396.1 GE/3–554: Circular telegram

The Secretary of State to All Diplomatic Posts1


315. Joint State-USIA. The following supersedes Joint State-USIA Circular 306, February 27, 1954:2

As Secretary’s report to nation on Berlin Conference3 indicated forthcoming meetings at Geneva will be seized with distinct questions political settlement in Korea and problem of restoring peace in Indochina; treatment of these problems being differentiated not only in terms of composition, but also of leadership with United States assuming principal responsibility for discussions on Korea, French on Indochina. In line with its responsibility under the Berlin agreement, United States extended invitations on February 244 to “The Korean Political Conference,” scheduled to begin Geneva April 26. FYI It may be expected that at some future time, possibly in course of Korean Political Conference, invitations to conference on Indochina will be issued. End FYI.
Since Communist side making every effort make Geneva meetings appear identical to their proposed “Five Power Conference on the Far East,” question of correct terminology important. Phase of Geneva meetings on Korea, which is only meeting to which invitations issued now, is “The Korean Political Conference.” Reference to discussions on Indochina may for time being be called “Discussions at Geneva on Indochina.” It should be noted that Secretary expressed wish that whenever possible official term “Korean Political Conference” be used drive home fact that forthcoming discussions at Geneva are direct result of western efforts obtain political conference on Korea.
In line with above, principal emphasis in public treatment of meetings at Geneva should this stage be placed on Korean Political Conference, establishing it clearly as forum we have sought to explore Communist intentions in Korea and, if possible, to reach a political settlement concerning Korea. References to proposed conference on Indochina at present should be subordinated.

  1. Drafted by Jaeger of P. Also sent to the Consulates General at Hong Kong, Singapore, Accra, Algiers, Dakar, Lagos, Leopoldville, Lorenço Marques, Nairobi, Salisbury, and Tunis, and to the Consulate at Luanda.
  2. Ante, p. 424.
  3. For the text of this report made on Feb. 24, see Department of State Bulletin. Mar. 8, 1954, pp. 343–347.
  4. Regarding these invitations, see Department of State press release 97, Feb. 26, 1954, printed ibid., p. 347: see also editorial note, p. 21.