CA files, lot 58 D 395, “Chinese Representation at UN, 1953”

Memorandum by the united Nations Adviser, Bureau of Far Eastern Affairs ( Bacon )1

  • Subject:
  • Need for Planning U.S. Strategy on Chinese Representation Question.

The situation with regard to Chinese representation in the United Nations, in the event of a truce in Korea and no incontrovertible evidence of new Chinese Communist aggression elsewhere, will probably be as follows: [Page 639]

Within a brief period the United Kingdom may be expected to seek to terminate the “moratorium” agreement under which the United States and the United Kingdom have been cooperating on procedural motions which retain the present Chinese representation. France, other states of Western Europe, Canada, and possibly a few others, will probably follow the United Kingdom example at about the same time.
Assuming such a shift of votes, there would probably not be an immediate change in Chinese representation in any major UN organ. Changes in minor UN bodies might be expected, however, and if several such changes occurred the move to seat the Chinese Communists throughout the UN would be accelerated.
In any case, with the opening of the General Assembly on September 15, the voting situation on Chinese representation would be close or perhaps adverse, UNP’s informal estimate at present indicates a possibility of 31 votes for seating the Chinese Communists out of a total of 60. Political developments during the summer might, of course, subtract from, or add to, this estimate. A possibility that the General Assembly might decide to seat the Chinese Communists exists.
If the Chinese Communists are seated by the United Nations, continued U.S. military aid to the National Government on any substantial basis would be subject to constant UN scrutiny and the spread of Communist influence throughout Southeast Asia would be accelerated. Thus, the Chinese representation question is closely linked to our Far Eastern policies as a whole.

Recommendations: A careful estimate of the means open to us of influencing the United Kingdom, France and others to maintain the present Chinese representation and the probable effectiveness of these pressures should be made urgently, and on the basis of these findings our strategy should be mapped in advance. Implementation of the strategy should, if possible, be commenced at the Bermuda conference2 if a truce has been concluded by then.3

  1. Addressed to the Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs (Robertson) and the Deputy Assistant Secretary (Johnson).
  2. For documentation on the Bermuda Conference, see volume v .
  3. Mrs. Dongall of the Office of Chinese Affairs on May 26 routed this memorandum to the Director of CA (McConaughy), the Deputy Director (Martin) and the Officer in Charge of Political Affairs (Jenkins); and wrote in a forwarding chit:

    “Re last sentence of attached memo, I had already suggested to Mr. Martin that Chinese representation should be discussed at Bermuda, since it is one of the basic issues in our Far Eastern policy and since it may be assumed that the British will wish to terminate the “moratorium agreement” quite promptly in the event of an armistice. One of the main problems, however, will be to get an agreed position within the Department. I have since talked with Miss Bacon on the matter and will continue to discuss it with her and with CA, with the object of having some briefing papers prepared.”

    McConaughy noted on Mrs. Dougall’s chit: “We might go into high gear on this next week, after Armistice meeting of June 1. W.P. McC”. Martin followed up with “Agree ECM”.

    In returning the memorandum to Mrs. Dougall on the same date (May 26) the Deputy Director (Martin) wrote: “Miss Bacon raised this same question at FE staff meeting today. UAJ [U. Alexis Johnson, Deputy Assistant Secretary] felt that in view of present uncertainty about Korea it would be difficult to get a position now for use in Bermuda. EWM”.