The British Embassy to the Department of State 1
Message From Mr. Bevin to Sir Oliver Franks
There has been no change in our policy and we propose to vote for the representation of the Peoples Government if the question is raised in Economic Commission for Asia and the Far East.
2. The United States Embassy here had already approached us on this subject. It seems clear from the American attitude in this case and in that of the Universal Postal Union Meeting in Cairo that there is a considerable gulf between our respective views on the effects upon our policy on Chinese representation arising from: [Page 229]
- The Assembly Resolution of 14th December (on the Cuban item):2
- The Assembly Resolution of 1st February condemning the Peoples Government for aggression:3 and
- The discussion of Chinese representation during the Prime Minister’s visit to Washington.4
3. As regards 2 (a) above, we do not consider that there is anything in this resolution (which incidentally we voted against) which should cause us to change our policy. It does no more than recommend that the Assembly’s attitude in any particular case “should be taken into account in other organs”. The Assembly’s decision cannot bind other organs, nor do we see why its indecision should delay indefinitely consideration of this question by other competent bodies.
4. We do not regard 2(b) as relevant to the question of representation, which should be based on recognition of facts alone and should not be connected with moral approval or condemnation.
5. As regards 2 (c) above my interpretation of the outcome of the discussion on Chinese representation during the Prime Minister’s visit to Washington is that we agreed to differ and not that we should go back on our policy on this question. We were agreed moreover in our determination to prevent this difference of view (in the words of the joint communiqué of December 8th) from interfering with our united effort in support of our common objectives”.
6. It is my fear that recent manifestations of the American interpretation of 2 (a), (b), and (c) above can only lead to an unnecessary exaggeration of our difference on this point which may, if unchecked, tend to “interfere with our united effort”. I should like you to take an early opportunity to explain fully to the State Department my fears on this score, and the reasons for the attitude which we feel bound to maintain on this question.
- Delivered to the Department of State by the Counselor of the British Embassy (Graves) on February 14. The Department of State transmitted the text of this message to the London Embassy in airgram A–1449, February 17 (340.290/2–1751).↩
- Reference is to Resolution 384 (V), “Intervention of the Central People’s Government of the People’s Republic of China”, printed in U.N. General Assembly, Fifth Session, Official Records, Resolutions adopted during the period 19 September to 15 December 1950, p. 15.↩
- Resolution 498 (V), “Intervention of the Central People’s Government of the People’s Republic of China in Korea”, printed in U.N. General Assembly, Fifth Session, Official Records, Resolutions adopted by the General Assembly during the period 16 December 1950 to 5 November 1951, p. 1.↩
- For documentation on the Washington meetings in December 1950 between President Truman and British Prime Minister Attlee, see Foreign Relations, 1950, vol. iii, pp. 1698 ff.↩