396.1 BE/1–2754 Telegram

No. 369
The Secretary of State to the Department of State

top secret

Dulte 10. For Acting Secretary from the Secretary. At today’s meeting1 Molotov, while actually not giving up his basic position on five-power conference ended up his speech by dangling in front of French and British tempting idea that after dealing with problems Molotov had proposed, it might deal with and solve Asiatic questions (implying Korea and Indochina). The meeting then recessed. At recess I tried to get Bidault and Eden to agree to stand firm on positions they stated today rejecting five-power conference and thus throw the question back to Molotov. I could not get tripartite agreement on this and so we adjourned until tomorrow.

Eden is very wobbly on this and does not believe that British public opinion will stand for “totally negative approach to Far Eastern problems.” Bidault also feels tremendous pressure in view of French public parliamentary and governmental opinion.

In view foregoing I may tomorrow advise Bidault and Eden:

We absolutely reject concept of five-power council, including Chinese Communists as proposed by Molotov which would deal generally with world problems and in effect constitute permanent world organization replacing United Nations.

Where, as in Korea, Chinese Communists necessarily involved we deal with them without diplomatic recognition.

Accordingly we are willing that the four Foreign Ministers here should invite the Foreign Ministers of Communist China, North Korea, Republic of Korea and of other countries which have participated in the Korean war, either personally or through the deputies to meet to settle the Korean problem at place and date which four Foreign Ministers here will name. (Note that this would involve participation we desire without neutrals but would let Soviet [Page 848] Union be an inviting power and thus not initially classified as neutral or belligerent.)

Growing out of that conference could come, if Red China wants it, an end of aggression and restoration of peace in Indochina. (This is quote from my September 2 speech.2) This would, of course, involve an appropriate change in the countries participating.
While I am far from sure that Molotov would accept proposal I believe that it would result in holding British and French in line, even if Molotov rejected it.
Nash strongly concurs.

Please cable promptest your reactions as I meet with Bidault and Eden 10 a.m. tomorrow (Thursday), Berlin time.3

  1. For a report on the third plenary session of the conference, see Secto 35, Document 367.
  2. For text of Secretary Dulles’ speech on Korea to the American Legion at St. Louis, Sept. 2, 1953, see Department of State Bulletin, Sept. 14, 1953, pp. 339–342.
  3. Dulte 10 was received in Washington at 4:02 p.m. on Jan. 27. At 5:17 p.m. the Department of State replied that Dulles’ proposal had been discussed with President Eisenhower, who approved it. Dulles was told further that the plan should serve a useful purpose if rejected by Molotov. (Tedul 5 to Berlin, 396.1 BE/1–2754)