794A.5 MSP/11–2454

No. 407
Memorandum of Conversation, by the Deputy Director of the Office of Chinese Affairs (Martin)1

top secret
limited distribution


  • New Zealand Initiative


  • G. R. Laking—Minister, New Zealand Embassy
  • R. H. Wade—First Secretary, New Zealand Embassy
  • Mr. MacArthur—Counselor
  • Mr. Edwin W. Martin—Deputy Director for CA

Referring to the meeting with the Secretary yesterday2 and to the initialling of the Mutual Defense Treaty, Mr. Laking inquired whether the Secretary’s memorandum of September 30th3 on the New Zealand initiative was still valid. Mr. MacArthur replied that he felt that the Secretary had made it clear yesterday that we still wished to go ahead. Mr. Laking indicated that this was his understanding but he simply wished to confirm it.

He then raised the question of the timing of the move. Should it be made immediately after the announcement of the treaty, which he understood was scheduled for next Tuesday,4 or should it be delayed for three or four days after the announcement, as Mr. Eden had suggested in London. New Zealand was inclined to prefer the shorter interval. Mr. MacArthur recollected that the Secretary had indicated the target date for the treaty announcement was 4 p.m. Tuesday, but it might be postponed to Wednesday or Thursday. Mr. [Page 947] MacArthur did not think that we had a position yet as to whether the UN move should be made the day after the treaty announcement or three or four days later. We would want to know what the New Zealand views were on this question.

Mr. Laking then asked, assuming the UN move goes forward, what will be the attitude of the Chinese Nationalists? He recalled that the Secretary had said yesterday that the Chinese didn’t like the proposal and now appeared to be even less enthusiastic, but they would probably not veto it. Mr. Laking said that New Zealand would like to get information as to what the Chinese attitude is now. He asked 1) whether we would ascertain the Chinese views, and 2) whether it would be useful for New Zealand to explore the subject informally with the Chinese. Mr. MacArthur replied that he was not able to answer these questions but that Mr. Robertson or Mr. McConaughy, who had been in close touch with the Chinese, might be able to.

Mr. Laking recalled that at one time fairly detailed arrangements had been worked out for notifying other delegations before the move was made in the Security Council. He felt that these arrangements should be looked into again. Mr. MacArthur agreed, saying that we ought to get agreement on specific steps to be taken in the UN.

Mr. Laking then asked when the text of the treaty and the exchange of notes would be made public. He said that the British seemed to attach some importance to the statements about the treaty so that it would be made clear that Formosa would not be “a privileged sanctuary”. Mr. MacArthur said we would try to get answers to these questions this afternoon and that Mr. McConaughy or Mr. Robertson would get in touch with them. Mr. Laking said they were anxious to get a message off to Wellington tonight and would be glad to see Mr. Robertson or Mr. McConaughy this afternoon.5

  1. Initialed by MacArthur, indicating his approval.
  2. No record of this meeting has been found in Department of State files.
  3. Reference is apparently to the memorandum which Dulles gave to the New Zealand High Commissioner in London on Sept. 29; see footnote 1, Document 309.
  4. Nov. 30.
  5. A Nov. 24 memorandum of conversation by McConaughy records a meeting that day with Laking and Wade but does not indicate that these questions were answered. (794A.5 MSP/11–2454)