240. Letter From Secretary of State Dulles to Foreign Secretary Lloyd0

Dear Selwyn: Thank you for your message delivered to Under Secretary Herter by HAROLD CACCIA on November 11.1 I greatly appreciate your continued efforts to guide public opinion in the United Kingdom and your thoughtful suggestions on the problem of how to induce the Chinese Communists to stop their military activities.

I share your doubt that an approach to the Russians would be productive at this point in view of the altered military situation in the Taiwan Straits. With respect to the Indians, I agree that it is unlikely that any pressure can be exerted on the Chinese Communists through this channel. However, it would be useful to get a fuller idea of Nehru’s views, and there could be no objection to Malcolm MacDonald’s talking to him along the general lines you suggest. It may be of interest to you in this connection to know that our Ambassador in Delhi has pointed out to Nehru the significance we attach to the declaration made by the Republic of China in the joint communiqué issued at the end of my visit to Taiwan. Our Ambassador reported that while Nehru did not comment on this point he appeared to disapprove strongly of the Chinese Communists’ attempt to seize the offshore islands by force.2

You ask for my views on whether making too much of the joint communiqué would be counterproductive and lead Chiang to add to the qualifications already made by his Foreign Minister and others. I do not think that this would prove to the be case. I do not consider these qualifications to be substantive, e.g., the Foreign Minister indicated that there is no renunciation of the right to use force in self-defense. President Chiang was fully aware of the significance of the joint communiqué as a means of establishing the peaceful intentions of his Government.

I hope that you will continue to give me the benefit of your thinking on means of tranquilizing the situation in the Straits.3

Sincerely yours,

  1. Source: Department of State, Presidential Correspondence: Lot 66 D 204. Secret.
  2. Undated. (Ibid.; see Supplement)
  3. Ambassador Bunker reported the conversation in telegram 1023 from New Delhi, November 3. (Department of State, Central Files, 793.00/11–358; see Supplement)
  4. British Commissioner General for Southeast Asia Sir Robert Scott met with Department of State officials November 17–19 for discussions of the situation in East and Southeast Asia. A memorandum of a conversation on November 17 between Dulles and Scott is printed in vol. XVI, pp. 6168. (Department of State, Central Files, 790.00/11–1758) Memoranda of conversations on November 18 and 19 between Scott and Robertson concerning China and the Taiwan Strait situation are ibid., 793.00/11–1858 and 793.00/11–1958, respectively; see Supplement.