320/11–1952: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Department of State


Delga 224. Re: Korea. Limited distribution. Secretary spoke to Eden several times today in regard to Korea.


At morning meeting, in reply to Eden’s question whether US was unalterably opposed to Menon effort, Secretary told him that we never were opposed to his effort and do not oppose it now. What is important is that Menon effort be consistent with what we are trying to do. Secretary [Page 658] told Eden that situation now called for firm US UK agreement along the following lines:

Agreement must be reached on revision of para 17. Secretary gave Eden text1 (telephoned to Department) to which Eden raised no objection but said he would discuss with Selwyn Lloyd.
If UK and US agreed on para 17 then they could proceed to agree on other proposed changes, some of which we considered essential. Secretary did not believe this should cause too much difficulty since Lloyd had indicated that our proposed changes were generally acceptable.
When agreement was reached on all the changes then there should be a meeting of the 21 to secure their support.
Thereafter we could consider the best tactics for getting the changes made.

Secretary told Eden that if UK agreed to stick firmly on above basis, US would not oppose giving precedence to Menon draft. He made it clear that if 21 powers remained firm, there would be no problem about getting revised Menon draft adopted regardless of Menon’s own attitude to particular changes.

Eden stated that he understood. He was going to meet with Pearson and Menon to go over Menon’s proposed speech but would like to see Secretary before that time, after he had spoken with Selwyn Lloyd. Eden suggested also a meeting of the 21 sponsors immediately following Menon speech in Committee 1 this afternoon.2 Secretary told him that it wouldn’t matter to US when the 21 sponsors met, but there was no point in holding the meeting until agreement was reached between US and UK on lines indicated above.

Shortly before noon, Eden returned with Selwyn Lloyd and met with Secretary, Gross and Hickerson. UK took the line that there was no hurry about reaching agreement on para 17 or other amendments and that they should wait until after Menon’s speech and subsequent debate, which might clarify some of points which concerned US. Secretary insisted that it was necessary to reach agreement on para 17 in particular. It was agreed that Lloyd and Gross would meet during lunch hour to try to work out agreed text. Also, meeting of working group of 8 countries should meet after close of Committee 1 in afternoon.
Gross met with Lloyd, but no progress was made in gaining UK agreement to amended text of para 17.
Gross went to working group meeting, therefore, without having reached agreement with UK. At meeting, he took firm stand that US would not go along with revised Menon draft unless firm agreement reached on necessary amendments. Full report this meeting in separate tel.3
Secretary seeing Eden tonight in effort to gain his agreement along lines indicated in morning conversation.
  1. The U.S. text of paragraph 17 read as follows: “At the end of ninety days from the signing of the armistice agreement the Repatriation Commission shall release any prisoners of war [whose return to their homeland has] not been effected in accordance with the procedures set out above.” This change was the result of a meeting among Acheson, Gross, Johnson, and the UN Mission staff; telegram Delga 212, Nov. 18, 1952 (320/111852).
  2. The Indian resolution (UN document A/C. 1/734) was circulated in the First Committee on Nov. 17. At the next session of the Committee, Nov. 19, Menon commented point by point on it; see UN document A/C.1/SR.525.
  3. Infra.