UNP files, lot 60 D 268

United States Minutes of the Forty-fourth Meeting of the United States Delegation at the United Nations General Assembly, January 14, 19521



. . . . . . .

2. Korea. Ambassador Gross referred to the Korean aspect of the Vyshinsky speech.2 In a meeting with Lloyd and Jebb (UK), and Chauvel (France), Lloyd had expressed the view that something must soon be said in regard to Korea.3 At any rate it would have to be mentioned before the end of the session. Ambassador Gross thought there could well be a rising tide favoring some discussion of the item, and the lack of timeliness vis-à-vis the armistice negotiations might not be enough of an argument to dissuade members of the Committee from wanting to discuss Korea.

As Mrs. Roosevelt understood Washington’s views, it was that as the close of the Assembly drew near, it would be highly undesirable to discuss Korea. Therefore they might be willing to consider the convening of a special session or the reconvening of the present one in New York at an appropriate time. She felt that we should sound out other delegations on that basis and not let them get the idea that we were unconcerned about Korea. Ambassador Gross agreed, noting that the Department had already been asked for its views on this matter. He emphasized again the need for being able to agree either to discussing Korea here or at a special session in New York.

Mr. Cohen also agreed fully with this idea, and felt that we should take a strong position against discussing it here. Therefore we should favor holding a special session in New York sometime this spring when conditions favored convening it. Mr. Cohen noted a comment that he had seen in the New York Times of last Wednesday in which the remark was attributed to General Ridgway that the Chinese and/or Korean negotiators [Page 20] at Panmunjom were merely the stooges of the Kremlin, or words to that effect. He thought it was highly important that the military not make such “political remarks”, when we were doing everything possible here to avoid political discussion which might in any way prejudice the military negotiations.4

In regard to Ambassador Jessup’s remarks on the idea of a press release along the lines of a tri-partite statement which would give the lie to the current Soviet move on disarmament, Mr. McKeever was in thorough agreement.

In regard to Mr. Cohen’s remarks, Colonel Van Ness agreed with the idea of noting the Ridgway comment to Washington.

Senator Cooper wondered what it was that Lloyd and Chauvel expected to achieve by discussing Korea at this stage. Ambassador Gross said that Chauvel was not of this opinion, or not at least to the same extent, as Lloyd on this matter. As for Lloyd, Ambassador Gross felt that domestic political considerations might play the greatest role in his expressed desire to have Korea discussed now. The general spirit of restlessness as the First Committee neared the end of its agenda was also a contributing factor. When all the items were finished except Korea, there might be a mounting pressure to consider it. Nevertheless Ambassador Gross said that Lloyd’s feelings seemed to have been moderated somewhat from the position he had taken at the beginning of the conversation in which his arguments had been developed.

Mrs. Roosevelt said that if we knew for certain what position the Department would authorize us to take, we could propose a later session if such were the case, and our position could then be explained more fully, and more logically, as far as the other delegations were concerned.

Senator Cooper felt that this subject was of such delicate importance that we should definitely oppose discussing it at this time, while simultaneously making clear in the most positive terms our arguments for such a position. Mr. Mansfield stated that he and Mr. Vorys had felt that from a domestic point of view there would be much questioning if Korea were not to be discussed. However they had both agreed with the Delegation’s decision to seek deferment until the armistice negotiations had succeeded or significant developments occurred. Mr. McKeever suggested that a change of nomenclature be undertaken to clarify matters and thereby our position. “Korea” was an all-inclusive term for matters which did not necessarily fall under the same type of considerations. He thought that although more cumbersome, if we were to refer to the desire not to discuss “political settlements for Korea” our position would be much clearer.

[Page 21]

Senator Cooper thought that at some time during the GA some speech ought to be made by the US containing in the clearest terms, for home consumption, the reasons for our postponement position. Mrs. Roosevelt agreed that we should seek to reach conclusions on what should be said for home consumption, and that a working group ought to consider it. It would be equally important for the other delegations in Paris. Mr. Wainhouse stated that most of the First Committee members agreed with the wisdom of not taking up Korea at this delicate stage. The problem at this time would be to convince world public opinion, including our own, of the correctness of our position, as we have already convinced Committee One.

Mr. Sandifer noted that we might make a speech along the lines suggested by Senator Cooper at the time we propose taking Korea up at a special session. He felt also that it would be better to reconvene the present session in New York, keeping the same officers, and avoiding administrative details involved in a special session. In regard to the Soviet disarmament proposals, he thought we should avoid precipitating the very debate we seek to avoid by proposing a resolution to which the Soviets could raise possible objections.

Mr. Cohen mentioned that in regard to Korea the grave anxiety of many delegations had been expressed to us over the fortunes of the armistice negotiations. He felt that we should be careful to distinguish between a desire to consider Korea at this time in United Nations debates and a general concern with the progress of the negotiations.

. . . . . . .

  1. The minutes were circulated to the delegation on Jan. 28, 1952. Eleanor Roosevelt headed the meeting at which 43 members of the U.S. Delegation were present. Included among them were Representative John M. Vorys, Ambassador-at-Large Philip C. Jessup, John Sherman Cooper, Ambassador Ernest A. Gross, Benjamin V. Cohen, Ward P. Allen, Durward V. Sandifer, David W. Wainhouse, Porter McKeever, and Col. Cornelius P. Van Ness. The meeting was held at the Hotel Astoria.
  2. On Jan. 12, 1952, in general debate on agenda item 6 of Committee One, “Measures to combat the threat of a new world war and to strengthen peace and friendship among the nations”, Chairman of the Soviet Delegation, A. Y. Vyshinsky, included in a general attack on U.S. foreign policy a condemnation of American efforts in Korea and he raised the issue of the Security Council assisting in the negotiations to end the fighting. See UN document A/C.1/SR. 487.
  3. A report on this meeting is in telegram Delga 817 from Paris, Jan. 2, 1952, in file 320/1–152.
  4. See footnote 6, p. 16.