Conference files, lot 60 D 627, CF 250: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the United States Delegation 1


Tosec 231. Re Secto 2632 Department agrees appeal at this time should be made exclusively by Thailand. Believe important you press for definitive French and United Kingdom agreement in order furnish basis press Thailand for immediate action.

Department has serious doubts regarding use interim committee for establishment POC subcommission and prefers use GA for following reasons.

We consider it most desirable obtain greatest possible Asian support: India would interpret bypassing GA over which Mrs. Pandit would preside by reviving moribund body as slap at Indian Government; India and other Asians would react badly to deliberate choice forum which Soviets consider illegal and have hitherto boycotted, and Asians might not support establishment subcommission or agree serve on it. Reports by subcommission so established might not carry same weight as body created under unchallenged auspices. If Soviets should not take seats in interim committee, we would gain little if anything by reactivating it.

Use interim committee would give Communists pretext for challenging legality POC operation; if POC set in motion by GA, Soviets could not convincingly oppose it. USSR did not oppose POC section of uniting for peace resolution and is member of full POC. USSR would not of course be appointed to POC subcommission.

Might also be fairly serious procedural complications. While terms of reference interim committee could be interpreted mean it can meet while GA recessed, practice has been for committee not to meet unless regular session GA has adjourned. Thus committee did not meet in 1951 or in 1953. GA is now in recess. There might thus be procedural wrangle at outset when interim committee is being organized.

While its terms of reference prohibit interim committee from itself taking any substantive action other than establishing subcommission, committee can recommend additional action to GA and can convene special GA session. Particularly if piqued, Asians likely press for [Page 883] additional action and immediate GA session. Would be difficult prevent this and net result would be two debates on Indochina.

  1. Repeated to New York as telegram 577, to London as telegram 6247, to Paris as telegram 4202, to Saigon as telegram 2375, and to Bangkok as telegram 2307.
  2. Dated May 20, p. 862.