234 Officer to Evatt

Cablegram 44 NANKING, 27 January 1949, 10.50 p.m.


Reference my telegram 43. [1]

I think that we are now at the most critical period here, when a very few days will decide whether there is to be peace by negotiations, or whether Communists are to over-run China and overturn, eventually, a rump Government at Canton. The latter situation would present all of us with problems of recognition, or non-recognition, whereas the former would avoid any rupture with the existing relations.

2. Though I thought that the attempt to secure four power good offices was ill-advised, I have felt that the moment would come when a word outside might tip the scales. Now is, in my opinion, the moment when a little encouragement to the Acting President, and slight pressure on the Communists, might secure [still peace] [2] by agreement. There is time still for Acting President to decide to remain here and press negotiations and for Communists to be more forthcoming.

3. In the circumstances would you, as President of the Assembly of the United Nations consider making a statement to the effect that [you have noted] that both sides have expressed their readiness to commence negotiations that you hope they will commence them without delay and so bring about peace inside one of permanent members of the Security Council and that both sides will refrain from any unnecessary or harsh demands and make every effort to reach agreement.

4. The statement, on the other hand, needs to be carefully worded so as to avoid any possible suggestion of interference in China's internal affairs.

5. If you do decide to make it I would be glad of prior advice so that I could inform my United States and United Kingdom colleagues.

1 Dispatched 27 January, it reported that the situation had changed and the chance of negotiation lessened.

2 Words in square brackets inserted from copy on file AA:A4145/1/RM5.