Matthews files, lot 55 D 413: Telegram

The Commander in Chief United Nations Command (Clark) to the Joint Chiefs of Staff

top secret
operational immediate

C 62251. Refs: A. JCS 938085.1 B. JCS 938041.2 C. JCS 937205.3

My comments rqst in ref A fol.
In order to give Harrison as much time as possible to prepare for the 4 May session the guidance contained in ref B was passed immediately. [Page 972] Early on 4 May Harrison informed us of his contemplated action at the 1100 conf and strongly recm that the first step suggested in part 1, para 3 of ref B be eliminated and that he be permitted to seize the initiative by obtaining the floor first and immediately nominating Pakistan.
This recommendation was examined and discussed by Murphy and myself and we both fully agreed that it was the most aprop action under the circumstances. Since you had stated that Pakistan would be most acceptable as the neutral state, and the only Asiatic state you considered qualified to handle the POWs alone, and in addition, as rept by Murphy to State, the Pakistan Ambassador in Tokyo had stated that his government would be willing to acpt the responsibility of the neutral state, we felt it was most desirable for us to seize the initiative by making the specific proposal regarding Pakistan. Furthermore, we considered it was unrealistic to assume that the Communists would give an affirmative ans to the ques as to whether they were prep to acpt a nomination by the UNC of any one of the states named by them. Inasmuch as they were falsely accusing us of our unwillingness to acpt an Asian nation as the neutral, the nomination of Pakistan appeared most aprop. If, by rare chance, the Communists did not give an affirmative ans we would then be in the identical psn we now find ourselves. If, on the other hand, they had responded in the negative our psn would not have changed from that which existed when the recess was called on 2 May.
As we see it here the action taken in the 4 May session has given us the initiative and has placed the Communists in the embarrassing psn of not accepting the Asian neutral state which they had previously indicated as acceptable to them.
I feel that the judgment of our negotiator on the spot should be supported wherever possible and consider my action to be fully in accordance with the guidance provided me in ref C which accorded me broad negotiating latitude and in ref B which you gave as suggested and not a directed action.
In our assumption that this was a suggested action, we were not acquainted with the fact that it had been discussed with Congressional leaders and approved by the President. It would be helpful if such info could be included in future guidance.
  1. Dated May 4, p. 969.
  2. Dated May 2, p. 962.
  3. Dated Apr. 22, p. 923.