NSC–S/S Files: Lot 63 D 351: NSC 101 Series
Memorandum by the Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs (Rusk) to the Secretary of State
Subject: NSC 101/1.1
There is attached an alternative draft of NSC 101/1 which it is recommended that you propose be considered by the NSC.2
In a paper which sets forth our courses of action with respect to Korea and Communist China, it seems important that our objectives be clearly stated. We therefore propose that a listing of objectives, included in the original JCS paper3 and eliminated at the Senior Staff meeting, be reintroduced into the paper. The new draft includes the substance of the objectives listed in the JCS paper and adds a [Page 1515] statement of our purpose to support the UN and maintain the solidarity of our allies.
The courses of action remain substantially the same as those in NSC 101/1, except for those paragraphs on which there was disagreement in the Senior Staff, references to our obligations to the UN in proposed actions and a rearrangement for purposes of clarity.
The three items in NSC 101/1 on which there was major disagreement relate to:
- A naval blockade of China;
- Our removal of present restrictions on air reconnaissance over China; and,
- Our removal of restrictions on operations against the mainland by the Chinese Nationalists on Formosa.
1. The main points to be made on (1) are:
- A naval blockade of China imposed unilaterally by the U.S. would customarily involve the assumption by the U.S. of belligerent rights against Communist China if not a declaration of war.
- To be effective, it would require blockading the British in Hong Kong, the Portuguese in Macao and the Russians in Dairen and Port Arthur.
- Presumably, we must accept the JCS recommendation as certifying technically the feasibility of imposing a naval blockade, taking into account the length of China’s coastline and the traditionally heavy junk traffic, but the point might be raised as a layman for some supporting details by the JCS on this point.
- In the absence of authority from the UN or at a minimum the consent and participation of our principal allies, a unilateral U.S. naval blockade of China would place a terrific strain on our relationship with our allies, particularly the British, and the effort which we are making to obtain the support of other free nations, e.g. India.
- It is submitted that in view of the limited commercial seagoing traffic to Chinese ports and of economic control measures already taken, the actual effects of a blockade might not be of serious consequence to China.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . .
- For text of NSC 101/1, January 15, see p. 79.↩
- Secretary Acheson gave a copy of the attached draft to James S. Lay, Jr., Executive Secretary of the National Security Council, on January 17; for a report of related discussion at the NSC meeting that day, see p. 93. A copy of the draft, dated January 18, was circulated to the NSC Senior Staff.↩
- The reference is NSC 101, January 12; for text, see p. 70.↩
- For documentation on U.S. policy with regard to Thailand, see vol. vi, Part 2, pp. 1594 ff.↩
- For documentation on U.S. policy with regard to the Philippines, see ibid., pp. 1491 ff.↩
- For text of NSC 84/2, November 9, 1950, see Foreign Relations, 1950, vol. vi, p. 1514.↩