S/P Files: Lot 64 D 563

Memorandum of Conversation, by Charles Burton Marshall of the Policy Planning Staff

top secret
Participants: Mr. Harriman;
General Roberts;
Mr. C. B. Marshall, Policy Planning Staff.
Time: 11:00 to 11:45 a. m.

Marshall summarized the First Party-Second Party-Third Party conversations.

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The following items were emphasized:

Our knowledge of Third Party.

How the conversations came about.

First Party’s presentation, particularly as to the identification of Moscow as the enemy, the possibilities of peace with Peiping, and the issues as to Formosa, recognition, and representation in the UN.

Mr. Harriman inquired as to information in the conversations concerning Indochina and internal economic conditions. On the first point Marshall reported negatively. On the second he gave the substance of the [name deleted] letter as reported by Third Party.

Marshall resumed the briefing covering the following items:

Character of Third Group in Peiping.

Secret organization of Third Group in Peiping.

The reported growing sense that China is being led into a hopeless war.

The possibilities of bringing about a defection or coup d’etat with emphasis on the latter from the standpoint of the interests of the United States.

The gist of the last communication from Third Party respecting Peiping’s disposition to liquidate the Korean situation and as a gambit thereto the withdrawal of Peiping forces to North Korea.

Mr. Harriman expressed greatest interest in the account. He recommended that the possibilities be exploited to the utmost. He said he wished to be kept informed of developments. He gave assent to the suggestion that we elicit some evidence of good faith and power from Third Party and that we be willing to give equivalent evidence in return—possibly through making and going through with an offer to delay proceedings in the Collective Measures Committee.

Mr. Harriman said that it was of the utmost importance to get a reading on the speed of communications between Third Party and Peiping and Third Party’s interpretation of the effect of events intervening since the despatch of [name deleted] letter.

The discussion turned to the possibilities of an informally arranged cease-fire to be registered in a formal cease-fire. General Roberts emphasized the essentiality of collaborating with the Pentagon in such arrangements.

General Roberts asked Marshall to recount the conversations regarding the Brick suggestion. Mr. Harriman expressed great interest in this. He and General Roberts both emphasized that this was a good idea and should be exploited in any event.

At General Roberts’ suggestion, Marshall reviewed the direct military implications of the conversations.

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General Roberts emphasized the possibilities of mutual face saving as covered in Third Party’s discussion of the implications of a coup d’etat.