500.A/12—2846: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Acting United States Representative at the United Nations (Johnson)

u.s. urgent

327. Urtel 998, Dec. 28. 1. You should at appropriate point during consideration of placing on agenda of Dec. 31 meeting Soviet proposal re armaments make statement along following lines:

US does not oppose placing this proposal on agenda.
This Govt feels, however, that the agenda item should preferably be, not consideration of Soviet proposal, but consideration of GA resolution of Dec. 14 on “principles governing the general regulation and reduction of armaments”. This seems more desirable approach as it places discussion in proper perspective. In this connection other delegations will doubtless also have views as to best way in which SC should deal with its responsibilities under GA Resolution. It would be most in conformity with SC’s responsibilities to consider all such proposals on equal basis rather than give priority to any one.
US also has proposal on this subject which it desires to have considered by SC, copies of which are being distributed for consideration of SC members.
However SC may resolve this procedural question which we do not wish to press, consideration of topic should be postponed until first meeting in 1947, and it should be clearly understood that our proposal and any other proposals relating to implementation of GA resolution which may be introduced will be considered concurrently and on equal basis with Soviet proposal. Postponement would have added advantage that SC would begin what will surely be very important and quite extended discussions of whole problem of regulation of armaments with membership which will be continuing consideration of problem in 1947.

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2. Following is text of US draft resolution which should be distributed in accordance with paragraph 1 (c) above:

“The Security Council resolves that: (1) Pursuant to the General Assembly Resolution of December 14 concerning the ‘Principles governing the general regulation and reduction of armaments’, it gives first priority to the establishment of international control over atomic energy and, accordingly, it will consider and act upon the forthcoming report of the Atomic Energy Commission as soon as received;75 (2) It will thereafter consider what further practical measures it should take and in what order of priority for the implementation of the said General Assembly Resolution.”

3. It is not believed you will need to speak in support of US Resolution at meeting on Dec. 31. Further instructions with respect thereto will be communicated subsequently. In the meantime you will wish to bear in mind that my speech of Dec. 1376 has already clearly established order of priorities which US believes should govern consideration of GA Resolution of Dec. 14. Moreover, with respect to Gromyko’s proposal, it is our view that no additional commission should be established in general field of arms regulation at present time.

4. Please communicate above to Baruch immediately.

  1. The Atomic Energy Commission had debated the subject of its report at its 8th Meeting, December 17, and 9th Meeting, December 20. At the latter session, it voted to establish a Working Committee (the Commission itself in executive session) to prepare the Commission’s report on the basis of the United States proposal on findings and recommendations (see footnote 55, p. 1083), the General Assembly Resolution on the Regulation of Armaments of December 14, and the report of AEC Committee 2 on safeguards and control, adopted by that Committee on December 18. The Soviet Union and Poland opposed this procedure. The Working Committee agreed at its 5th Meeting to submit a report to the AEC which presented all texts of disputed passages. At the 10th plenary meeting of the Commission, December 30, the majority position on the report of the Working Committee was accepted as the Commission’s report to the Security Council by a vote of ten members with the Soviet Union and Poland abstaining. The First Report of the Atomic Energy Commission to the Security Council, December 31, 1946, is printed as AEC (I), Special Supplement.
  2. The speech under reference was that delivered by Mr. Byrnes at the 62nd Meeting of the General Assembly.