Memorandum by Mr. Lucius D. Battle, Special Assistant to the Secretary of State, of a Meeting Held on November 30, 1950

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The Secretary saw Mr. Lovett on Thursday afternoon, November 30, at the Secretary’s request.

Following the meeting, he talked to several people in the Department about it. He said that he had told Mr. Lovett it was essential that action be taken immediately to determine where we went in light of the present Korean crisis. He suggested a meeting the following morning at which General Smith, Mr. Harriman, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Marshall and Mr. Lovett, as well as certain people in the Department, would be present. The purpose was to take up questions left over from the last meeting of this group.

The Secretary said that it was imperative that we get a program immediately. He said that we could expect a veto not later than Monday of the six power resolution presented before the Security [Page 1271]Council. (I was called out during the course of the meeting and informed that the resolution had been vetoed that afternoon, which I reported back to the group).

The Secretary told Mr. Lovett that the first step was to stop the Chinese. He said that there was no use discussing anything else unless we could do that. He pointed out that our troops were at present badly dispersed in Korea. He said we must find a place which was suitable and hold it. We should then try to get sanctity to that position, a sanctity which would be aided by the passage of time. He said we must get our allies together and put all the backbone we could in them. He pointed out we must have a program in order to do this.

The Secretary said we must try to maintain the position at as little cost as possible.

Mr. Lovett mentioned the possibility of a cease fire resolution. It was pointed out there were many very nervous people in the United Nations and that a cease fire could probably be obtained as a United Nations move. If that is what we want, someone would undoubtedly propose it and we must consider urgently what kind of cease fire, when we want it, etc. The Secretary pointed out that it was desirable to get the kind of cease fire which allowed us to strengthen ourselves. The Secretary suggested consideration of using, if the cease fire were accepted, the Marshall tactic of getting a group of teams to assure compliance. One of these teams would be from the Chinese Communists, one from the United Nations Mission and one from General MacArthur’s headquarters. The Secretary pointed out that it might be difficult to get the Chinese Communists to agree to a cease fire.

Arrangements were made for the meeting at the Pentagon the following morning. A record of this meeting was prepared by Mr. Jessup.1

L. D. B[attle]
  1. See the memorandum of conversation by Mr. Jessup, dated December 1, p. 1276.