795.00/2–553: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the United States Mission at the United Nations 1


301. Re Korea urtel 484 and Deptel 292.2

Even if there should be resolution on political part Korean item, we question desirability of mixing consideration political and economic aspects Korean item and joining two subjects in one resolution. Consideration both aspects together can only reduce support which US could otherwise expect for either part by itself. Union of South Africa for example would not vote for any resolution on UNKRA because in its view this would imply commitment to contribute; other dels may have similar feeling. Similarly Asian countries who ordinarily take active interest in UNKRA might be impelled to withhold support proposed resolution if it involves reaffirmation Indian resolution at this time or other political action they do not consider necessary or desirable in present circumstances.
With respect to substance of economic proposal in urtel even if contained in a separate resolution under UNKRA agenda item, Department believes resolution should be limited to urging governments to complete payments on existing pledges and to make additional pledges and payments required to produce $250 million budgetary amount previously authorized by GA. Such a draft resolution will be sent soon for your consideration.3 Department believes that determination of desirability [Page 778] of Agent General presenting to Eighth GA a long-term program of two to five years duration together with his views on practically possible budget or over-all figure can better be made at a later time but still in advance Eighth GA. Department’s reasons for these views are:
A resolution calling for Agent General to report plan for long-range program of UNKRA would, in contrast with limited resolution recommended above, tend to produce extensive debate of a nature which would probably reveal both UNKRA and US in a vulnerable position. Up to this time, UNKRA has not engaged in extensive implementation of projects of economic aid. The major reason has been refusal of US military authorities, until they recently agreed to $70 million program, to permit UNKRA to implement projects. Even with respect to $70 million progam, Department has just been informed confidentially by Agent General of unforeseen restrictions and delays which US military authorities appear to have imposed recently against UNKRA’s actually going forward with implementation of projects in that program. However, Department of Army is working most earnestly in conjunction with CINCUNC to develop with ROK and UNKRA as rapidly as possible and presumably well in advance of Eighth GA an integrated ROKUNCUNKRA program based upon evaluation of total resources and total needs, which should result in categories of projects assigned to UNKRA for relatively free and satisfactory implementation. At the same time, Nathan Survey for UNKRA 4 is going forward and it should be completed within six months. Department expects that Agent General will make report to GA in advance of Eighth Session based upon above-mentioned integrated program and Nathan Survey and recommending a program for UNKRA. At time when such report is made, UNKRA will presumably have had a better record of implementation of projects; and, consequently, US can then better determine its views on increased scale and longer term implementation of UNKRA program.
Any two to five year program for UNKRA would have to be based either on assumption that hostilities continued or on assumption that hostilities ceased. First assumption as publicly recognized basis for plan would appear unacceptable from political point of view; but even if acceptable politically, it does not seem likely that UC could make public projection of magnitude and categories of civilian relief it [Page 779] planned to furnish over same period. Without such projection by UC, it would not be feasible for UNKRA to make a complementary projection of its program and the budget therefor. Second assumption would require much larger UNKRA funds than would be the case under first assumption where during continued hostilities CRIK funds would presumably be providing major part of emergency civilian relief category as at present. Therefore, it would appear difficult for Agent General to present a program for two to five years financing until cessation of hostilities has resulted in transferring to UNKRA that responsibility for civilian relief which is now exercised by UC.
Moreover, under present circumstances, it appears to Department that it would be too optimistic to hope that Congress would approve US pledge to UNKRA of perhaps $600 million which, for example, would represent $200 million per year for three years as 80% of a total annual amount of $250 million; and yet experience to date has not indicated a positive basis for expecting more than $50 million per year from governments other than US. In above example, the $250 million annual figure is used merely because the present $250 million budgetary amount was originally considered as being designed to cover approximately one year of full-scale operations by UNKRA. If US sponsored a resolution of the nature proposed urtel and Agent General, acting pursuant to such resolution, recommended a program of the size set forth in above example, US would probably find itself unable to pledge the amount which would be required to achieve such total goal. Although two or three year pledging is highly desirable for efficiency of UNKRA operations, it does not appear practicable under present circumstances.
  1. This telegram was drafted by Henkin and Graham R. Hall, Special Assistant to Assistant Secretary Hickerson, and cleared with Otis E. Mulliken of the Office of United Nations Economic and Social Affairs, and with Hemmendinger, Emmons, and Hickerson.
  2. Dated Feb. 5 and 6, pp. 733 and 741, respectively.
  3. The resolution was contained in Annex A to a position paper entitled “Korea: Report of the Agent General for Korean Reconstruction” and dated Feb. 25, 1953, not printed (IO files, lot 71 D 440, “Position Papers, 2nd Part of 7th General Assembly Session”).
  4. Nathan Associates had already prepared for UNKRA a study entitled “Preliminary Report on Reconstruction of Korea” which attempted to estimate the gross requirements of Korea in the 1953–1954 ROK fiscal year. It was the conclusion of the study that about $450 million in resources from abroad would be needed to provide a GNP sufficient to permit an availability of resources per capita, including those going into military uses, to equal that of the year immediately prior to the outbreak of war in Korea. More information on this study and the general question of economic aid to Korea can be found in a paper prepared by E. C. Hutchinson of OFD on Feb. 13, 1953, entitled “Economic Aid to Korea”, not printed. (795B.5 MSP/2–1353)