366. Action Memorandum From the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs (Herz) and the Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs (Green) to Secretary of State Rogers 1


  • Chirep: Getting Full Advantage Out of Your Recent Talk With Foreign Secretary Douglas-Home 2

If the President makes his decision on Chirep in the next few days, and assuming that it is in favor of Dual Representation, we would under present arrangements inform the British and they would then make their approach to Peking along the lines discussed with Sir Alec Douglas-Home at Lisbon. However, unless the President’s decision is really imminent, we risk losing some time unnecessarily which could handicap us in the consultations we will need to have with other governments. We have an idea on how that handicap could be avoided.

You agreed to Sir Alec’s request that we not make our position on the Important Question public until they had had time to try to install their Ambassador in Peking. Implicit in this would also be a reasonable delay in our telling other governments what our decision was as well. There are bound to be press leaks and speculations as a result of such wider consultations (largely with former co-sponsors of the IQ, as you explained to the President in your memorandum to him of May 28). We would certainly not want the British initiative for an exchange of ambassadors with the PRC to be unintentionally undercut in this manner. On the other hand, we would want to start such consultations at the earliest possible point after the President’s decision, as the movement toward acceptance of Peking’s position is continuing.

Since you obtained from Sir Alec what we needed most—his willingness to commit the UK only against the IQ “in terms used in previous UN resolutions”—there actually would be advantage now if the British went ahead soon with their approach to the PRC.

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That you approve the attached telegram to Sir Alec DouglasHome.3

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, UN 6 CHICOM. Secret; Nodis. Drafted by Herz. Sent through Pedersen and Johnson.
  2. See Document 363.
  3. Attached but not printed. This telegram (107549 to London), in which Rogers informed Douglas-Home that the United States had no objection to Britain’s raising the status of its representative in Peking, was sent on June 16. Ambassador Annenberg delivered the message on June 17, and was informed that Britain intended to announce the name of its Ambassador on June 22 and to close its office on Taiwan. Douglas-Home said that Britain would not support the Important Question or any measure that would prevent the PRC from being seated in the UN, and that he believed dual representation formulae were “non-starters.” He did not say whether Britain would support the U.S. position after it was announced. (Telegram 5663 from London, June 18; ibid.)