747. Telegram 508 from Geneva1

[Facsimile Page 1]

508. From Johnson.

One hour fifty-five minute meeting today. I made opening statement pointing out progress thwarted by PRC unwillingness agree disputes would be settled by peaceful means only and PRC failure carry out agreed announcement, leading into McCarthy case including Charge UK has not even been permitted carry out clearly specified function investigation facts, and noting no reply UK Charge’s August 23 letter requesting interview other prisoners.

Wang replied with somewhat perfunctory restatement their position last meeting on futility talks, deadlock and necessity for FMC then shifting over to implementation. Additional example US obstruction was FBI investigation into Chinese students’ correspondence with families which “fresh threat against those wishing to return and violation agreed announcement”. On McCarthy stated his sentence expires June 1957, familiar restatement question right return does not arise prior to release, UK permitted interview accordance prison regulations but McCarthy refused. Referring US proposal Indians interview prisoners in US said this only “screening in disguise” and list prisoners given Indians imcomplete. “If US wants UK Charge be able contact US prisoners on own ititiative US should give Indians list of all Chinese in US concerning all those in prison and agree Indian Embassy can contact Chinese in US on own initiative in [Facsimile Page 2] unrestricted manner”. Nevertheless if UK Charge receives request from US prisoner in PRC interview will be permitted if it takes place conformity regulations. During course subsequent discussion also referred “Walter Robertson’s aide memoire” June 1 to Indian Embassy stating Chinese prisoners in US not covered by agreed announcement. Thus US position has been self-contradictory.

There was extended give and take on implementation during which I vigorously attacked all aspects their position on Americans in prison. He was clearly on defensive. During course his defense he charged not single Chinese prisoner had returned from US. During course reply I stated “was now in position assure him that not single alien Chinese desiring return remains in US prisons”. He rejected this as fact but did not press me for details and I not amplify.

At close meeting when he made pro forma statement hoping US Government would have something say next meeting on FMC proposal, [Typeset Page 1239] I said had already made our position clear and when he replied they “didn’t feel it was satisfactory” I sharply retorted that I not satisfied with responses his government and would like to see some efforts their part carry out agreement already reached. Also added that in view retrogression situation Americans in China “it would have been better if we had never made agreement”. Meeting ended on this sharp note. I proposed next meeting Thursday, November 29 but agreed his proposal Friday, November 30. Departing Prague tomorrow.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 611.93/11–1556. Confidential; Priority; Limit Distribution.