158. Memorandum of a Conversation, Department of State, Washington, June 26, 19561

SUBJECT

  • Discussion of Far Eastern Matters

PARTICIPANTS

  • Mr. Perkins McGuire, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense
  • General Lemnitzer, Commander-in-Chief, Far East
  • Captain Robbins, USN
  • Mr. Murphy, G
  • Mr. Bennett, G

After an exchange of amenities, General Lemnitzer said that he had wanted to come in to express his appreciation to Mr. Murphy for the Department’s long efforts and final success in obtaining agreement on the part of the 16 nations included in the United Nations command in Korea to the removal of the neutral nations inspection teams from the territory of the Republic of Korea. General Lemnitzer expressed satisfaction over the smooth manner in which the actual removal of the teams had been accomplished and spoke of the great pleasure which this action had given President Rhee and the Korean Government. General agreement was expressed that the action had been accomplished with a minimum of adverse comment from other nations and that not even the Chinese Communists had made any great efforts to exploit the issue.

Now that that phase of the problem has been accomplished, General Lemnitzer said that he wanted to talk about his difficulties under Section 13(d) of the armistice agreement with respect to the introduction of new equipment. He said that, as the commanding general responsible for the military security of the area, he is in a most difficult position with respect to obsolete material and equipment. He is prevented from bringing in up-to-date equipment due to [Page 286] our strict interpretation of and adherence to the armistice agreement. He simply is not able to ensure the necessary protection for the area. He declared that he is making every effort to avoid inappropriate publicity and unauthorized statements with respect to the introduction of new equipment but that he would very much like to know the Department’s present position and possible changes with respect to action under Section 13(d).

Mr. Murphy replied that there had been no decision on this as yet by the Secretary of State. He continued that the matter is under active study by the Legal Adviser, Mr. Phleger, but that no final decision has been reached as to the Department’s position. There followed a discussion as to our present method of reporting to the NNSC under Section 13(d), and it was suggested that perhaps our reporting in the past has been over meticulous. Instead of reporting on each type of aircraft with respect to the specific model, for instance, it might be possible to merely report a new bomber replacing a worn-out bomber and a new fighter in place of an old fighter rather than getting into the details of an F–86D for an F–86B. Mr. Murphy suggested that, after all, the “Honest John” is in essence an advanced artillery development and perhaps a new system could be devised which would merely report so much new artillery replacing artillery being retired. There was further discussion of the desirability of greater flexibility in reporting under Section 13(d), assuming we would continue to honor this clause of the armistice, and Mr. McGuire agreed to address a letter2 to the Department formally requesting the Department’s views on the matter and on certain proposals for greater flexibility which the Defense Department might wish to suggest.

[Here follows discussion of unrelated subjects.]

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 795.00/6–2656. Secret. Drafted by Bennett.
  2. See footnote 5, Supra .