320/1–651: Telegram

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

secret   priority

Delga 492. Re Korea. Gross and Ross on their initiative called on Rau this afternoon. Opened conversation by giving Rau copy of our memo1 indicating that it incorporated points made in Circtel2 which had been sent to a number of capitals including Delhi, that Ambassador Austin had covered most of the points in his statement in Committee One yesteday,3 as we had in previous conversation with Rau.

Gross asked whether Rau had any views on the question of timing, and with reference to Monday’s Committee One meeting asked in particular whether the Indians had heard anything from Peking. Rau replied that they had heard nothing from Peking and said he had had this morning definite indication from Nehru that a week’s delay would be considered desirable pending the result of a new approach to Washington. Later in conversation Rau indicated that the only word that had been received from Peking, if it could be regarded as any comfort, was that Wu4 had expressed to his government high appreciation for Indian efforts here to achieve peaceful settlement.

[Page 32]

Gross read points for a possible condemnatory resolution5 indicating that he wanted to keep Rau fully informed of our thinking. Rau took careful notes but at that point in conversation had no observations to make.

Gross then pursuant to telecon with McGhee6 Friday morning spoke to Rau about our policy and attitude re assistance programs, expressing the hope that if Rau were to see Nehru he might help assure that our point of view was fully understood by the latter. Gross made clear that our policy with regard to assistance programs was strictly to avoid interference in the internal policies of other governments, citing as example our assistance to UK despite latter’s nationalization programs. However, necessity for Congressional action on programs made it essential that other governments understand that full and frank public discussion in US of policies other governments was normal attribute of democracy and not to be confused with designs of intervention. Gross indicated that all these matters had been fully discussed with Madame Pandit7 by the Secretary and McGhee.

Rau inquired concerning real effect on Congressional and public opinion of what is going on in the UN. Gross made clear that failure of the UN to act firmly in resistance to aggression might stimulate very greatly the growth of isolationism in the US. In particular, if UN did not grapple with aggressors, fewer advocates would be found to answer isolationists.

Rau, indicating that he had received very little from Nehru, gave following account, as best he could judge on basis of what he had received of Nehru’s current thinking. He said that Nehru was probably more convinced than ever as to validity of GOI position which they had consistently held concerning Chinese representation and Formosa. He seemed to be more than ever convinced that nationalism and fear were at the root of the Chinese aggression, and that the Chinese Communists genuinely feared that an effort was being made to strangle their infant regime at birth. It was felt therefore that if the Chinese Communists could be seated in the UN, they might come to realize that it is not an organization dominated by the US or a cabal of hostile imperialist powers. Referring to the Irish rebellion and the Indian and Burmese struggles for independence, Mr. Rau said that understanding and cooperation followed great bitterness against the British. Rau observed that the British were very experienced in these matters and sensitive to their implications. He could not speak for them, but Rau thought the British felt about seating the [Page 33] Chinese Communists as Nehru did. He said sometimes in human history a great act of faith was required in order to break out of a vicious circle. Such an act of faith might be seating the Chinese Communists and to do so might pay untold dividends.

Referring to the Israeli statement in Committee One yesterday, Gross developed the theme that both as regards Formosa and Chinese representation, everything the Chinese Communists had done at every step of the way was self-defeating. Persistence by them in their aggression could only harden still more resistance to their objectives, particularly so far as American opinion is concerned. Gross hoped that understanding of these factors might be brought home to the Chinese Communists. Rau said that of course they were continuing their efforts in Peiping to do this as they were continuing their efforts here.

Foregoing conversation was very frank and harmonious.

  1. See footnote 1, p. 15.
  2. Circular telegram 334, January 3. p. 7.
  3. See U.N. document A/C.1/SR.420.
  4. Wu Hsiu-chuan led the delegation of the People’s Republic of China which appeared before the U.N. Security Council in November 1950 during the discussion on Korea and intervention by China; for related documentation, see Foreign Relations, 1950, vol. vii, pp. 731 ff.
  5. See telegram Delga 493, infra.
  6. George C. McGhee, Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern, South Asian, and African Affairs.
  7. Indian Ambassador in Washington.