320/11–152: Telegram

The United States Deputy Representative at the United Nations (Gross) to the Department of State


Delga 97. For the Secretary from Gross. Re Korea.


Developments re Mex proposal. Discussions with Padilla Nervo today developed the fol information. Pursuant to conversation I had with Padilla last week he had recommended to his govt that he be authorized to include in his statement in comite one general reference to Mex proposal and that Mex Govt withhold circulating a res until reactions had been developed in comite to Padilla’s speech. Padilla told me this morning that he, Mex President, was insistent that he deposit the res with the secretariat today. At my request, Padilla telephoned his FonMin and told him that we were concerned about this move because we feared it might create confusion in the comite at a time when we were most anxious to keep clear our desire to have Vishinsky answer Lloyd’s questions.1 Padilla called me later to tell me his FonOff was unable to alter his instructions because the Mex President had already scheduled a press conference for this afternoon and was insistent upon circulating the res today. We are sending a copy of the text by telegram as soon as we receive it this afternoon. The gist of the res is that those PW’s who elect repatriation shld be released for this purpose soon as possible after an armistice. Those who reject repatriation wld be disposed of in accordance with a formula to be worked out by the President of the Assembly “through appropriate channels” (which Padilla explained meant the UC), by agreements with member states willing to accept PW’s and to guarantee them the right to earn their livelihood under decent conditions. The Mex res essentially reflects the plan set forth in their letter to us transmitted to Austin.

I explained to Padilla our concern lest the interjection of this proposal cut across our strong desire to maintain pressure upon Vishinsky to respond to the questions which Lloyd and others have propounded in the first comite. Padilla understands this point and agreed to meet with me Monday morning2 to discuss tactics. He agreed not to speak on Monday in any event and to postpone decision to speak during the week until we have had a chance to discuss the timing of his statement and the substance which we think might help rather than hinder our objective.


Ross and I had lunch with Selwyn Lloyd and Pearson today.3 Lloyd reported on a conversation which he had held during the morning [Page 571] with Krishna Menon. Menon is in close personal communication with Nehru and Lloyd believes that a possible attitude of jealousy is developing between Madame Pandit and Krishna Menon. Menon is “full of ideas.” According to Lloyd they seem to center primarily upon the issues of (A) adhering to the principle of non-forcible repatriation, and (B) returning those PW’s who elect repatriation and turning over to some neutral group those who do not wish to be repatriated.

Lloyd, rightly or wrongly, believes Menon is “trying to be helpful.” He believes Menon more useful than Pandit at present time. This, of course, makes it necessary for us to be most careful in determining how we should best approach the Indian del. It seems clear we must keep in the closest possible touch with Madame Pandit as the leader of the Indian del, despite the fact that Menon seems to be carrying the ball on the Korean issue, at least at present.


Pearson, Lloyd and I had a general go-around on the tactical problems ahead of us. Lloyd would prefer to see no vote on the Korean resolutions until after the general debate has been resumed, i.e., until after Eden and Schuman have had an opportunity to make statements next week in the plenary. Pearson, on other hand, leans toward wrapping up the first step of the Korean item as soon as possible. That is to say, he inclines toward pressing to a vote on our res (with any amendments that may develop as a result of Mex or other initiative) prior to the resumption of general debate. Whether this can happen, in any event, depends upon the number of comite one meetings held next week, which from present indications will not exceed four, including Saturday.4 Lloyd and I doubt that it will be practicable to come to a vote after only four more meetings.

With regard to the “second step,” I found Pearson soft. He referred to a conversation he had had with Hickerson who told him not to forget that “we would not let him off the hook” on the second step which we contemplated. Pearson said he had replied to Hickerson that the latter might be surprised to know “how few people were on the hook.” Pearson is playing with the idea, which I strongly discouraged, that after he, as President of the Assembly, reported refusal of the Commies to agree to an armistice on the basis involved in our res, we might then support proposals along the Krishna Menon line. I feel that you shld talk with Pearson as soon as possible after you return to the city.

The central point involved here is, of course, the traditional difference between Pearson and ourselves on the most practicable method of maintaining pressure upon the Commies to desire an armistice. Pearson, with considerable support from Lloyd, repeated his often expressed view that the best way to demonstrate solidarity and strength is to mobilize [Page 572] the fullest possible support from the Asian and African group. On our part, I attempted to stress the viewpoint that the Commies have never in the past, and are not likely now, to be impressed by what they regard as weak, divisive and diversionary attempts to find “formulae.”

The situation within the Commonwealth Group itself is not, in my judgment, satisfactory. Paul Martin, who has been attending Commonwealth meetings, expressed the view that “the Australians and New Zealanders don’t understand the point.” On the other hand, from a conversation I had with Paul Martin at your party Friday evening I got the impression the Canadians are encouraging Krishna Menon, whereas Dick Casey and Percy Spender are actively seeking to discourage him. Although there has been some talk about a “Canadian resolution,” Pearson did not give me a copy and merely made a passing reference.
The foregoing report confirms the opinion I expressed to you Friday that up to now it has not been possible to have definitive conversations with other dels. By the time you return to New York I believe we shall have obtained firmer indications of the attitudes of the Asian-African and LA groups with whom we shall be holding discussions during the next few days.
  1. For Lloyd’s and others’ replies to Vyshinsky’s speech, see UN document A/C.1/SR.515, pp. 39—44.
  2. Nov. 3.
  3. For Pearson’s account of this meeting, see his Memoirs, vol. 2, p. 317.
  4. Nov. 8.
  5. Because he was the official head of the U.S. Delegation at the Seventh UN General Assembly, Acheson’s signature was typed at the end of this telegram although he was in Washington at the time. The telegram is clearly from Gross to the Secretary.