396.1 GE/6–254: Telegram

The United States Delegation to the Department of State


Secto 361. Repeated information Moscow 102.

Dennis Allen (UK) informed Johnson today regarding Eden’s discussion with Chou En-lai at private dinner last night. While Chinese were friendly and congenial, they left immediately after dinner [Page 1011] and nothing of particular significance resulted from meeting. Four points of interest came up during conversation:
Eden raised question of Chinese Communist treatment of Trevelyan in Peking after he returns there. Eden asked that he be accorded the usual courtesies and privileges and be allowed to see appropriate Chinese Communist officials. Huan Hsiang Head of European and African Department in the Chinese Communist Foreign Ministry, said he would see that these things were done and looked at Chou En-lai who concurred. Allen commented this would be helpful but UK will wait and see if Chinese Communists actually carry it out.
There was no discussion of diplomatic relations or exchange of Ambassadors or of UN representation for Chinese Communists. However, Chou remarked cryptically during evening “what makes you think we want a seat in the UN?” Allen commented perhaps sense of obscure remark was to effect Chinese Communists should be in UN by right and that its seat is not negotiable in relation to anything else.
On the question of embargo, Eden inquired of Chou regarding Chinese Communist construction projects, particularly Huai River development. He asked if Chinese Communists could get all the machinery and equipment they needed for these projects and remarked that the embargo probably was limiting this development. Chou responded only to effect that they needed equipment and machinery from wherever they could get it but admitted economic restrictions were giving them difficulties.
Regarding Indochina Eden emphasized again to Chou that it was a dangerous situation and that UK and other delegations on our side really did not know whether the Chinese Communists and particularly the Viet Minh really wanted a settlement. He wanted to make it clear to Chou that it even looked as if the Communists did not have real intention to seek genuine settlement here. However, these remarks drew no useful response from Chou since he replied Vietnam delegation was not helpful.
Eden told Chou he hoped he understood UK and other delegations believed control, authority and supervision is particularly important aspect Indochina problem. Eden said Soviet proposal for Poles and Czechs on commission is totally unacceptable to UK. Also UK does not believe Poles and Czechs, as European countries and as Communist countries, have any competence or knowledge deal with Indochina, and UK not only cannot understand why they should be suggested but is convinced such proposal is not helpful or acceptable. Chou replied that there are four European nations supervising the armistice in Korea which has “worked out well” whereas on Indochina Soviet Union proposed two Asian countries both of which have close relations with UK and one of which has a “treaty” with US. Chou thought this should be much more satisfactory from UK point of view than Korean setup. He insisted that it was essential to have some countries which would “reflect the interests of the Viet Minh and in which the Viet Minh would have confidence.”
Molotov came to see Eden briefly this morning ostensibly to find out from him his co-chairman about any developments re Indochina [Page 1012] and what would be taken up at restricted session this afternoon. Eden stressed the importance of adequate control, authority and supervision and said session today should continue discussion of that problem to work something out. Molotov replied that that was an important consideration but there are also other items in the Chinese Communist’s proposal particularly the matter of the introduction of arms into Indochina. Eden acknowledged that was also factor. Eden then told Molotov that Soviet proposal made in his absence regarding Poland and Czechoslovakia was totally unacceptable to the UK. He took same lines as Chou En-lai and stressed necessity for having Poland and Czechoslovakia to reflect point of view of the Viet Minh. He said that there had to be countries on the commission acceptable to the Viet Minh.