320/12–1352: Telegram

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


Delga 363. Limited distribution. For Hickerson (UNA) from Gross. Re Korea.

Ross and I had lunch with Pearson and Lloyd and went over with them substance of Gadel 98, Dec 12.1 Pearson says he does not intend, at least prior to holiday recess, to send any follow-up message to Commies and appears to agree with us that it would not serve any useful purpose. Lloyd concurs.

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We had long talk concerning possible steps in event Commies reject Dec 3 res prior to recess. Pearson referred to advice from New Delhi (presumably reports from Canada High Commissioner) that Ind Amb Peiping has advised GOI of his impression from conversations in Peiping that ChiCom Govt may be more inclined to continue war in Korea than is Moscow. Lloyd and Pearson are both skeptical of this interpretation of Peiping attitude, but Pearson felt it worthwhile to pass along to us for what it may be worth.

With regard to action to be taken here in event unqualified Commie rejection of Dec 3 res prior to holiday recess, in commenting upon our proposed line, Pearson urged that we consult with him immediately upon his receipt of Commie message. He promised to talk with Lloyd and myself before he issues any statement and strongly hopes we would withhold USDel statement until we talked with him. He considers it essential that he issue statement in such event and did not demur to our suggestion that it be a short, simple statement. I told him frankly we were unhappy that he had “expounded” the res rather than merely communicating it to Commies. He admitted he had deliberately done so, on basis of “attempting to clarify certain questions” which had been reported to him from his rep in New Delhi. Both Lloyd and Pearson were quite strongly opposed to any statement indicating request to Commies to reconsider rejection.

Pearson suggested possibility that Commies might not send an unqualified rejection, but might indicate desire to send a rep to NY to confer with him re clarification of res. Pearson appeared to be receptive to such an approach and I strongly opposed it. This led to a discussion of possible attitudes of new administration. I made it clear we were in no position to commit new administration to any position or attitude on this or any other matter relating to Korean developments, but I expressed strong personal view that new administration wld be at least as strongly opposed to such a course as present administration.

Pearson and Lloyd reactions to our proposed statement2 (which I merely outlined in substance) were that it wld be desirable to express regret at Commie rejection and need for consideration and consultation of GA members in light thereof. However, both expressed view that we shld not in any statement leave room for interpretation that we wld extend or enlarge military action. I said it was not our intention to leave such an interpretation but I thought we felt it important to express clearly our firm determination to take all practicable action to [Page 711] continue to meet aggression in Korea in accordance with UN principles.

Lloyd urged that in formulating any such thought we shld “keep it at the political level” rather than to seek to convey any military implications. He stressed importance from point of view Brit public opinion to continue to create impression that “we had leaned over backwards” to take all reasonable steps looking toward armistice in Korea. Lloyd asked our views concerning next steps, presumably in Feb when he assumed the Assembly would reconvene to discuss the Korean question. I restated our inability to commit in any way the new administration on this point but expressed the personal view that we wld have to come to grips with the problem. From this point of view we thought that any action at this Assembly wld be in the nature of a “holding action” which wld not prejudice any steps which the new administration might have in mind proposing at the reconvened Assembly. In connection with GA procedures generally, Pearson agreed best course wld be for him as GA pres to recess present session of GA on Dec 22 or 23 subject to his call. In event we or other responsible members requested mtg prior to mid-Feb, Pearson feels he shld not take responsibility for rejecting such a request. However, we left this open on basis of further consultation.

I told Lloyd and Pearson frankly that we were very much concerned about Menon’s public statements3 and considered they were doing harm. Pearson said he had had two long talks with Menon during past few days and had the impression that Menon was attempting to persuade the Commies that he had not “surrendered to the US”.

Pearson believed Menon is apparently actively engaged in trying to anticipate probable Commie objections to Dec 3 res and drafting changes in it to meet such objections. We repeated strongly our view that it wld be most undesirable and dangerous for any new resolutions to be put forward, particularly resolutions which weakened or modified the Dec 3 res. Lloyd and Pearson, particularly Lloyd, urged us to keep an open mind on possible changes on the understanding, of course, that there wld be no sacrifice of principles. We made it clear we wld oppose this course.

  1. Supra.
  2. The proposed statement to be issued in the event that the Chinese rejected the Indian resolution was contained in Delga 362, Dec. 13, 1952, not printed (320/12–1352). The approved text, cleared with the White House, the Department of Defense, and Bruce and Matthews of the Department of State was sent to New York as Gadel 101, Dec. 15, 1952, not printed (320/12–1552). For a text of the statement, issued on Dec. 15, see Department of State Bulletin, Jan. 12, 1953, p. 76.
  3. These public statements, reported in telegram 1677 to New Delhi, Dec. 8, 1952, were to the effect that if the Chinese rejected the resolution, the General Assembly should make further efforts to compromise; that the bombing of the Yalu power plants came at a tragic time—just when peace was attainable in Korea; and that India did not consider China an aggressor in Korea (795.00/12–852).