396.1 GE/5–2154: Telegram
Sixth Meeting of the Heads of the 16 Allied Delegations, Geneva, May 21, 10:40 a.m.: The United States Delegation to the Department of State 1
Secto 277. Repeated information Tokyo 79, priority Seoul 93, London 196, Paris 314, Moscow unnumbered. Department pass Defense; Tokyo pass CINCUNC.
- Sixth meeting of chief Allied delegations held this morning at Palais with Kural presiding, was devoted entirely to consideration substance and tactics of Republic of Korea 14-point proposal (contained to [in] Seoul 84, repeated information Secto 239, Tokyo 672) which Pyun plans present plenary tomorrow and which he circulated at today’s meeting. Generally cordial atmosphere prevailed. All delegations, except Philippines recognized that Republic of Korea proposal best obtainable under circumstances, in view Pyun determination to speak tomorrow. No delegation ready to give wholehearted support Pyun proposal because of language in point two, requiring South Korean referendum approving election principle (to Seoul 92, repeated information Secto 276, Tokyo 783) and obvious difficulty all have with points 12 and 13 regarding total withdrawal only Chinese Communists troops before election. However, general consensus was that Republic of Korea proposal was far better than one presented by [Page 305] North Koreans because Republic of Korea had agreed to principle of all-Korean election.
- General agreement reached on Pearson (Canada) proposal that:
- Republic of Korea make clear that it was presenting proposal only in own name with understanding none of 16 would take exception to any points at tomorrow’s plenary.
- Next week members of 16 could indicate general support Republic of Korea proposal while possibly recommending certain changes in detail.
- If Communists showed any willingness negotiate, consideration should be given next week either to (1) proposing in plenary that Republic of Korea 14-point proposal and North Korean proposal be referred to subcommittee of plenary where possibly 16-nation agreement could be reached, or (2) continuing efforts to get agreement among 16 for general proposal which would be presented in plenary without necessitating use of subcommittee.
- Smith opened meeting by saying that the Republic of Korea felt it necessary to present some proposal at plenary on Korea tomorrow, since Chou En-lai inscribed to speak and since other delegations our side had put forward proposals. Added that Republic of Korea proposal would be presented without prejudice to formulation of set of general principles in future on which 16 could agree. Smith said that in general Republic of Korea principles seemed to recommend themselves to us and that we planned give them general support at the first plenary after Saturday’s.4 Although we had some reservation as to language on withdrawal of forces, we saw certain merit in proposing withdrawal of Chinese Communist forces first as negotiating tactic.
- Pyun made a good presentation his proposal pointing out he was restricted by his instructions, but had attempted to develop his proposal within the broad general framework previously accepted by 16. During ensuing discussion, all delegations focused on point two proviso that elections could be held in South Korea “providing that the majority of the people residing in South Korea wished them” and on language in points 12 and 13 requiring total withdrawal of Chinese Communist troops prior to elections. In connection with point two, Pearson, supported by Eden, felt that some better phrase might be worked out which would not leave impression that Republic of Korea was still maintaining built-in veto over election proposal. Smith explained we had suggested alternate phrase “in accordance with constitutional processes of Republic of Korea” be used and that Pyun had agreed to ask for instructions. Pyun. after emphasizing the Constitutional [Page 306] problem for Republic of Korea, confirmed he had agreed to substitute wording suggested by Smith and that he had cabled Rhee for authority to use suggested language tomorrow.
- During discussion withdrawal question Pearson, supported by Eden and Acikalin (Turkey) stressed importance of trying to modify language regarding withdrawal to prevent Communists from being in position to reject proposal flatly. Eden said frankly was unhappy with two points as presently written, since hoped would be in position to talk about phased withdrawal on both sides, thus maintaining strong propaganda position. Zuleta (Colombia) proposed that since all delegations were agreed on Pyun’s points one through eleven (assuming point two amended), Pyun should propose only those points, excluding all reference to withdrawal of troops. Pyun replied that Republic of Korea agreement on all-Korean elections premised on: (1) requirement that Republic of Korea Constitution be adhered to, and (2) agreement that Chinese Communist troops be withdrawn first. Smith, while agreeing with Eden that we would have preferred language referring to phased withdrawal of forces on both sides, said fact remained that Pyun desired to speak tomorrow and could not delete present withdrawal language without specific authorization of his government. Stressed importance that withdrawal not distract us from upholding principle of United Nations authority, and free elections based on representation proportionate to population.
- Garcia, (Philippines) maintained interrogatory attitude throughout meeting, closely questioned Pyun on details of his proposal and contended that Pyun’s unilateral presentation proposal was contrary to the earlier agreement by 16, that effort be made to put forward an agreed 16-nation proposal. Recommended that Pyun postpone statement until 16 reached agreement, but obtained no support this position. (Obvious Garcia considerably rankled because we talked him out of presenting earlier Philippine proposal and also because he himself had hoped to be one to put forward an agreed 16-nations proposal.)