795.00/1–3152: Telegram

The Commander in Chief, United Nations Command (Ridgway) to the Joint Chiefs of Staff

top secret

CX 61829. Comments requested in JCS 920591 follow:

Part 1. Reference paragraph 6 JCS 92059.

Reference is made to part 3 my message CX 61348, 12 January 1952.2 In order to make the proposal outlined in part 3A (1) of CX 61348 it will be necessary to convene the full delegation in plenary session. At that time we will:
Propose that the question of rehabilitation of airfields be deferred, in view of the continued disagreement on both sides.
Propose that discussion of agenda item 5 be initiated at subdelegation level and conducted concurrently with continued discussion of unresolved topics under item 4.
Propose that drafting of the armistice agreement details derived from agreed principles of items 2 and 3 be initiated at staff level concurrent with the substantive discussion of items 4 and 5.
Should the Communists agree to the proposals in A, above, which is considered doubtful, it will be possible to definitely establish unresolved issues on all agenda items and then proceed as suggested in paragraph 6, JCS 92059.

Part 2. Reference paragraph 7, JCS 92059:

One of strongest points of UNC proposal concerning voluntary repatriation is that choice is to be expressed by each POW at exchange point in presence of representatives of both belligerents and of neutral observers. UNC delegation has vigorously denied existence of any program to influence ultimate choice of POW and any coercion in POW camps. Consider Communists would seize upon poll by any agency whatever, as basis for further propaganda concerning intimidation and coercion, and would never accept results of poll as fact. Moreover, should poll be taken and additional POWs later elect non-repatriation it would be most difficult not to hand over total number which original poll indicated wanted to go to Communists. Furthermore, poll conducted by ICRC at instigation of UNC might impugn neutrality of that organization, since Communists could not accept invitation to participate in poll without appearing to be giving some consideration to accepting principle of voluntary repatriation. Finally, not believed here that Communists have any real concern as to numbers who may choose not to return to them; it is the principle which is anathema to them since question of the individual versus the state is the essential difference between democracy and Communism.

  1. Supra.
  2. Ante, p. 17.