396.1 GE/6–654: Telegram

The United States Delegation to the Department of State

top secret

Dulte 155. Yesterday’s plenary session on Korea until Molotov’s speech was everything we could have asked for. Nam Il, and Chou Enlai repeated with vehemence all of the charges, spurious allegations, and unacceptable proposals which they had advanced previously, and gave no indication of the slightest willingness to compromise in any direction. They also categorically rejected the ROK proposals. At the time of the five o’clock break practically all of our associates were convinced that our case had been made for us, and even the Canadian delegate told us that he had no further concern about his public opinion nor did he think there was any need to proceed further.

During the last hour of the session, however, Molotov spoke in an attitude of sweet reasonableness, presented and circulated the proposals sent you in Secto 391.1 However, he concluded with a vicious attack on thesis. As we analyze these proposals, they are a combination of some of Krishna Menon’s “principles” combined with a rephrasing of the unacceptable North Korean formula, together with acceptance of the idea of international supervision. This latter, which of course is spurious, as well as the all-Korean body are sugar-coated with the phrase that “composition and duties are to be examined further”

While we have not yet talked with our 15 associates, we greatly fear that Molotov’s proposals may have destroyed the chance of an immediate clean break, in full association with the other 15, on the issue of the United Nations.

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To those of the 15, headed by Britain and the Dominions, who wish to return home with the report of an “area of agreement on principle and relaxation of tensions” the Molotov proposal will probably make a strong appeal.

I had believed until the last hour yesterday that it would not even be necessary to hold a restricted meeting, as the issues then seemed very clearly drawn. My estimate now is that we will have to have such a meeting to examine the Molotov proposal in order to satisfy a number of the 16. It will not be possible until tomorrow afternoon to give you any accurate estimate. Our present plan is to wait until the last minute tomorrow and then call off the restricted meeting on Korea which had been announced as probable. The only one to whom I have talked about this is Bidault and he concurs, as it gives him another day to avoid an Indochina plenary. I would also prefer not to have a meeting of the 16 tomorrow, as we need time to ascertain by private contact what the various individual attitudes are, and plan our tactics. Doubt if we can avoid a meeting of the 16 Tuesday morning.2

As reported in our Secto 378,3 our present differences are in emphasis. We wish to emphasize any break on the United Nations issue. All of our associates except the Commonwealth bloc will in the end support us, not because all of them agree, but because they accept our leadership. The Commonwealth bloc prefers to emphasize the issue of free elections. Canada, Australia, and New Zealand have quite definite instructions in this regard.

I asked Eden to give us a little help with the Dominions, saying that actually we had the same song with two verses, and it didn’t make much difference which verse we sang first, as long as we all sang the same song. He agreed, and said that both would be sung with equal loudness as far as he was concerned. But this was before Molotov.

The UN role in Korea has been vigorously rejected by the Communist bloc. The Molotov proposal ostensibly offers a negotiating basis for the views expressed by the Commonwealth bloc. Our dilemma is how to go along with the Commonwealth bloc in exploring the Molotov proposals without compromising our position that the UN role in resisting aggression and its authority and competence in establishing the peace is basic to all of the other issues involved. I would be extremely grateful for your thoughts and suggestions to reach me by Monday evening, as we may really need them on Tuesday.

  1. Supra.
  2. June 8.
  3. Dated June 4, p. 342.