draft aide-mémoire.

“Of equal concern to this Government are the reported intentions of the Korean Government, as proposed by the President of the Republic of Korea in a message to the National Assembly on March 31, to postpone the general elections from the coming May until sometime in November. The Secretary of State wishes to draw to His Excellency’s attention the fact that United States aid, both military and economic, to the Republic of Korea has been predicated upon the existence and growth of democratic institutions within the Republic. Free, popular elections, in accordance with the constitution and other basic laws of the Republic, are the foundation of those democratic institutions. The holding of the elections as scheduled and provided for by the basic laws [Page 40]of the Republic appears to this Government as equally urgent with the taking of necessary measures for the countering of the inflationary forces already discussed.”3

Muccio
  1. Not printed. Telegram 431 reported that at a press conference on March 31, President Rhee had informed the Chairman of the National Assembly of his intent to postpone the elections for seats in that body, scheduled to be held in May, until some time in November (795B.00/4–150).
  2. This telegram, not printed, transmitted to Seoul the draft text of the aide-mémoire to be presented to the Korean Ambassador on April 3.
  3. This paragraph was incorporated in the text of the aide-mémoire of April 3, see p. 43.