396.1 GE/7–2154

Memorandum by the Special Adviser to the United States Delegation ( Rernhardt ) to the Deputy United States Representative and Coordinator of the Delegation ( Johnson )1

confidential

Subj:

  • Possible Communist Attack Against U.S. Position at Final Plenary Session

We have heard rumors to the effect that, at the final plenary session this afternoon, Molotov or Chou may take the opportunity to denounce the United States’ position of non-association with the Indo-Chinese settlement. According to these rumors, the Communists might use the occasion for a full-scale attack against United States policy.

If the Communists engage in polemics against us at the plenary, it would probably be with the aim of eliciting a counter-attack from our side, which could then be used by their propaganda in an attempt to demonstrate that we were opposed to a peaceful settlement in Southeast Asia.

On balance, however, we believe it is unlikely that the Communists will choose to upset the picture of “sweetness and light” which they will wish to achieve at the final plenary by launching a violent attack against the United States.

We have considered what response should be made by the United States if such an attack materializes. In our view, it would be best to refrain from responding in kind to a Communist denunciation and to re-state, in restrained and dignified fashion, our position of non-association based on the fact that the United States is not a belligerent.

  1. Drafted by Stoessel of the delegation.