Memorandum of Telephone Conversations, by the Director of the Office of Special Political Affairs (Hiss)

Mr. Raynor called late yesterday afternoon to say that the Membership Committee had yesterday completed its first preliminary survey of applicant states. This now brought up the question of whether we should, as we had been planning, proceed to explain to the Russians our position that we would not be able to vote favorably for Albania and Outer Mongolia unless we were satisfied that states such as [Page 426] Portugal, Ireland, Iceland and Sweden, which we consider more representative of states eligible for application than are Albania and Outer Mongolia, can also be assured of admittance. Mr. Raynor said that Mr. Herschel Johnson had made an appointment with Sir Alexander Cadogan at the latter’s request for 10:30 this morning. Mr. Johnson was most anxious that he have the views of Mr. Hickerson, Mr. Henderson and myself by that time.

After talking to Mr. Hickerson20 and Mr. Henderson21 this morning I called Mr. Raynor back and said that we still felt the conversations with the Russians would be desirable; Mr. Henderson, in fact, thought they had already taken place. Consequently we felt that Mr. Johnson and Mr. Raynor should try to persuade Sir Alexander of the wisdom of this course and unless Cadogan disagreed we should go ahead. I said that Mr. Hickerson seemed to feel that if Cadogan did disagree we might reconsider the matter in the light of Cadogan’s views.

Mr. Raynor thanked me for this information and said that he would let me know in any event the outcome of the talk with Cadogan.

We then discussed briefly the situation as it may develop, whether we do or do not have private discussions on the matter with the Russians. The Russians have said that they will vote for Afghanistan, that they have an open mind as to Iceland and to Sweden, and that they cannot support but reserve the right to consider again Trans-Jordan, Portugal, Ireland and Siam. We agreed that if the Russians should veto Trans-Jordan and/or Siam but not oppose the others we would probably cast our vote in favor of all applicants. However, if we knew that the Russians were going to veto any one or more of the four European neutrals, we would probably take the position that we could not vote in favor of Albania or Outer Mongolia in as much as we considered that an equally representative state or equally representative states would not be able to obtain admission at this time; Mr. Raynor pointed out, as he had last night, that in order to be able to act intelligently we really needed to know what the Russians would do about these four European states in as much as we would have to vote on Albania and Outer Mongolia before the Russians would have to vote on the four European states. This is the chief reason why Mr. Raynor and Mr. Johnson feel that it is desirable that we promptly explain our position informally to the Russians.

Later Mr. Raynor called to say that he and Mr. Johnson had completed their talk with Sir Alexander.22 He said that Sir Alexander [Page 427] does not believe our proposal has much chance of success and expressed his opposition to it, saying that he did not believe in bargaining over principles. However, he also said that he thought the Russians should come to him if they wanted to bargain.

Mr. Raynor commented that he understood in conversation with Mr. Lawford that Sir Alexander’s instructions would permit him to go along with us. However, Sir Alexander took the position in his talk with Mr. Johnson and Mr. Raynor that his instructions did not permit him to do so. Sir Alexander said that he had no objection to the United States going ahead with its talks with the Russians provided it was made clear that the British had not agreed to our proposal.

Mr. Raynor said he understood from the foregoing that Sir Alexander wished to vote against both Albania and Outer Mongolia and therefore would not be willing to agree at this stage to support the applications of these countries provided the Russians agreed to support the four European neutrals. However, Sir Alexander said that if the United States should succeed in reaching agreement with the Russians he would report the situation to his government, probably without recommendations.

Mr. Raynor believes that if we succeed in reaching an agreement with the Russians that the British will in fact come along and will not take action that would jeopardize the agreement. He said that Mr. Johnson had concluded his conversation by saying that he planned to go ahead and talk to the Russians anyway.

I spoke to Mr. Hickerson and told him of the foregoing and he agreed that Mr. Johnson should go forward with his proposed talks with the Russians. I notified Mr. Raynor to this effect.23

  1. John D. Hickerson, Deputy Director of the Office of European Affairs.
  2. Loy W. Henderson, Director of the Office of Near Eastern and African Affairs.
  3. See telegram 491, August 14, 3 p.m., from New York, supra.
  4. Detailed summaries of the completion of the Committee’s consideration of the membership applications, and the debate attending the drafting and approval of the report to the Security Council by the Committee, are found in telegrams 495, August 14, 503, August 14 and 506, August 20, none printed (501.BC/8–1446, 501.AA/8–1446, and 501.AA/8–2046.)