320/10–1350: Telegram

The United States Representative at the United Nations (Austin) to the Secretary of State


Delga 123. General statement of US ideas on general principles which should govern UN action in Korea was made this morning to interim committee on Korea by Ross in absence of Ambassador Austin who was indisposed. Text by next following telegram.1 Several members of IC expressed appreciation of contents of statement and said they would want to reserve questions on it until after they had an opportunity to study it more in detail. Santa Cruz of Chile asked two specific questions, but did not request answer today. These were: (1) In view of desire for early as possible withdrawal of UN forces, was the creation of a strong Korean army contemplated and if so, what would be the effect of maintaining such an army on the economy of Korea? Alternatively, was it contemplated that the frontiers of Korea might be guaranteed by the UN? (2) What was the thinking of the Unified Command on how a unified government of Korea should be constituted and specifically should there be elections throughout all Korea to set up a new constituent assembly or would the elections take place only in North Korea after which the present government of Korea would be extended to that area?

Ross stated that he did not wish to make a reply at this time, but that the importance of these questions was recognized and that while probably it would be necessary for the committee to work out the answers as they went along and learned more of the conditions on the spot, nevertheless an attempt would be made to obtain for the IC such information and ideas as might be useful in guiding their deliberations at this time.

After the meeting, Plimsoll of Australia stated privately that he did not believe the interim committee should go too deeply into such questions as Santa Cruz had raised, but that he personally would like any suggestions which the US Government might wish to make on the subject and which would help him in his duties as a member of the permanent commission. It is requested that USUN be provided with current Department thinking on these subjects for possible communication to members of the interim committee.

  1. Telegram Delga 124 not printed. The statement by Mr. Ross, which is summarised in U.N. document A/1881, p. 13, followed the outline of the draft directive for General MacArthur on the occupation of North Korea (see the draft paper prepared in the Department of the Army, dated October 3, p. 854, and footnote 2 thereto).