Editorial Note

From January 5 through January 19, 1952, Prime Minister Winston S. Churchill, at the head of a British Delegation, held a series of informal and formal talks with President Truman and other United States officials. Korea was a topic of these discussions. In preparation for these talks, the Department of State established an interagency Steering Group charged with responsibility for assigning drafting officers for preparation of position papers (sometimes called negotiating papers) for the use of President Truman and Secretary Acheson during the talks.

Arthur B. Emmons III of the Office of Northeast Asian Affairs, Bureau of Far Eastern Affairs, Department of State, prepared the first draft of a paper on Korea. After four subsequent drafts with revisions, it was approved at the official level on January 5, 1952. For the texts of these papers, none of which is printed in this compilation, see CFM files, lot M–88, box 160, D–5 series.

During the ChurchillTruman talks, Korea was discussed on a number of occasions, but no substantive action decisions were made. All memoranda and minutes of these talks will be printed in volume VI. Records of the following discussions among the President, the Prime Minister, and their advisers are pertinent to subjects treated in this compilation:

Memorandum by Secretary Acheson of the talks held aboard the yacht Williamsburg on January 5. Among other things, this discussion dealt with the question of United States problems with Commonwealth nations over discussion of wider sanctions in Korea and raised the British tendency to inform the “Dominions” of these confidential talks without first informing the United States.
Memorandum by Secretary Acheson of the meeting of January 6 in which Eden, Churchill, Acheson, Bradley, Lovett, and others discussed, [Page 10] among other things, the possibility of bombing or blockading Communist China in the event there was no armistice or if an armistice was entered into and later broken.
United States minutes of the Third Formal Meeting of January 8, held at the White House. This was the longest of the discussions on Korea and the one in which all the principals were involved. The major topics discussed were the situation in Korea as it related to the Far East as a whole and the consequences of either a breach of the armistice or failure to reach an armistice at all.
Memorandum by George W. Perkins, Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs, of a meeting held at the Department of State on January 11 in which the British made clear their desire to participate in a planned United Nations committee to negotiate a Korean political settlement.
United States minutes of the meeting held at the White House on January 18 in which, among other topics, the participants noted their fears that the Chinese Communists did not really desire a truce at that time.