Memorandum by the Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs (Allison) to the Secretary of State

top secret

It is suggested that at your meeting on January 3 with the President you leave with him the attached copy of the text of the proposed statement on Korea (Tab A)2 to be issued by the sixteen countries participating in the hostilities there immediately following an armistice.

The President has been kept informed of the development of the thinking of State and Defense in this regard through the telegrams to General Ridgway which he has approved (the latest of which is JCS 90083 of December 19 (Tab B)) and, through his approval of NSC 118/2, has concurred in the general concept.3

You may wish to inform the President that the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, South Africa, the Netherlands, Greece and Turkey have approved the principle of issuing such a statement and have concurred in the attached text. It is anticipated that Belgium and Luxembourg will approve, although definitive replies have not yet been received. Discussions are still proceeding with France, which initially attempted to widen and weaken the statement so as to include Indochina, but has now agreed to the statement with the important exception of [Page 2] the last sentence concerning which you sent an urgent personal message to Schuman (or Pleven at Bruce’s discretion) on January 2.4 While expressing agreement with the principle embodied in the last sentence, the French have strongly urged a weaker wording in public statement, the U.S. with French support, making the substance of present draft clear to Peking and Moscow through diplomatic channels. No reply has yet been received from Thailand, for which the extension of hostilities against Communist China under the circumstances envisaged in the statement would present special significance and difficulties. Because of security considerations and their differing degrees of interest in the problem, approaches have not yet been made to the Philippines, Ethiopia and Colombia although such approaches will be required shortly. The President will, of course, appreciate the magnitude of the decision required by the statement from each of these countries and the fact that in each case approval has required Cabinet-level decisions.

The President will also appreciate the vital necessity for complete security concerning all aspects of the proposed statement in order not to jeopardize the armistice negotiations at this critical phase or complicate the negotiations on the statement still required of the Department.

Decisions have not yet been made on the mechanics of issuing the statement.

While it will be desirable that the President consult with, or inform Congressional leaders of the statement prior to its issuance, it is not recommended that this be done except in connection with the armistice agreement as a whole, on which recommendations to the President for Congressional consultation will be submitted shortly.

  1. The proposed statement on Korea (Tab A), also known as “the Greater Sanctions Statement”, was not filed with the source text. It was left with President Truman by Secretary Acheson on Jan. 3. Acheson’s account of that meeting went as follows: “I left with the President the proposed statement on Korea which would be made in the event of an armistice. The President had been following very closely our telegrams with Bruce on this matter. He was strongly of the opinion that we should stick to our statement and get the French to concur.” The above memorandum by Acheson, dated Jan. 3, 1952, is in file 795.00/1–352. A copy of the draft sanctions statement on Korea is in telegram 1988 to Manila, Jan. 4, 1952, not printed (795.00/1–452).
  2. For the text of JCS 90083 of Dec. 19, 1951, and NSC 118/2, “U.S. Objectives and Courses of Action in Korea,” Dec. 20, 1951, see Foreign Relations, 1951, vol. vii, Part 1, pp. 1377 and 1382, respectively.
  3. Infra.