795.00/1–454: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Embassy in India1


770. 1. Briefing meeting with group of sixteen today produced general agreement desirable resume Panmunjom conversations preferably before January 22. Re last para New Delhi’s 10322 we feel on balance beneficial effect of move to resume on Indian Government and others outweighs possible though slight risk of complicating prisoner release question. Resumption will also help avoid premature convocation of GA. Therefore we would hope if talks could not be resumed by January 22 we could at least work out arrangements for resumption prior to that date.

2. Allen should therefore make high-level approach to Indians asking if they would not wish sound out Chinese Communists on possibility resumption Panmunjom talks. This would not be a formal request for Indians to take any specific action, and in anything they did we would expect them to approach Chinese Communists as if they were themselves initiating proposition in interests reaching political settlement in Korea. Resumption might be on basis of Chinese Communist agreement expunge statements they made re “perfidy” at last Panmunjom meeting, simply as technical matter of rectifying record and as not germane, and not as prejudicing any position or claims on substance. Alternatively, if Communists react negatively to this idea, perhaps Indians could explore [Page 1692] possibility expunging Panmunjom record so as also to remove our charge Chinese Communists are Soviet agents, under same qualification.

3. Young in his discretion should raise matter with Indians in same terms. In both cases, important it be made completely clear we are not moving with undue haste or attempting exercise any pressure; that this is not formal request for resumption and that we would welcome Indian assistance in making soundings on their own initiative to ascertain Chinese Communist response.3

  1. Also repeated for action to Young at Munsan-ni and to Tokyo with instructions to pass it to CINCUNC.
  2. Not printed, but see footnote 7, supra.
  3. Ambassador Allen sent the following response in telegram 1050, Jan. 5, from New Delhi:

    “In absence of Prime Minister Nehru I discussed question of resuming Panmunjom conversations with Foreign Secretary R. K. Nehru today, stating that Department wished to find out whether GOI might be willing to sound out Chinese Communists on this question. I emphasized that any action GOI might take should be at GOI initiative and without reference to our approach.

    “R. K. said he would take matter up promptly with Prime Minister when latter returns to Delhi tomorrow at noon. R. K.’s personal reaction was sympathetic. I think he was pleased at this indication of our belief that GOI might play useful role.

    “R. K. asked how we thought demands by both sides that charges be withdrawn might be overcome. I said we thought conference record might be edited and perfidy charge omitted. If Communists insisted we also edit out charge that Chinese Communists were Soviet agents, I thought we would be agreeable.

    “He asked whether we had any specific date in mind for resumption of talks. I said I thought we were ready at any time agreement could be reached.” (795.00/1–554)