Memorandum by the Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs (Rusk) to the Secretary of State


General Marshall asked Secretary Finletter and General Vandenberg to call on me today at noon to raise the desirability of having Ambassador Austin include in his statement to the Security Council a strong presentation of the difficult problem posed for UN forces by the “sanctuary” aspect of the present military position in Korea.1

The Pentagon does not think we should take any action against Manchuria at this point but they feel very strongly that the whole world should understand the great problem created by forces which are in position to attack UN forces from within a safe haven. This would apply both to ground and air forces. We are now drafting something along this line for your consideration later in the day. You may wish to mention this to the President.

  1. Under date of November 7, General MacArthur had transmitted the following message to the Joint Chiefs of Staff in telegram C–68411:

    “Hostile planes are operating from bases west of the Yalu River against our forces in North Korea. These planes are appearing in increasing numbers. The distance from the Yalu to the main line of contact is so short that it is almost impossible to deal effectively with the hit and run tactics now being employed. The present restrictions imposed on my area of operation provide a complete sanctuary for hostile air immediately upon their crossing the Manchuria–North Korea border. The effect of this abnormal condition upon the morale and combat efficiency of both air and ground troops is major.

    “Unless corrective measures are promptly taken this factor can assume decisive proportions. Request instructions for dealing with this new and threatening development.”

    (The text is taken from Truman, Years of Trial and Hope, p. 377; see also Acheson, Present at the Creation, p. 465.)