The Secretary of Defense (Lovett) to the Secretary of State
Dear Mr. Secretary: There is attached a memorandum dated 9 January 1953 from the Joint Chiefs of Staff relative to the trial of Communist prisoners of war in Korea who are charged with having committed post-capture offenses.
The Commander-in-Chief, United Nations Command, has recommended that he be given authority to try prisoners of war who have committed offenses while in the custody of the United Nations Command in Korea. It is CINCUNC’s view that he must have such authority to enable him to maintain necessary discipline and control of prisoners of war in Korea, and in order to deal more effectively with incidents of violence in the prisoner of war camps.
In their memorandum the Joint Chiefs of Staff point out that the present situation with respect to prisoners of war in Korea necessitates a complete review of the problem in its broadest aspects. With the continuing stalemate in Korea and the probability that the prisoners being held by the United Nations Command might remain in custody for an indefinite period, a U.S. Government position on the handling of the prisoner of war problem should be determined. I agree with the views [Page 725] of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in this matter and recommend that a committee, consisting of representatives of the Departments of State and Defense, be established to develop a U.S. Government position covering the prisoner of war problem. If you concur in the establishment of such a committee, Mr. Frank C. Nash, Assistant to the Secretary for International Security Affairs, will represent the Department of Defense on the committee.
- Appendix “A”, telegram C 59981, Clark to Collins, Dec. 11, 1952, is not printed. For Appendix “B”, telegram CX 60821, Clark to JCS, Jan. 5, 1953, see p. 722.↩
- Appendix “C”, telegram CX 52443, Clark to Pace, July 24, 1952, and Appendix “D”, telegram CX 53852, Clark to the Department of the Army, Aug. 18, 1952 are not printed; Appendices A–D were found attached to the source text.↩