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United States Department of State / Foreign relations of the United States, 1955-1957. China
(1955-1957)

United States policy with regard to the People's Republic of China and the Republic of China, January-July 1955,   pp. 1-689 ff. PDF (242.1 MB)


Page 625


                                           The China Area     625
love peace enough to let time have its curative opportunity, that
person was not a very devout lover of peace.
    Mr. Menon remarked that in the beginning of the conversation
the Secretary had questioned his right to speak for the Chinese Com-
munists. He declared that he had never tried to do so. If anyone had
different views regarding the position of Chou En-lai, he would be
interested to learn them. The Secretary said he could not divulge
what others had said in confidence, but that he had received four or
five reports. Some people, for example, thought that the best means
of finding a solution would be through direct talks between Chiang
Kai-shek and Mao.
    Mr. Menon asked whether the Secretary was saying to him in
polite but frank terms, "Thank you for nothing". The Secretary
said
he was not. He said he was merely pointing out that he did not
know who really represented the views of Peking. On the question
of prisoners, he said he hesitated to negotiate behind the back of the
UN. Mr. Menon said he was not "negotiating" regarding the prison-
ers or regarding anything else. The Secretary said Secretary General
Hammarskjold might have a different opinion on this subject. If the
Chinese Reds thought they could get something out of us through
Mr. Menon or someone else, they would never talk to Mr. Hammar-
skjold.
     Mr. Menon remarked that Mr. Hammarskjold had gone to
 Peking and had had his say. The Secretary asked "Is it your position
 that the UN has failed? If so, what do I say to the United States
 Senate?" Mr. Menon said he thought, with all respect, that the Sec-
 retary could say that both the UN and others were active on the
 prisoner question. The Secretary said that four or five channels could
 not be pursued effectively.
     "If our efforts have been harmful", Mr. Menon replied, "we
can
 withdraw". He asked whether the Secretary felt that India's efforts
 had been harmful. The Secretary said that he did not think the intent
 had been harmful--quite the contrary. He was confident that the
 Indian motives had been the best, but the result had been that Ham-
 marskjold's efforts had been nullified. Mr. Menon commented that
 Mr. Hammarskjold represented an organization of which the US was
 a party. He said the messages which President Eisenhower and the
 Secretary had sent to his Ppime Minister had not indicated any feel-
 ing that India was interfering. He declared that it was extremely em-
 barrassing to him that Mr. Hammarskjold took a contrary view. He
 thought that if one side took the position that one particular channel
 had to be used, the talks might not progress favorably.
     The Secretary said that he was willing to look at the question
 from every angle. It might, in fact, be that Hammarskjold's efforts
 had been harmful. If so, they should be called off. Mr. Menon said


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