Secretary’s Letters, lot 56 D 459, “Korea”

Memorandum of Conversation, by the Secretary of State



  • Korea and Tunisia


  • Madame Pandit—India Delegation
  • Secretary Acheson—U.S. Delegation

I called upon Madame Pandit at my request. I briefly mentioned two matters.

Korea. I said that it was difficult to say much about this matter until we had heard from Mr. Vishinsky’s speech.2 She said that she agreed with that and she would like to talk with me again later on.

I said that there had been rumors attributed to members of her delegation of a plan to slur over the prisoner of war question in the armistice agreement and rely upon the fact that in administering the repatriation a neutral group would be able to exclude from repatriation those as to whom force would be necessary. I said that this was, I thought, a most dangerous idea. In the first place, the issue could not be slurred over, because public opinion in a great many countries would require its clarification, and, secondly, to have armistice terms which were unclear and which would lead to charges of bad faith and breaches of the armistice would raise the gravest questions of resumption of hostilities under circumstances which would make that most serious indeed.

Mrs. Pandit purported to know nothing of such rumors and to understand the point which I had made. She said that, if Mr. Vishinsky made a purely propaganda speech, offering no new ideas, she thought that our resolution might be one to which her delegation could agree, provided some editorial changes were made which removed an implication, which she thought was now in it; i.e., that the General Assembly was approving all actions of the Command, including all the bombings. I said that this criticism rather surprised me, but that I would look at the resolution again. I thought that it had been drafted in such a way as to permit all those who agreed with us on the principle of no forced [Page 569] repatriation to concur in the resolution regardless of what other differences they might have with us.

[Here follows a short discussion on the Tunisian question; for further documentation on this matter, see volume XI, Part 1, pages 665 ff.]

Dean Acheson
  1. This memorandum was typed on Oct. 30.
  2. The reference was to a speech given later in the day, see the memorandum by Popper, infra.