501/12–3146

Memorandum by the Deputy Director of the Office of Special Political Affairs ( Ross ) to the Under Secretary of State ( Acheson )

Referring to your conversations with Senator Austin and Mr. Hiss last Friday the following are the principal points concerning the relationships among our various representatives to the United Nations.

1.
So far as practicable these relationships should be based upon the United Nations Participation Act (copy attached).
2.
The Act provides (Sec. 2(a)) for the appointment of “a representative of the United States at the Seat of the United Nations”. This will be Senator Austin. It was intended when the Act was proposed by the Department that this person would be the principal representative to the United Nations and senior to all other representatives. This is definitely Senator Austin’s interpretation of the Act and his understanding of what the President and Mr. Byrnes told him when he was asked to take the job last summer. This interpretation is borne out by the fact that the “Representative at the Seat” is given a higher rank and salary by the Act (Ambassador—$20,000) than the deputy representative in the Security Council (Minister—$12,000) and the representatives in the Economic and Trusteeship Councils who have no stated rank but a salary of $12,000.
3.
Under Sec. 2 of the Act, all of these representatives are appointed by the President, subject to confirmation by the Senate.
4.
Sec. 3 of the Act provides that these representatives “shall, at all times, act in accordance with the instructions of the President transmitted [Page 50] by the Secretary of State unless other means of transmission is directed by the President”.
5.
The Participation Act requires amendment in the light of experience during the past year and any ambiguities in the Act affecting relationships among our representatives to the United Nations can probably be clarified in this connection. However, for present purposes it should be enough to establish a few simple, basic principles, leaving details to be worked out in the light of future experience. The basic principles are as follows.
(a)
The Department will, of course, continue to be responsible for the over-all formulation and direction of policy.
(b)
Our representatives to the United Nations will participate in the formulation of policy in their respective fields. Their principal job, however, and most immediate responsibilities, as distinguished from the Department’s job, will be in the execution or carrying out of policy.
(c)
Given the close relationship between the work of the various Councils and other United Nations organs, coordination and unified direction at the headquarters in New York is essential as regards both the formulation and the carrying out of our policies.
(d)
It is expected therefore that our representatives on the various Councils and other United Nations organs will look to Senator Austin as our “Representative at the Seat of the United Nations” for general guidance in regard to execution of their instructions.
(e)
Similarly, in the interest of proper administrative organization Senator Austin should be considered as the administrative head of the mission in New York which has a consolidated budget and joint administrative services.
(f)
Finally, it is expected that Senator Austin will be the principal contact for the United States with Trygve Lie, Secretary General of the United Nations, on all matters of mutual concern to the United States and the United Nations as a whole. Our other representatives will be the principal contacts with the Assistant Secretaries General in charge of the Secretariat Departments. It will, of course, also be entirely appropriate for them to have relations with Mr. Lie on matters relating to their particular duties.