Conference files, lot 60 D 627, CF 286

Memorandum of Conversation, by the Adviser to the United States Delegation (Martin)

secret

Participants:

  • Amb. Acikalin, President of Turkish Delegation
  • Mr. Vergin, Turkish Delegation
  • General W. B. Smith, United States Representative
  • Mr. Martin, U.S. Delegation

Amb. Acikalin called at his own request on General Smith at 11:15 this morning. Dr. Acikalin opened the conversation by asking as to our thinking on tactics. General Smith replied that a restricted meeting on Indochina was scheduled for today and there would probably be another one tomorrow, but he planned to ask for a Plenary on Korea for Wednesday.1 General Smith said he would speak on Wednesday and noted that Amb. Acikalin was also planning to speak. General Smith emphasized his hope that as many as possible of the Allied Delegations would inscribe for the next Korean Plenary; even if all were unable to speak at the one session, the inscriptions could be carried over to the next.

General Smith then referred to his conversation with Mr. Molotov during the dinner given for him by the latter on May 22.2 General Smith commented that he had been struck by Mr. Molotov’s demeanor during this dinner as contrasted with that which he had customarily displayed on similar occasions when Stalin was alive. Mr. Molotov now was far more relaxed, self-possessed and confident than he had been in those days. General Smith also commented on the fact that Molotov had offered a toast to General Eisenhower, President of the United States, and to Marshal Voroshilov, “President of the Soviet Union”, (Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet). When Stalin was alive Mr. Molotov’s toast had invariably been to Stalin, while the Soviet chief of state was entirely overlooked. General Smith then reviewed in some detail his conversation with Mr. Molotov, and indicated that he did not intend to discuss it with anyone else except Mr. Eden and Mr. Bidault.

Commenting later on General Smith’s reference to Molotov’s toast, Amb. Acikalin said that the post-Stalin regime and been very clever in making Voroshilov President. He said that Voroshilov, who represented the power of the Soviet Army, was one man Stalin had never been able to suppress.

[Page 905]

Amb. Acikalin asked General Smith whether he thought the Communists would eventually agree to elections in Korea under UN supervision. General Smith replied that at one time he thought this might be possible; but since Molotov had made a speech flatly rejecting the idea, he now felt certain that the Communists would not agree. General Smith pointed out that the Soviet Union was perfectly capable of pulling the rug out from under a satellite, but once it had publicly gone on record on a matter of this sort, its prestige was committed and it would not reverse itself.

Amb. Acikalin then outlined briefly what he planned to say at the next Korean Plenary. He said he would stress two points:

(1)
The distortions and untruths in the Communists allegations concerning the UN and US roles in Korea; and
(2)
the necessity of upholding the role of the UN in any Korean settlement. The Ambassador said he would again reject the North Korean proposals and would support Dr. Pyun’s proposals as a good basis for discussion. In this connection, Amb. Acikalin said he felt Dr. Pyun’s argument that the Chinese Communist forces should not be put in the same category as the UN forces was a valid one. General Smith agreed and expressed approval of the line Ambassador Acikalin proposed to take in his speech.

Amb. Acikalin asked General Smith whether he thought that the Soviet Union wanted any settlement at this time. General Smith replied that he did not know; he had so often [been] deceived by the Soviets in the past. If he were to make an estimate, however, he would say that the Soviet Union is prepared to agree to a settlement which would give them some advantages. The Soviets undoubtedly have a maximum and minimum position in Indochina and will, of course strive to obtain the maximum. It is too early to tell whether a settlement is possible in Indochina, but the Communist position should be more clearly developed within the next few days. As to Korea, the Communists appeared not to expect any settlement, and it seems probable that we will have the status quo for an indefinite period.

Amb. Acikalin’s final question related to the progress being made on united action in Southeast Asia. He was particularly interested in whether the objective was to provide for some joint action in the future, after a settlement on Indochina, or whether more immediate action was contemplated. General Smith indicated that discussions on this subject were proceeding through diplomatic channels and that military staff talks would shortly commence in Washington. As to the timing of any joint action, General Smith said that presumably alternative plans would be discussed during the military staff talks. General Smith stressed that the major difference with the British on the question [Page 906]of united action had been one of timing; but the British were beginning to change their minds on the necessity of awaiting the outcome of the Geneva Conference, as the Communist position was already becoming clearer. On the other hand, General Smith acknowledged that the U.S. may have tried to hurry things up a little too much, and the British have a point in feeling that too precipitate action might alienate such countries as Burma which otherwise might be brought along to some form of participation. Amb. Acikalin commented that the British attitude on timing was probably also affected by the need for dealing with British political opposition groups.

On leaving Amb. Acikalin expressed appreciation for the information which General Smith had given him. General Smith said that he hoped they would be able to see him soon again.

  1. May 26.
  2. For a report of this conversation, see telegram Dulte 101. May 23, p. 895.