SPA Files

Memorandum by Mr. George H. Haselton of the Division of International Security Affairs to the Associate Chief of the Division (Blaisdell)

Subject: Comment on memoranda from the Chinese and United Kingdom Delegations.16

The Chinese Memorandum

1. The basic principles governing the organization of the United Nations forces proposed by the Chinese Delegation follow closely the line of reasoning laid down in the United States proposal, and although it does not enter into quite so much detail, no new points are raised therein which are not already covered in the United States paper. In short, it seems adequate and conservative with little in it which might arouse controversy.

[Page 776]

The British Memorandum

2. Several principles are proposed in the United Kingdom memorandum which do not appear in that of the United States Delegation.

The statement is made in paragraph 2 “that it [the United Nations Force] will only be employed against any Nation or combination of Nations other than the five permanent Members.” This thought is contained in SWNCC 219/8 but it does not appear in the United States statement of principles.

In paragraph 4 the memorandum states “the force will have behind it the whole weight of the available resources of the United Nations. Its size should be governed by this principle.” Although this principle may have been assumed, or implied, in the United States paper, it nevertheless is not mentioned therein and it does raise some interesting conjectures. The implication is that although a nation may contribute only a small fraction of its military establishment to the United Nations Force, there will be behind this fraction the entire logistical organization and resources of that state. This principle, if accepted, would indeed affect the size of the total United Nations Force.

Although the United States paper states that the five permanent powers will initially provide the United Nations Force the British memorandum, in paragraph 5, makes a stronger case for this transitional condition. The first sentence of this paragraph reads “until such time as experience has been gained in the control and operation of an integrated international force, the greater the number of national contingents, the greater will be the practical difficulties, in its organization and operation”. The result of this principle, if accepted, might be that the five powers would be the sole custodians and providers of the United Nations Force for a very considerable time, to the dissatisfaction perhaps, of some of the smaller nations. Here again, I think, the implications should be carefully considered.

In paragraph 7 the memorandum states that “there should be no delegation of sovereignty over bases, which would continue to be manned and operated by the nation to whom they belong unless such nation wished otherwise”. This may be an obvious rule but the United States statement of principles makes no mention of the subject and it may be that it should be incorporated into our paper.

In its treatment of command, paragraph 10 of the British memorandum says that “the Security Council will appoint a Commander or Commanders, on the recommendations of the Military Staff Committee”. The important point here is, I believe, that the nomination of a Commander will originate, according to the British version, with the Military Staff Committee, a subject again which the United States paper has not approached so specifically.

  1. The Subcommittee on Basic Principles of the Military Staff Committee first met on March 28 and adopted at that time a United States resolution which required each delegation to furnish the other delegations with a statement of principles which should govern the organization of United Nations forces not later than April 3. The principles submitted by the United States Representatives on April 1 are printed in document USMS/12/Rev. 1, p. 759. The United Kingdom, Chinese, and French statements, not printed, were submitted on April 2, and 8, respectively. In answer to a letter from the Principal Secretary of the Military Staff Committee of April 22 requesting the time when the Soviet statement could be expected, the Soviet Delegation indicated that study and examination of the question was continuing. (IO Files)