396.1 GE/5–1354: Telegram

Tenth Plenary Session on Korea, Geneva, May 13, 3:05 p.m.: The United States Delegation to the Department of State1


Secto 203. Repeated information Tokyo 59, London 162, Moscow 70, Paris 259, Oslo 8, Seoul 75. Tokyo for CINCUNC; Department pass Defense, CINCPAC and COMSAC. Tenth plenary session Korean phase May 13 consisted of two brief speeches by Bidault and Eden,2 with Prince Wan in chair. Following Eden’s speech, Prince Wan announced adjournment—no session May 14 in view scheduled Indochina meeting. Next Korean session, he said, would be announced through Secretariat.

Bidault said he would not review the well-known history of the Korean problem already done well by Mr. Dulles. Communist version is contrary to facts.

Turning to Nam Il’s proposal, he said proposal does not contain guarantee for establishment of unified government genuinely free and genuinely democratic. Minimum principles to be met are (1) representation must be proportional to number of citizens in both parts of [Page 263] country and (2) elections must be held in conditions of freedom and certified by neutral observers with adequate authority. Communists have hitherto rejected these principles but it is hoped that they would reconsider and agree to place elections as well as withdrawal or movement of troops under international control. Most qualified organism to supply such control is UN.

Bidault attacked Communist accusation that UN is accomplice in aggression. This, he said, is not merely false but its repetition is dangerous to all and would threaten very existence of UN.

Bidault rejected suggestion US was aggressor in Korea and showed that facts hardly consistent with any imperialism on part US.

In apparent allusion to Indochina phase, Bidault stressed “this Geneva Conference which should be a peace conference and which we firmly continue to hope to see become truly a peace conference”. Later he said “it is already much that an armistice has been signed we are the first to recognize it, we who wish to see the contagion of peace spread to all Asia”.

Bidault ended on a note expressing hope that constructive efforts will yet bring Korea the unity and liberty which it deserves.

Eden also said he would avoid going into past history but stressed that UN did its duty in Korea and if US bore majority share it is measure not of US imperialism but of its loyalty to UN and deserves tribute. He also expressed regret that Communist China found it necessary to raise PW question which for UK has been settled some time ago in accordance with armistice agreement and Geneva Convention.

Alluding to charge of imperialism in Asia against UK, Eden stressed that facts are that UK has contributed to advance of national liberation, citing India, Pakistan and Burma. He referred to Asian members of UK Commonwealth which continues in close voluntary relation to UK, and asked whether real freedom was in Colombo or in Ulan Bator, in New Delhi or Pyongyang. Communists appeared unable to recognize concept of voluntary and equal association founded on cooperation and not compulsion. He also cited Colombo plan with participation other Asian countries and working hand in hand with UN and US technical assistance.

UK belief in freedom, Eden said, underlies its insistence that Korea shall have freedom—that freedom must be genuine and methods achieving it fair and practical. Nam Il’s proposal could not lead to desired results since it does not recognize numerical disparity between North and South and could not lead to agreement, there being no provision even for neutral chairman or arbitration tribunal. Also, withdrawal with country divided under plan which can only lead to deadlock would result in chaos, and perhaps renewal of hostilities. Eden [Page 264] noted similarity to Molotov’s Berlin proposal and said in both situations elections would either not be free or would not take place at all. Communist proposal for packed commission, for elections free in name but rigged in fact.

Unacceptability of Communist proposal, Eden said, does not mean that last word has been said. He stressed general agreement on following points: (a) Desire for peaceful settlement; (b) unification; (c) after unification no foreign interference in Korean affairs; (d) appropriate guarantee for Korean integrity by other nations; (e) common desire to withdraw forces as soon as can be without again endangering peace. In light of this area of agreement, Eden suggested desirability of agreement on following basic principles: (1) Elections for all-Korean Government; (2) elections should truly reflect will of people taking into account distribution of population between North and South; (3) universal adult suffrage and secret ballot, as soon as possible under conditions of freedom; (4) elections to be under international supervision, in UK view should be under UN but members need not be chosen from among Korean belligerents but could be panel acceptable to Geneva Conference; (5) program must include withdrawal of forces as soon as international peace and security achieved, as provided for UN forces in GA resolution, October 7 in General Assembly.

Eden concluded by saying that if there could be agreement on these principles then conference could get down to terms and stages, perhaps in restricted session then reporting back to conference as a whole.

  1. A set of minutes of this meeting (US Verb Min/10) is in Conference files, lot 60 D 627. The minutes indicate that the meeting convened at 3:05 p.m. and adjourned at 4:10 p.m.
  2. The texts are printed in The Korean Problem at the Geneva Conference, pp. 109–113 and 113–117.