128. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in the United Kingdom0
6895. For Bruce from Harriman. Acting Secretary called in British Ambassador morning June 22 to inform him we unclear whether ChiCom troop concentrations Fukien offensive or defensive and therefore wished notify Peiping soonest as follows:
U.S. wishes attention Peiping called to Mutual Defense Treaty between US and GRC and to 1955 Formosa Resolution giving President authority to use US armed forces to defend offshore islands, if he judges such action is required or appropriate in assuring defense of Taiwan and Pescadores. Peiping further advised that in view of strength of the GRC garrisons on offshore islands, any effort to take them would be a major operation which could not easily be limited to immediate vicinity of islands. Serious risk of wider hostilities involving US forces would therefore arise.
Re reported GRC plans to attack mainland, USG has no intention of supporting such an attack under existing circumstances. Attention called to Exchange of Notes between US and GRC in December 1954 which requires GRC to obtain agreement of US in any offensive action by GRC military forces. In this connection Peiping might also note that in our meetings with Chinese Communists since 1955, we have consistently been urging agreement that force not be used by either side to change the existing situation, and of course we continue to adhere to that position.
Acting Secretary added that parallel approach to be made by Harriman to Dobrynin afternoon 22nd and requested British convey above representation to Chinese.
Ormsby Gore agreed transmit remarking FonOff might state UK itself very concerned. Pointed out no British Charge presently Peiping and FonOff approach Chinese Charge London best alternative. This agreed to, in view importance time question. Presence Secretary in London 24th added advantage, since as Ormsby Gore noted, it might not be possible reach Chinese Charge before 25th.
- Source: Department of State, Central Files, 793.5/6-2262. Secret; Limit Distribution. Drafted by Bacon, cleared by Yager and Tyler, and approved by Harriman. Repeated to Taipei, Hong Kong, Warsaw, and Rome for the Secretary.↩