305. Telegram From the Secretary of State to the Department of State1

Dulte 7. Eyes only Acting Secretary from Secretary. Reur Tedul 5.2

Agree on postponement date.
I expect to draft reply to Chou En-lai later today, and shall handle direct through Aldrich with information copies Washington.

Suggest Congressional leaders be advised in strict confidence and without exaggerating importance. Remember that this is implementation of the statement of Chou En-lai at Bandung and my subsequent statement, implementation of which has deliberately been allowed to drag for three months during which intermediaries have been very active, notably Menon and U Nu. We have come to the conclusion that operating through intermediaries is dangerous, particularly these intermediaries, and that direct contact is preferable. You will note from Cooper that Nehru would have preferred to keep Menon in the picture.3

We plan use Ambassador Johnson, who originally started these negotiations at Geneva a year ago, so that really there is nothing very new except that it gives the Chinese Communists an opportunity to raise other questions at some stage. This they could always do through intermediaries to whom we would have to listen. It is minimum needed to preserve de facto cease-fire in Formosa Straits.

It has, of course, been made explicitly clear that these talks as the prior ones, involve no diplomatic recognition. Whether or not POW’s should be included has not been decided and should not be until clearance with Hammarskjold.4

I believe that there should be some explanatory press release in addition to formal concurrent announcement and that it should in general follow the foregoing lines. Will you handle this in Washington or shall we draft it here. Prefer former.
  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 611.93/7–1655. Secret.
  2. Tedul 5 to Paris, for the Secretary, July 15, stated that the President desired that the ambassadorial-level meetings with the Chinese should not begin until at least July 25, after the conclusion of the Summit Conference, and that Robertson would prefer a date after all other principals had left Geneva. It also requested guidance as to whether and what to advise Congressional leaders. (Ibid., 611.93/7–1555)
  3. See the summary of telegram 81 from New Delhi in footnote 4, Document 302. Telegram 90 from New Delhi, July 15, which commented further on the conversation reported in telegram 81, stated that Nehru thought of “Menon perambulations as having positive value in maintaining de facto cease fire and would like for him to have further talks United States, and perhaps Peking, for that reason.” (Department of State, Central Files, 793.00/7–1555)
  4. Dulte 9 from Paris, for Hoover from Dulles, July 16, reads as follows:

    “Supplementing Dulte 7, paragraph 3, bear in mind that this arrangement gives us greatly needed answer to demands for a conference which would be loaded against us and that it has been made clear that the matters which might be raised would involve only matters of bilateral concern, not involving the claims or interests of ChiNats, and that we may, by this method, get our nationals out.” (Ibid., 611.93/7–1655)

    Tedul 17 to Geneva, to Dulles from Hoover, July 18, reported that Hoover and Assistant Secretary Morton had talked with Congressional leaders, stressing that “subjects covered would be only of bilateral nature, and would not involve such issues as Formosa, diplomatic recognition or membership in the UN”; they had “experienced no serious difficulty,” although several Congressional leaders had expressed “varying degrees of apprehension.” (Ibid., 611.93/7–1855)