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69. Editorial Note

The Chinese representation issue was discussed at White House daily staff meetings on October 9, 10, and 11, 1961, each of which was recorded in a memorandum for the record by Colonel Julian J. Ewell of the White House staff. His October 9 memorandum records the discussion of the subject as follows:

“Mr. Bundy mentioned the divergency of approach between Stevenson and the Administration (I think here he means the State Department) on the ChiCom membership in the UN for next year. Mr. Stevenson seems to be working to smooth the way for the ChiCom to become members with the U.S. gaining as much political advantage as possible, whereas the Administration policy seems to be to keep them out. The President, regardless of any personal views he may have, probably cannot afford to be officially associated with a two China idea. This was followed by a long discussion of how the Berlin and Chinese Communist situations are somewhat the same, i.e., how far do you go in recognizing an existing fact? It was also noted that the Chinese Nationalists seem to have exposed to public scrutiny their more flexible position on the Outer Mongolia situation.” (National Defense University, Taylor Papers, Box 24, Daily Staff Meetings)

The relevant portion of Ewell’s October 10 memorandum reads as follows:

“The Chinese Nationalists have allowed the Taipei newspapers to discuss the possibilities of a flexible policy on the Outer Mongolia question. This is taken as an indication that the Chinese Government has finally decided on a flexible attitude. Mr. Bundy remarked that the Nationalists evidently want us to agree to veto ChiCom entry into the [Page 152]UN under any circumstances. A very complex argument followed, with Komer persuasively arguing that we have to adjust to a two China situation without antagonizing all the neutrals, while keeping the Nationalists in the UN. Mr. Bundy, possibly acting as the devil’s advocate, advanced the thought that a U.S. veto might not be a bad idea, that we are gradually getting into a situation where we will have to veto some matters and we might as well do it on an issue where the President could make a move which would be popular with a large element of public opinion. I really didn’t follow this discussion in all its turns and twists.” (Ibid.)

Ewell’s October 11 memorandum records the following comments concerning the subject:

Chiang has backed off on a flexible policy in regard to Outer Mongolia. State is trying to get him back, either through the Ambassador or, preferably, through the Chinese Ambassador, who has been called back for consultation.” (Ibid.)