1. Mr. Pearson met with Mr. Dulles informally at the home of the Canadian Ambassador on Sunday, the 15th February, 1953. This was Mr. Pearson's first meeting with the new Secretary of State since he took office. Those present for the United States Government were:
- Mr. John Foster Dulles,
- Secretary of State;
- Mr. H. Freeman Matthews,
- Deputy Under-Secretary of State;
- Mr. John D. Hickerson,
- Assistant Secretary for United Nations Affairs.
Those present for the Canadian Government were:
- Mr. L.B. Pearson,
- Secretary of State for External Affairs;
- Mr. H. Hume Wrong,
- Canadian Ambassador in Washington;
- Mr. D.V. LePan,
- Canadian Embassy, Washington.
General: Foreign Policy of the New Administration
2. Mr. Dulles said that, if there was a change differentiating the foreign policy of the new Administration in Washington from that of the previous Administration -- and there was, though not possibly in major policy matters -- it was to be found in this: that the Eisenhower Administration was determined not to leave the initiative in the cold war to the Soviet Union. To do so would give Stalin a great and gratuitous advantage since he could pick the time and place for new moves and since he would be left undisturbed in consolidating gains already made by the Soviet Union. It was President Eisenhower's policy to create situations which would worry the Kremlin by creating threats to Soviet influence at various points in the world.
3. The Eisenhower Administration was anxious to maintain and to improve consultation with the allies of the United States, and particularly with the United Kingdom, Canada and France. But consultation would be more useful and intimate if it were kept informal. It would be impossible for the United States Government to commit itself formally to consult with its allies before taking action in every situation, since such a commitment would give each of the allies a veto. If every move in this new policy which the United States might have to make had to be preceded by formal consultation leading to agreement, the United States and the Western alliance would have no other alternative but to react to moves as they were made by the Soviet Union. Indeed, it would probably be only in a moment of extreme crisis or danger that full agreement could ever be reached formally among all the allies on the necessity of a course of action which by then would have become self evident.
4. Mr. Dulles recognized that the kind of policy he had described would, on occasions create difficulties both for the United States Administration and for friendly governments. He, for his part, did not wish to tell Congress that he was under an obligation to consult formally with the chief allies of the United States before embarking on any new move; and he might be pilloried on that score even though he fully intended to take the allies of the United States as fully as possible into his confidence. Similarly, political leaders in other countries would at times be unable to say that they had been formally consulted, even though, in fact, they had been informally told well in advance. United States action to deneutralize Formosa had already raised this problem in an acute form. Mr. Churchill and Mr. Eden had known what was proposed weeks before it was announced; but the Foreign Secretary had been unable fully to reveal this fact because, for one thing, the new Administration had not been in office when the information had been given. The proper way around the difficulty, Mr. Dulles suggested, was to increase the amount of informal consultation. This had been one of the purposes of his recent visit to Europe; and he thought that political leaders there had been grateful for the way in which he had tried to let them know how he saw world problems. In the same way, he hoped to keep leaders of the Canadian Government fully informed on an informal basis of the views and policies of the United States Government. Mr. Pearson suggested that it might be difficult to create uneasiness in the Soviet Union without at the same time creating uneasiness among the allies of the United States; and then, to allay the anxiety so created, it might be necessary for statements to be made which would also have the effect of removing uneasiness in the Soviet Union. Mr. Dulles agreed that it would be difficult for a coalition of democracies to conduct such a war of nerves as President Eisenhower's policy would require. Almost certainly the difficulty would be increased by the activities of the press, which in all countries had a vested interest in putting about alarming stories that could only have the result of sowing distrust between the United States and its allies. Nevertheless, he hoped that the United States Government could rely on faith among its allies in its peaceful purposes and in its desire to seek them by sober and unprovocative means. It would be of great help if political leaders in other countries could try to increase this fund of confidence even on occasions when it might not be possible for them to explain fully United States plans and intentions.
The Far East
5. Remarking that the world picture seemed at present very forbidding, Mr. Dulles said that he thought Indo-China was probably to be regarded as the most critical point in the world today. It was easy and natural for the United States to think of Korea as more important, since American military forces were so heavily committed there. But there was little doubt that the line in Korea could be held; and, even if the worst came to the worst (which now seemed almost inconceivable), and Korea had to be evacuated, the consequences would not be catastrophic, though politically deplorable. In that event, Japan would have to be turned into an armed camp. But the repercussions would not spread much further than that. If Indo-China, on the other hand, were lost, the strategic consequences would be incalculable. Moreover, the drain on France caused by the war in Indo-China was perhaps the chief reason why the French were holding back from ratifying the EDC Treaty. It was therefore of the greatest importance that Indo-China should be held, and, further, that the war there should be brought to an end. Nor would it be a satisfactory solution merely to make arrangements so that the military power of the United States would be available to stem a Chinese thrust in Indo-China, since that would further weaken the strength of the alliance in the West. A large Chinese Communist army had for quite some time been poised in the south available for an attack on Indo-China. What was required was a situation which would deter the Chinese Communists from throwing their forces into the war in Indo-China, and, if possible, lead to the movement of some of those forces from North China and perhaps even from Korea as protection against a threat to their security from Formosa. That was the thinking which lay behind President Eisenhower's decision to order the Seventh Fleet no longer to prevent attacks from Formosa on the mainland of China. The essential purpose of the order was to put the United States in a legal position where, if need be, it could encourage threats or feints against China as a means of preventing a Chinese incursion into Indo-China.
6. Mr. Dulles said that one of his problems in explaining and defending the recent decision over Formosa was to keep senators and congressmen in leash. At a meeting on the 12th of February of the Senate Sub-Committee on the Far East, he had laboured to convince senators that the Administration had no plans for any sensational military action. He thought that in large measure he had succeeded. But when he had commented on alarmist statements made by some of the senators, he had met with the rejoinder that they thought their statements would contribute to the psychological warfare he was waging. In his own view, his task would be lighter if were allowed to conduct United States foreign policy without too much assistance from congressional leaders!
7. Mr. Pearson suggested that a similar problem was created by the statements made by Generals and Admirals. For example Admiral Radford1 seemed to have created the impression that the United States Government was in favour of a naval blockade of China. Mr. Dulles said that from conversations he had had with Admiral Radford he thought that his views had been misinterpreted. Admiral Radford was of the opinion that a naval blockade was feasible; but, so far as Mr. Dulles knew, he had limited his comments to that. He was sure Admiral Radford thought that the question whether or not a blockade would be advisable, in view of the political complications it would entail, was for others to decide. However, Mr. Dulles agreed that probably some senators and congressmen had jumped to the conclusion that Admiral Radford was advocating a blockade -- or even indicating that the Administration was in favour of it -- when he merely stated that in his opinion it was feasible. Similarly, the answers which General Van Fleet2 had given on the 10th February to questions put to him by the Associated Press should not be taken to mean that a new United Nations offensive in Korea was contemplated. As a military commander, he had hardly any alternative, when he was asked whether a general offensive could be successful at this time, but to express confidence in his troops by replying, "certainly". Commenting on General Van Fleet's statement, Mr. Pearson said that he was rather disturbed by the way a legend seemed to be growing up that the United Nations Command in Korea had been prevented from annihilating the enemy in 1951 by the cease-fire negotiations. As far as he was aware, these negotiations had never inhibited the United Nations Command from any operations which were considered to be militarily desirable. Mr. Dulles agreed with this view. He said that he personally was inclined to think that it had been a mistake not to pursue the enemy further in the Spring in 1951. But this decision had been taken not because of any action in the United Nations but purely as the result of military calculations in the Pentagon. There may have been differences of opinion between the military authorities in Korea and the military authorities in Washington; but the decision to consolidate the United Nations line where it now stands was the result of a military appreciation of the advantages and disadvantages of a further advance. To push further north would have shortened the Communist's lines of communication which were open to air attack; would have brought the United Nations forces within the range of enemy jet fighters based in Manchuria; and would have forfeited the advantages of the high ground along which the United Nations line now runs.
Resolution on Secret Agreements
8. Mr. Dulles volunteered that, in addition to the recent action to deneutralize Formosa, the Administration would be making a further move within the next few days which might cause some trouble for political leaders in allied countries. He was now engaged in drafting, along with a number of Republicans in Congress, the resolution forecast by President Eisenhower in his State of the Union message, when he said that he would recommend that Congress repudiate secret understandings which had permitted the enslavement of free peoples. In using those words, President Eisenhower had been speaking colloquially. The resolution on which Mr. Dulles was now working would be drafted in more exact terms. It would refer, not to secret agreements, since, in fact, most of the agreements which President Eisenhower had in mind became known very shortly after they had been negotiated. Instead, the resolution would probably refer to private agreements in order to distinguish them from treaties or agreements which had been submitted to the Senate. Nor would the agreements, as such, be denounced. The draft resolution would merely denounce distortions and misinterpretations of such agreements, particularly of the agreements made at Yalta. The resolution would not affect United States policy towards Soviet claims to Sakhalin and the Kuriles, as this had been made clear in the Japanese Peace Treaty. Care would also be taken not to disturb the legal basis for the position of the three Western powers in Berlin. So far as the Oder-Neisse boundary of Germany was concerned, the United States had for a long time taken the public position that the eastern boundary of Germany could be finally fixed only by a German Peace Treaty. It was Mr. Dulles' hope that such a careful and limited resolution as he was preparing would be adequate to satisfy congressional opinion on this matter. He stated frankly that in any case some such resolution had become virtually a political necessity.
9. On Germany, Mr. Dulles said that the situation there seemed to him very disturbing. The Soviet authorities were pushing ahead with the collectivization of the Eastern Zone and were reducing it more and more to the status of a satellite on the usual pattern. One result of the increased pace of this process was the large flow of refugees from the Eastern Zone now crossing into Western Berlin. Although it was impossible to be sure how properly to interpret this development, it could not help but create anxiety, since the Soviets would behave in precisely this way if they were planning a military attack on Western Germany.
10. When he was questioned by Mr. Pearson on the judgement he had formed during his trip to Europe of the chances of the EDC Treaty being ratified, Mr. Dulles said that he thought the odds were about 60 to 40 in favour of ratification. In Paris he had told M. Mayer that he had some doubts about the political tactics the French Premier was following in order to secure support for the Treaty and eventual ratification. Already M. Mayer had tried to appease the various bodies of opposition to the Treaty by drawing up elaborate protocols which might remove their objections. In Mr. Dulles' opinion, the danger of this course was that in three or four months' time, when the Treaty was being debated in the National Assembly, those opposed to it might bring forward new objections, attempts might have to be made to satisfy these objections, and these attempts would delay ratification still further. In London he had told Mr. Eden that the close association which the United Kingdom intended to form with the European Army and the European Defence Community seemed to go far towards meeting France's legitimate wishes on this subject, in so far as any government in the United Kingdom could meet them. He recommended, however, that Mr. Eden should be on the look-out for an occasion in a few months' time to draw together all the various links which the United Kingdom was prepared to establish with the European Defence Force and Community and present them in a single and dramatic form to France, wrapped up with a great deal of red ribbon.
11. On Mr. Pearson's initiative there was some discussion of whether the North Atlantic Treaty powers could assist in obtaining ratification of the EDC Treaty by extending the life of the North Atlantic Treaty from twenty to fifty years. In the Treaty signed between the United Kingdom and the EDC countries on the 27th May, 1952, the United Kingdom had undertaken to grant to the European Defence Community a more automatic security guarantee than that extended in the new protocol to the North Atlantic Treaty. Already the United Kingdom was coming under some pressure from France to alter this guarantee so that it would run for the full duration of the EDC Treaty, i.e. for fifty years. Obviously this request confronted the United Kingdom with considerable difficulty. Perhaps it might be easier for all the North Atlantic countries to extend the duration of the North Atlantic Treaty. Mr. Dulles said that he thought this idea was worth considering. One disadvantage, however, was that an amendment to the North Atlantic Treaty would be required and this would have to be ratified by the parliaments of all the signatories. Possibly, Mr. Pearson suggested, an amendment might be avoided by attaching to the Treaty a protocol in which all the signatories would express their intention of not denouncing the Treaty, under Article XIII, for fifty years. Mr. Dulles was of the opinion, however, that even such a protocol would require Senate ratification.
12. Earlier in the conversation, when Mr. Dulles had been expressing his desire for close informal consultation with the allies of the United States, Mr. Pearson remarked that he had always hoped that this could also be effected in the North Atlantic Council. For obvious [sic] during the past few months, the Council had been in the doldrums. In fact, he was inclined to think that its recent activities had been, if anything, less important than those of the Council Deputies. Mr. Pearson hoped that Mr. Dulles would give consideration to the possibility of strengthening the role of the North Atlantic Council by making it one of the chief instruments for consultation between the United States and its principal allies.
General Assembly of the United Nations
13. Mr. Dulles said that he would like to pay a visit to the Assembly of the United Nations after it reconvened on the 24th February; but he did not wish his presence to give rise to a long vituperative debate. Mr. Pearson replied that, now it was known that Mr. Vishinsky was returning, a good deal of vituperation was inevitable, he was afraid. There were two possible interpretations of Mr. Vishinsky's decision to return. Either he was coming back to launch a new propaganda attack on the United States, in which he would direct most of his fire against the decision to deneutralize Formosa, and against co-operation between the Secretary-General and the United States Government in screening United States citizens on the secretariat. Alternatively, he might be coming to New York to put out feelers towards a peaceful solution of the war in Korea. However, in the light of recent Soviet moves throughout the world, it was very difficult to entertain the latter possibility.
14. Mr. Dulles confirmed that the United States would not be putting forward any new proposals on Korea in the General Assembly. They would be content to stand on the Indian Resolution.
15. In general, he hoped that, on this and other issues, the discussion in the General Assembly could be comparatively brief and routine. The new Administration had not yet had time to take firm positions on all the questions which might come before the United Nations and for this reason he hoped that the latter half of the present session could be run off expeditiously and in a minor key.
16. It was suggested by Mr. Hickerson that in order to give Mr. Vishinsky as limited scope as possible for making effective propaganda, it might be possible to open the resumed sessions of the Assembly without a plenary meeting and possibly even without a meeting of the General Committee. Mr. Pearson thought this might be difficult since new items might be proposed for the agenda and, if added, these would have to be assigned to committee. Nevertheless, he would see what he could do to avoid a plenary meeting or even a meeting of the General Committee at the outset of the resumed session. Mr. Dulles said that he very much hoped this could be arranged. In any event, Mr. Pearson said that, if an opening plenary meeting became necessary, he would try to rule out of order any attempt that might be made by Mr. Vishinsky to deliver a propaganda tirade. On the other hand, it must be recognized, he added, that there would be plenty of opportunities for Mr. Vishinsky in Committee to lay down the kind of barrage that he no doubt was meditating.
17. Some consideration was given to the possibility of having a discussion of the personnel policies of the Secretary-General in Plenary without the General Assembly passing any resolution on the subject. Mr. Pearson said that he would favour such a procedure. But it had rarely, if ever, been possible in the Assembly to dispense with a resolution; and he was doubtful whether it could be managed in this case. Mr. Hickerson agreed, but thought that such a procedure was at least worth trying.
18. Touching on the resignation of Mr. Lie, Mr. Pearson said that he hoped that action to appoint a new Secretary-General could be taken before the present session of the Assembly came to an end. Mr. Hickerson said he agreed that this was highly desirable.
United Kingdom Proposals for a Collective Approach to Convertibility
19. Mr. Pearson said that he thought the United Kingdom Government had shown very considerable imagination and courage in putting forward these proposals, which would require unpopular domestic measures in the United Kingdom as well as in other countries, if they were to be successful. One encouraging conclusion which had been reached by the Canadian Delegation to the Commonwealth Economic Conference was that the United Kingdom authorities were now convinced of the weakening and damaging effects of long-continued import restrictions. Mr. Dulles revealed that a memorandum outlining the United Kingdom proposals had been given to him on Friday, the 13th February, by Sir Roger Makins. He had not yet had an opportunity to study the memorandum, but it seemed both full and clear. Mr. Pearson gave Mr. Dulles an assurance that, if the proposals commended themselves to the United States Government, and if it were decided in Washington to support them, the Canadian Government would also be willing to do its part in making them a success.
St. Lawrence Seaway
20. There was now widespread expectation throughout Canada, Mr. Pearson explained, that the building of the Seaway would go forward without delay. An election was likely to be held in Canada some time this year. It would be disappointing if by that time all the clearances necessary from the United States Government had not been secured. At the present time the Federal Power Commission was considering an application from the State of New York to co-operate with the Ontario Hydro-Electric Commission in building the installations necessary for the power development. As soon as the Federal Power Commission had handed down a ruling favourable to the application from the State of New York, the Canadian Government would be glad to consult with the United States Government on means whereby the Seaway could become a joint undertaking between Canada and the United States, provided that these consultations did not involve further delays. The important thing at the moment, however, was to secure a favourable ruling from the Federal Power Commission. Mr. Dulles said that he was not fully acquainted with this subject, but he asked Mr. Hickerson to take note of the representations Mr. Pearson had made.
Visit of Mr. St. Laurent to Washington
21. When Mr. St. Laurent visited Washington, Mr. Pearson said, he would no doubt want to discuss foreign economic and commercial policy with President Eisenhower. It was also possible that he would want to consider with the President the possibility of making a new agreement on principles of defence co-operation between the United States and Canada. Within the last few weeks a request had been received from the United States Government for permission to build three experimental early-warning radar stations in the Canadian far north. If they proved successful, the United States Government hoped that an extensive chain of radar stations could be constructed across the continent at the same latitude. The Canadian Government had received this initial request sympathetically. But it was felt that the time had perhaps come to examine again in a comprehensive way all the problems of joint Canadian-United States defence of North America, especially Arctic problems. A statement of principle on this subject had been drawn up in l946,3 but circumstances had changed so materially that it should be reviewed, possibly enlarged, and brought up to date.
22. Before leaving Mr. Dulles said that he would have no objection if Mr. Pearson said on returning to Ottawa that, while he had been in Washington, he had seen the new Secretary of State and had had an informal discussion with him at the home of the Canadian Ambassador.
Admiral Arthur W. Radford, marine des États-Unis, commandant de la flotte des États-Unis dans le Pacifique; président du Comité des chefs d'état-major à partir d'août. Admiral Arthur W. Radford, United States Navy; Commander, United States Pacific Fleet; Chairman, Chiefs of Staff, (Aug.-)
Général J.A. Van Fleet, commandant des forces des Nations Unies et de la République de Corée en Corée. General J.A. Van Fleet, Commander, United Nations and Republic of Korea Army Forces in Korea.
L'année exacte est 1947. The correct year is 1947.