FE files, lot 55 D 388, “Formosa Book”

No. 73
Memorandum by the Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs (Allison) to the President


The following message from Mr. Eden, with respect to the decision to change the orders of the 7th Fleet, was delivered to me last night by an officer of the British Embassy. After informing Acting Secretary of State Matthews the text was cabled to Mr. Dulles in Paris.1 The message follows:

“Her Majesty’s Government regret this decision which they consider will have unfortunate political repercussions particularly in the United Nations. They do not think that it will carry with it compensating military advantages or will help in any way towards a solution of the Korean conflict.

“I expect to be questioned in the House of Commons on the attitude of Her Majesty’s Government. I shall have to make it clear that we were informed in advance of the United States Government’s decision and immediately took steps to make known to the United States Government our serious misgivings. We had indeed only a week or two before drawn their attention to apparent infringements of President Truman’s 1952 [1950] declaration and had expressed the hope that the doctrine of neutralization of Formosa would be maintained without modification.”

In forwarding the above message to Secretary Dulles I pointed out that the British Embassy officer who delivered it had expressed the personal view that the message was mainly “for the record.” The officer also agreed that the last sentence in the message is misleading as the British have not in fact officially expressed to us the hope that the neutralization policy would be maintained. Mr. Dulles was told that the British Embassy was cabling this fact to London.

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In forwarding the above for your information, Mr. Matthews wishes to have it made clear that the Department of State is not in any manner suggesting there should be any change in the decision to modify the orders of the 7th Fleet.

John M. Allison
  1. Telegram 4165 to Paris, Feb. 1, not printed. (711.5890/2–153)