CA Files: Lot 56 D 625

Memorandum by Robert C. Strong of the Office of Chinese Affairs to the Director of that Office ( Clubb )1


Subject: Draft Telegram to USUN

The telegram to USUN which we started through clearing procedure on January 172 is now back on our laps after an expression of UNA views.

Mr. Hickerson3 and Mr. Sandifer4 oppose an approach to friendly UN delegations by the USUN delegation on the ground that the position of the United States in the UN regarding China is so suspect that any moves regarding Tibet might further injure our chances of getting what we need in connection with Korea.

They therefore suggest as an alternative that approaches be made to the various foreign offices and that this approach be in very general terms. It was pointed out to them by Mr. Meyers5 that the British and Indian Governments had been approached recently in London and New Delhi on general lines with notable lack of success.6 Therefore it seemed much more desirable to delineate some of the specific advantages to be gained from a hearing.

I can certainly understand the desire of UNA to avoid any action [Page 1529] which might affect adversely our UN position on Korea. However, it does seem unwise to make another general approach to the Indian and French [British] Foreign Offices. I am of the opinion that if the matter is to be pursued further at all it is necessary to assure in advance that enough members of the Security Council will at least not vote against us to make it worthwhile to raise the issue in the SC. If our missions are to be able to discuss the matter intelligently with the foreign offices concerned they require a background of the Department’s views on possible advantages to be gained in taking the case into the SC and should be authorized to use such of the arguments advanced by the Department as their own opinions and even as the opinion of the Department.

Attached are (1) our draft to USUN of January 17, (2) a revised model by Howard Meyers of UNP of January 18, and (3) a third draft which I have prepared in the hope that it will meet enough of UNA’s viewpoint to get clearance.7

In the meantime the companion telegram to New Delhi asking Henderson to determine the whereabouts and intentions of the Tibetan delegation is being held up.

  1. Clubb forwarded the source text to Livingston T. Merchant, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Far Eastern Affairs, who passed it on to Assistant Secretary Rusk. An attached memorandum in Merchant’s handwriting read as follows: “DR Do you want to push Tibet in SC over Hickerson’s objection & in face NEA tepidity? I recommend dropping scheme at least for present. LTM”. An attached memorandum in Rusk’s handwriting read as follows: “LTM—I believe we should go slow on this—because of (1) our Korean embroglio and (2) the forthcoming Kashmir flap. DR”.
  2. The draft telegram, dated January 17, instructed the U.S. Delegation at the United Nations to consult with the British and French and other friendly delegations to determine the feasibility of introducing a Tibetan appeal in the Security Council; it stated that the Department was considering sponsoring such an appeal if India and other members of the Security Council were unwilling to do so.
  3. John D. Hickerson, Assistant Secretary of State for United Nations Affairs.
  4. Durward V. Sandifer, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for United Nations Affairs.
  5. Howard Meyers of the Office of United Nations Political and Security Affairs.
  6. For the Indian attitude, see telegrams 1509 and 1557 from New Delhi, December 18 and 27, 1950, in Foreign Relations, 1950, vol. vi, pp. 603 and 611. Telegram 3291 to London, January 6, 1951, not printed, instructed the Embassy in London to ascertain whether or not the British thought any United Nations action feasible (793B.00/1–651). The Embassy replied in telegram 3803, January 9, not printed, that the informal Foreign Office view was that the United Kingdom should support any move on Tibet’s behalf by India or another power but that the Tibetan problem was subordinate to larger issues and should not be raised at the moment (793B.00/1–951).
  7. None printed.