533 Addison to Australian Government

Cablegram 91 LONDON, 2 May 1947, 10.16 p.m.


My telegram No 281 of 19th August 1946 repeated New Zealand as No 193.

In spite of further attempts to reconvene joint United States - Soviet commission, it has proved impossible to do so owing to Russian objections to consultation with any Korean political organisations which oppose trusteeship proposal (see paragraph 1 of my telegram under reference).

2. Mr. Marshall when in Moscow addressed a letter to M. Molotov proposing that commission should meet again and stating that in the meantime United States Government sees no alternative but to take without further delay such independent steps in its own zone as will advance purposes of Moscow agreement. Mr. Bevin received a copy of this letter and copies were given to your representatives in Moscow by the United Kingdom delegation.

3. United States government has not consulted us on subject of steps it proposes to take but we have learned unofficially from State Department that they entail a rehabilitation scheme for Southern Korea involving a grant-in-aid of about 600 million dollars over a period of three years with object of making Southern Korea economically self-sufficient. It is also proposed to appoint a United States political adviser to assist United States military commander in development of Korean administration and supervision of interim legislative assembly. There has so far been no official announcement of this plan and figure quoted is liable to modification.

4. Plan will eventually be presented to Congress in form of a presidential message suggesting adoption of a joint resolution to authorise it. There is apparently no intention of taking this action until the programme of aid for Greece and Turkey has been approved, but subject of grant to Korea has already been raised during Senate hearing of Bill to provide assistance to Greece and Turkey.

5. Chinese Government has meanwhile transmitted a message through Chinese ambassador in Moscow to Mr. Marshall suggesting that if agreement cannot soon be reached by occupying powers consultations in Korea should be commenced between four powers concerned in Moscow agreement.

6. M. Molotov has now replied to Mr. Marshall's letter proposing that [1] commission shall now meet again on May 28th and submit its recommendations to Governments of United States and U.S.S.R.

in July or August. Copies of this letter were also given to your representative in Moscow by United Kingdom delegation.

7. Text of messages mentioned in paragraphs 2 and 6 have now been published.

8. We shall keep you informed of further developments.

1 A sign here indicates 'mutilated'.


The great powers agreed at Yalta in 1945 that Korea, under Japanese rule since 1910, ultimately should become an independent state but, in the meantime, should be subject to multi-power trusteeship. For purposes of disarming Japanese forces, the United States and the Soviet Union divided Korea at the 38th Parallel, with the Soviet Union installing a Communist Korean administration to the north and the United States supporting non-Communist elements in the south. In late 1945, the great powers agreed to establish a provisional all-Korean government and, to achieve this, the United States and the Soviet Union established a Joint Commission. The Commission functioned during 1946 but South Korea's Syngman Rhee, favoured by the United States, refused to accept the notion of trusteeship, and the Soviet Union refused to deal with any groups hostile to trusteeship.

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