S/P Files: 64 D 563

Memorandum of Telephone Conversation, Prepared in the Department of State

top secret
Participants: First Party and Second Party.
Telephone conversation, 6:15 p. m., February 2, 1951.

Second Party called at 6:15 p. m.

He said the last message—given the evening before—had been transmitted by Third Party to his principals. It had gone by mail.

He said he had discussed critically with Third Party his information and his interpretations. Third Party said his interpretations were based in large part on [name deleted] references to conversations between him and [name deleted] … and before Third Party had contacted First Party through Second Party.

He had at that time told [name deleted] the following three things in a report on the United States situation.

First, the United States is economically strong. It is not heading for an economic debacle as the Stalinists reported.

Second, it was not true that the United States was headed for war . . . . The United States policy is a matter of relationships between two cliques. One is the MacArthur clique. This is the war clique. It is running the Korean war. It is friendly and devoted to Generalissimo [Page 1558] Chiang Kai-shek. The other is the Acheson clique. It has little control over the war but it does run the foreign policy. It is not devoted to Chiang. It would prefer peace to war with China. If the MacArthur clique were in control, China would already have been bombed. The fact that it has not been bombed shows that the MacArthur clique does not entirely control the policy and United States intentions must not be interpreted entirely on the basis of what the MacArthur clique says. The Wake Island conference1 did not result in the MacArthur clique’s imposing its will on Truman, despite reports to the contrary in Peiping. The clique with which peace is possible is in power in foreign affairs. It is necessary to understand that United States policy is run by cliques much like the Chinese.

Third, there would be no advantage to China in bringing on an all-out conflict. Quite the contrary.

Second Party said that Third Party assured him that his sources went directly up as far as Chou En-lai. He is certain that Mao is also knowledgeable to the point of view expressed in the communications. Third Party said it would be necessary to know the subtleties of Chinese politics in order to understand this. One is not necessarily in or out of something. He might be half involved in two different positions. That would be possible with Mao. He might be playing along with the dissidents and yet in the end might swing over with the Stalinists in a showdown. Chou En-lai is firm with the Third Group on the war issue in event of a showdown. He and Mao probably understand each other perfectly on all this. His belief that Mao knows about it is stronger than a conjecture and not as strong as a certainty.

The letter from [name deleted] is probably a reflection of the earlier [name deleted] rather than a flash on the further information communicated by First Party in the first interview, Second Party said.

Third Party cannot use cables for such information as given him in these conversations. He has arranged with his sources for a simple code to flash a few prearranged ideas but nothing as complex as the ideas given in these conversations. To attempt them by cable would be insecure. The Stalinists would be privy to all the information. His principals would be compromised. The whole prospect would be jeopardized.

… In the United States Third Party is acting alone. There is no contact that would have security except by mail. Third Party said that these messages from First Party would precipitate a decision as to a defection of the régime from Moscow or a coup d’etat. If the answer should be yes on the idea of talks, then the defection would [Page 1559] appear imminent. If it were no, then a coup d’etat would be necessary and would occur right away, in his opinion.

First Party said that a good idea might be to fly Third Party to London at once to let him get off his messages and get an answer and then return him if necessary to the United States to commence his journey home.

Third Party [Second Party] said he would inquire into the possibilities at once.

First Party said he would inquire into the possibilities at the Government’s end.

They should match information as soon as possible, it was agreed. First Party said an alternate would call Second Party about this over the week-end, as he, First Party, would be away.

Third Party was reported as saying that the suggestion of talks as given by First Party would arouse great response. He regarded it as of highest significance.

Third Party wanted precise information on Dr. Wallace, the missionary in duress. Did we know the precise time of the arrest and the charge? Did we know what Wuchow was the scene of the arrest? Was it Wuchow in Kwang-si province or where? He was sure it would be possible to arrange a release as soon as he could get a cable through, provided there was interest in talks on the part of Peiping.

Third Party would have to make up a story to explain the cable regarding talks and springing the missionary. He would have to say that he had met a man . . . . The man returned and said someone in the Government of the United States wanted to talk. He, Third Party, had declined. The others were insistent. Finally someone went to a distant city to approach him. The man was from Washington. Talks were arranged. He met a high official. (He said Dean Rusk would be the ideal one). This official told him the true state of United States opinion and policies. He urged Third Party to get a message through. Third Party did because he believed it in the interest of his government (Peiping) to do so. Third Party said it would probably be well to make an arrangement for him to see Rusk or someone like him … briefly as a cover for the story, as he was watched. He would have to be able to tell a story that would stand up. He said all this was necessary as his cable would be sprung in the midst of government circles necessarily. The occurrence would have to be explained.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Note by First Party: During the week-end the following points should be followed up on:

The desirability and the feasibility of getting Third Party to London to get his message through.

[Page 1560]

The question of a possible contact in London.

Transmission to Second Party of complete data on Wallace as requested.

  1. For documentation concerning the conference at Wake Island between President Truman and General MacArthur on October 15, 1950, see Foreign Relations, 1950, vol. vii, pp. 946 ff.