320/11–1152: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Department of State


Delga 169. Limited distribution. Re Korea. Gross and members USDel today saw GA Pres Pearson, Paul Martin, J. Leger and S. F. Rae of Canadian del in effort to move ahead with negotiations on Korean res in light of impact of Vishinsky’s speech.1

Pearson noted that although some of those who had worked out drafts—e.g., Palar,2 Padilla Nervo and Belaunde 3—seem to have been at least temporarily discouraged by the uncompromising character of Vishinsky’s speech, Menon had been stirred to greater efforts and had prepared a new draft of his res. Pearson thought that the reaction to Vishinsky’s speech was that it gave us a good opportunity to get from the GA a clear affirmation of the principle of non-forcible repatriation. With this in mind, he believed it was most important to encourage Menon, who was in contact with the ChiComs, to work out a res satisfactory to the latter even if not to Vishinsky, whose speech closed the door to agreement as far as the USSR is concerned but not necessarily from the ChiCom’s viewpoint. It seemed to Pearson that an attempt to reach agreement with Menon was clearly worth a try on this basis. If Menon could not produce a res acceptable to the ChiComs, an alternative benefit would be forthcoming in that it might be possible to line up the entire non-Commie membership of the UN against the Commies on the outstanding issue in the armistice negotiations. In approaching Menon, Pearson intimated that he thought it would be far more desirable to “edit” Menon’s draft than to discard it. Menon, he said, was no lawyer and had included a good deal of excess verbiage in his product.

Gross agreed that there were advantages in permitting Menon to carry the ball, but stressed fact that there are limits beyond which we cannot go in effort to reach agreement. Gross noted that we had consistently stated there must be no compromise principle of non-forcible repatriation and no provision so ambiguous and vague as to invite prolonged disputes re interpretation. As regards a possible repatriation comm, Gross followed line stated Gadel 484 stressing our preference for impartial comm consisting of any states outside Soviet bloc but indicating we could if necessary accept members neutral nations supervisory [Page 599] body if an umpire were appointed as indicated Gadel 48. He made it clear we did not wish to create situation in which conclusion of armistice would be blocked by dispute over umpire of four-power comm rather than, as is at present the case, over clear moral issue of whether force should be used to repatriate prisoners. Pearson stated either type of comm would be acceptable if Menon would agree.

Pearson agreed with Gross that time has now come to push ahead with view of forming up res along acceptable lines, in order to prevent growth of restlessness among dels not now aware of these negotiations. It seems likely Comite 1 may resume meetings on Thurs, and Gross informed Pearson we wld aim for final vote on Korea in Comite 1 next week.

Later Gross saw Menon and Selwyn Lloyd at latter’s apartment for further discussion latest Menon draft, which Menon on most confidential basis read out to Gross. Gross took firm line with Menon, stressing need for clarity in formulation of principle of non-forcible repatriation and absolute necessity that principle of impartiality be honored in composition of repatriation comm, either through use of impartial states or through appointment of umpire. After inconclusive discussion of matters of detail in Menon’s draft, which is long, vague, and poorly drafted, Menon stated he had received instructions to table res, but wld not do so if this were not helpful. For the moment, therefore, he will take no action, and we will carry forward our conversation tomorrow.

  1. On Nov. 10, 1952, Vyshinsky made a long statement before Committee I in which he rejected as “unacceptable” both the Mexican and Peruvian proposals. For the substance of the speech, see UN document A.C.1/SR.521. For Acheson’s comments on the effect of the speech, see Present at the Creation, p. 701.
  2. L.N. Palar, Indonesian Permanent Representative at the United Nations.
  3. Victor A. Belaunde, Chairman of the Peruvian Delegation at the Seventh UN General Assembly.
  4. Supra .