11. Memorandum of Discussion at the 235th Meeting of the National Security Council, Washington, February 3, 19551

[Here follow a paragraph listing the participants at the meeting and agenda items 1–5.]

6. Abolition of the Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission in Korea (Progress Report, dated December 30, 1954, by the Operations Coordinating Board on NSC 170/12)

Mr. Cutler read appropriate portions of the recent Progress Report on U.S. policy in Korea as they related to the reference subject, and indicated that Secretary Wilson had requested him to mention a memorandum which the Secretary had received from the Joint Chiefs of Staff indicating the urgency of removing the NNSC at once from South Korea.3 Mr. Cutler read portions of the memorandum of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to Secretary Wilson, but pointed out that the problem was complicated and had received no staffing as yet except in the Department of Defense.

Admiral Radford indicated that the concern of the Joint Chiefs of Staff stems from the fact that the UN Commander, General Hull, feared an incident in South Korea which might endanger the lives of the Communist members of the supervisory teams, or might lead to an armed clash between U.S. and South Korean forces. To illustrate his point, Admiral Radford read passages from a recent message to himself from General Hull, indicating the desirability if necessary of unilateral U.S. action to settle the problem.4

Mr. Cutler said he was aware of the reasons for the concern expressed by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, but pointed out that the State Department had insufficient notice that this item was to be brought up for discussion at this meeting of the Council, and was therefore not prepared to discuss it. Secretary Hoover confirmed Mr. Cutler’s statement.

The President asked why the Swiss and the Swedes simply did not quit. Admiral Radford said they feared to do so because of anticipated Communist pressures on their governments if they did. The President then asked why we did not accord the same treatment to these teams in South Korea which the Communists gave to the teams in North Korea.

Mr. Cutler suggested that this issue might well be taken up in the first instance at the meeting between the Joint Chiefs of Staff [Page 18] and the State Department scheduled for Friday morning. It could then be scheduled for consideration by the Council at its meeting next week. The President suggested, however, that the State Department get together with the Joint Chiefs as early as they could, and bring their recommendations to him directly.5 He said he would approve anything that was reasonable to get this problem settled.

The National Security Council:6

Noted and discussed the situation with respect to the subject, and the views regarding the subject of the Commander-in-Chief, United Nations Command, and of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Noted the President’s directive that the Departments of State and Defense submit to the President as promptly as possible recommendations for further U.S. action with regard to the subject.

Note: The action in b above, as approved by the President, subsequently transmitted to the Secretaries of State and Defense.

S. Everett Gleason
  1. Source: Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, NSC Records. Top Secret. Drafted by S. Everett Gleason on February 4.
  2. For text, see Foreign Relations, 1952–1954, vol. XV, Part 2, pp. 19421956.
  3. Supra.
  4. Apparent reference to CINCUNC telegram C–71309; see footnote 3, Supra.
  5. Representatives of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Department of State met on Friday, February 4, to consider the NNSC problem. Under Secretary of State Hoover submitted the recommendations that emerged from that meeting to the President on February 7. See Documents 13 and 15.
  6. Paragraphs a and b and the Note that follows constitute NSC Action No. 1322. (Department of State, S/SNSC (Miscellaneous) Files: Lot 66 D 95, Records of Action by the National Security Council)