Addison to Commonwealth Government

Cablegram D2016 LONDON, 30 October 1945, 6.25 p.m.


Korea 1. The United States State Department recently told the United Kingdom Embassy at Washington informally of a proposal to institute a trusteeship by the United States, United Kingdom, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and China for Korea until the Koreans become self-governing. The State Department understood that the proposal would be acceptable to the Soviet and Chinese Governments. It might be discussed in due course in the Far Eastern Commission. The body appointed to exercise trusteeship functions should take over as soon as possible, thus terminating the present division of Korea along the 38th parallel between United States and Soviet occupying forces (my telegram D.1472 of 17th August [1]) and replacing the military government by a civilian one more likely to foster growing democratic institutions.

2. Our preliminary reaction is one of general agreement with the principle that Korea should be subject to a four-power trusteeship.

3. We should be grateful for an early expression of the views of other British Commonwealth Governments. His Majesty’s United Kingdom Ambassador at Washington is being instructed that if the subject of trusteeship for Korea is raised at the present meeting of the Far Eastern Commission he should express sympathy with the United States idea of a collective trusteeship but should not commit His Majesty’s Government in the United Kingdom for the present.


1 On file AA : A1066, P45/10/33.


[AA : A1838 T184(SV), 3123/4/13]