795.00/5–1354: Telegram

Fifth Meeting of the Heads of the 16 Allied Delegations, Geneva, May 13, 10:05 a.m.:1 The United States Delegation to the Department of State


Secto 194. Repeated information Seoul priority 71, Tokyo 56, London 158, Paris 251, Moscow 67. Department pass Defense; Tokyo pass CINCUNC. At fifth meeting of chief allied delegates held this morning at Palais with Kural presiding, it was agreed that, in lieu of a detailed plan, the committee of nine (US, UK, France, ROK, Thailand, Australia, Colombia, Philippines, Turkey) should meet tomorrow at 10 a.m. to begin effort to draft an agreed set of general principles upon which allied side could stand. It was obvious that all in group except ROK’s and ourselves strongly felt that for propaganda reasons and because of domestic public opinions, it was highly desirable such general principles include support of all-Korean elections. Pending formulation such principles was agreed no need hold plenary sessions unless two or more allies prepared speak or unless plenary called by Commies. Also no indication other members 16 desired another restricted session unless apparent Commies ready to make some new proposal.

General Smith opened meeting by reporting that, despite complete cooperation Pyun, we were unable to reach agreement on detailed plan. Felt this not particularly regrettable, however, in view Molotov’s speech yesterday2 which crystallized two issues on which we could [Page 260] stand firm: (1) Absolute necessity uphold authority of UN; (2) requirement that free elections reflect honest will of people and that representation be directly proportionate to population. Said that while inadvisable present detailed counterproposal at this time, it would be helpful if we could present set of basic principles which had been developed by allies in plenary to date and upon which there was general agreement among allies.

In response to question from Garcia (Philippines) who pressed Pyun as to whether Rhee categorically rejected all-Korean elections and as to whether any flexibility ROK position, Pyun replied ROK position reflected by General Smith’s opening remarks that allies should not explore detailed controversial points but rather wait to see whether Commies change their position re UN and free elections. Added Rhee would be ready accept all-Korean elections provided that voters so desired. Admitted such procedure would take time but pointed out all-Korean elections created constitutional problem for ROKs.

Spaak (Belgium) agreed unwise to go into details at this time but emphasized we must present a set of clear simple principles in order extricate ourselves from difficult propaganda position resulting from specific North Korean proposal. As example such principles, cited general all-Korean elections, UN supervision, withdrawal foreign forces. During discussion which followed, Eden and Commonwealth representatives, Turks and Colombia supported Spaak. Eden, after paying tribute Pyun, said that while Molotov’s repudiation UN made allied task easier, we should still be in position to put up three or four point general proposal and stand on it. Said he planned to outline certain general principles in plenary speech this afternoon but would fuzz question of whether elections in both North and South Korea. Lacoste added Bidault also planned to talk general principles this afternoon although did not specify what Bidault planned to say re elections.

Pearson, while supporting Spaak and Eden, went further by saying did not want to be placed in position at home of supporting only North Korean elections or withdrawal only Communist troops prior to election. Stressed importance of maintaining united front lest Communist charge that conference broke down over allied disagreement, but hinted that if general approval allied proposal not obtained might be necessary for several allied representatives to voice objections to such proposal either at Geneva or at home.

General Smith agreed need for allied unity on simple formula but urged that if agreement unattainable on general principles we should be prepared to stand on question UN authority and free elections based on representation in National Assembly proportionate to population. He also pointed out ROK Government and constitution only ones recognized [Page 261] by UN as legal and valid. However, no support expressed for our position we could stand on these two points in event disagreement. Instead, general consensus as stated by Watt (Australia), McIntosh (New Zealand), Zuleta (Colombia), Acikalin (Turkey) was that we must somehow reach agreement on basic principles and that such principles must contain more than broad generalities.

For Washington and Seoul.

Telegram follows3 on Robertson, Young conversation with Pyun following above meeting and delegation’s suggestion on set of principles to be discussed urgently with Rhee. We do not plan to table any proposal in committee of nine, without prior effort at obtaining ROK agreement on text.

  1. A set of minutes of this meeting (AD Verb Min/5) from which the time of the meeting is taken is in FE files, lot 60 D 330, box 14824. The meeting adjourned at 11: 40 a.m.
  2. The speech was made on May 11; see telegram Secto 177, May 11, from Geneva, p. 249.
  3. Telegram Secto 196, May 13, infra.