320/1–651: Telegram

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


Delga 493. Re Korea. Jebb and Coulsen (UK),1 Chauvel (France), Riddell (Canada), Stabell (Norway)2 called this afternoon at our request to hear eight points proposed condemnatory resolution on Chinese Communist aggression in Korea.3 Gross presented eight points, [Page 34] emphasizing they were not textual, pointing out that five and six must be read in connection with seven, and that actions taken under five and six would be in accordance with recommendations of Collective Measures Committee.

In two-hour discussion which followed, chief objections and questions related to use of CMC, kind of sanctions contemplated especially whether military, and prospect of extending military operations to China. Detailed questions and our comments follow.

Jebb asked whether there would be an obligation on states which voted for resolution to heed recommendations of CMC. Riddell commented that resolution extended competence of CMC. Chauvel asked whether military measures were contemplated, recalling we did not suggest military measures in our earlier talks. We replied CMC might recommend military acts, resolution neither including nor excluding them. Chauvel said we had better tell committee what kind of sanctions we wanted, otherwise members would not support resolution for fear of becoming obligated to military measures. He thought it would be difficult to get votes if members felt they were committing themselves to decisions of a body not yet even established, and suggested opposition would arise to giving so much power to body in which Soviets were not represented. This also would give Soviets good excuse to march out of UN. Jebb remarked we seemed to be establishing new SC without veto and with Soviet Union and China not represented.

Chauvel and Stabell raised question of extending military operations beyond the Yalu. Gross said proposal tried to avoid prejudgment of sanctions and was not aimed at giving added military authority to Unified Command. Stabell suggested separating possible military sanctions from diplomatic and economic sanctions.

Jebb and Chauvel both thought CMC should not have relations direct with members, but should make suggestions as technical or advisory body to GA. Gross repeated purpose of CMC provision was to reassure members against possibility of unilateral action under points five and six. Others kept returning to this point, clearly not understanding our intentions, despite our efforts to show that choice lay between unilateral action under general authorization or collective action after consideration by CMC. Jebb indicated strong preference for Assembly asking CMC to submit report on how best to give effect to general recommendations. Chauvel suggested possible variation, with GA calling on CMC to consider specific means of carrying out measures outlined generally in series of GA resolutions. Stabell saw advantage in this course in that UN would approach final conclusion, namely war, slowly in hope of bringing Peking to senses.

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Chauvel emphasized stronger moral effect of recommendations from GA than from what he called technical committee giving technical advice. We pointed out this might involve GA’s sitting for six months or permanently, to which Jebb and Chauvel saw no objection.

In attempt to make others see benefits of present points, Gross asked whether it was desirable to exclude factor of CMC giving advice to members, pointed out difficulties of trying to wrestle out details of sanctions in first condemnatory resolution with debates taking place publicly in 60-member body, and reiterated dilemma of abandoning CMC thus losing reassurance against unilateral actions.

In brief discussion of point 8 (good offices group) Jebb suggested continuing Cease Fire Group. Riddell thought if Cease Fire Group not desirable, [President] of GA would be likely alternative. Coulson (UK) thought Indian Government would be reluctant to have Rau serving in group appointed at tail end of condemnatory resolution.

In passing, Jebb commented that sanctions so far undertaken or proposed seemed to be directed against UK, since as far as he could see, they did not hurt China. He thought under his formula (CMC to submit report to GA) individual sanctions could continue or be added, but seemed to feel there was considerable importance in fact that no agreed collective sanctions would be taken without report and further GA action.

Before discussion of eight points, Jebb announced he had just received instructions saying Commonwealth Prime Ministers were unanimous that further GA action should be postponed for a week. He saw two ways of doing this: first, spin out debate on original report; second, approve report and adjourn until end of week. He pointed out that Rau and Pearson as members of Commonwealth governments would obviously be unable to produce Cease Fire Group’s principles under these instructions. He said he would favor spinning out debate, discussing Israeli proposal and whatever else could be thought of. If this was impossible and if Rau did not move adjournment, Jebb would feel obliged to do so himself. He assumed request for delay meant Commonwealth was not of one mind and wanted time to make it up.

We pointed out delay in introduction of Cease Fire Group’s principles might affect our attitude towards intermediate step. We repeated our position that if principles had been presented Friday or could be presented Monday, we would consider them and probably acquiesce in intermediate step for sake of unity. Jebb asked if debate maundered would we feel obliged to table condemnatory resolution. Gross replied we would have to make a general reservation on that, but impact of GA inaction on military situation must be considered. [Page 36] Passage of condemnatory resolution might conceivably have some effect on Chinese Communists, whereas military situation might be damaged by inaction. Others were sympathetic to possible unpleasant consequences of inaction but gave no appearance of doing anything about it.

  1. John E. Coulsen, Adviser to the U.K. Delegation to the United Nations.
  2. Bredo Stabell, Counselor to the Norwegian Delegation to the United Nations.
  3. Reference is to a draft outline for a proposed United States resolution under consideration for submission to the First Committee of the U.N. General Assembly. A copy of this document, bearing the caption “8 Points being used USUN”, with the date January 8, 1951 and the notation that the text was telephoned to the Department of State from New York, is presumably identical with or similar to the document under reference. Points 5 through 8 follow:

    “5. The General Assembly should call upon all states and authorities to refrain from giving any encouragement or assistance to the CPG of the PRC in its aggression in Korea.

    “6. The General Assembly should call upon all states and authorities to give the UN every assistance in meeting this aggression.

    “7. The General Assembly should request the Collective Measures Committee

    • “(a) to consider as a matter of urgency what measures should be employed to carry out the provisions of the two preceding paragraphs;
    • “(b) To advise all states and authorities on a continuing basis on such measures; and
    • “(c) to make such recommendations to the GA as it deems appropriate.

    “8. The General Assembly should affirm that it continues to be the policy of the United Nations to bring about a cessation of hostilities in Korea with a view to peaceful settlement and the achievement of UN objectives in Korea, by peaceful means and requests [——] at any suitable opportunity to use its good offices to this end.” (795.00/1–851)