501.BB/1–1246: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Acting Secretary of State (Acheson)

430. Delun 56. GA today elected Brazil, Australia, Poland, Mexico, Egypt and Netherlands as nonpermanent members of SC, the first three for 2 year terms.

On first ballot taken at morning’s meeting 5 nonpermanent members of SC were elected as follows: Brazil (47 votes); Mexico (45 votes); Egypt (45 votes); Poland (39 votes) and The Netherlands (37 votes), 34 votes being required for the necessary two-thirds majority stipulated by the Charter.51

Previously Gromyko had proposed that election of nonpermanent members of SC be postponed to first of next week in order to permit further consideration and consultation. This motion, which was opposed on floor by US52 and UK and supported by New Zealand and Czechoslovakia, was defeated by vote of 34 to 9 with 8 abstentions. Only formal nominations were made by Manuilsky who proposed Brazil, New Zealand and Poland for 2 year terms, Egypt and Norway for 1 year terms and Mexico for either 1 or 2 year term. Both Fraser and Lie, however, stated that their governments were not candidates for SC seats.

Those states receiving votes in addition to 5 elected were Canada (33 votes); Australia (28 votes); Iran (6 votes); Czechoslovakia (6 votes); Norway (5 votes); Denmark (2 votes) and Belgium, Ethiopa, [Page 158] Greece, Luxemburg, New Zealand, Turkey and Yugoslavia 1 vote each. This restricted choice in future balloting under Rule 74 to Canada and Australia and meeting concluded after second ballot which resulted in 27 votes for Australia and 23 votes for Canada.

At afternoon meeting, third ballot failed to result in two-thirds majority for either Canada or Australia but Canadian delegate suggested that election of Australia be made unanimous (Australia had received 28 votes to Canada’s 23). Spaak, however, advocated strict adherence to rules of procedure and on fourth ballot Australia received 46 votes and Canada 3, 2 ballots being invalid.

Vote on 2 year term followed, GA supporting by vote of 35 to 5 (US voting negative, Spaak ruling that simple majority vote only required) where first ballot resulted in election of Brazil and Australia, vote on second ballot where choice lay between Poland and Netherlands was tied and Spaak then drew lots under Rule 74 resulting in selection of Poland for third 2 year term.

Following vote on SC membership Koo took floor to express hope that geographic distribution among first nonpermanent members of SC would not be regarded as precedent for future elections since Chinese Delegation felt that at some time in future there should be an Asiatic state as nonpermanent member.

Election of members of ECOSOC followed. First ballot resulted in election of 17 members, Belgium (41 votes); Canada (46 votes); Chile (49 votes); China (49 votes); Colombia (43 votes); Cuba (40 votes); Czechoslovakia (41 votes); France (43 votes); Greece (37 votes); India (42 votes); Lebanon (44 votes); Norway (49 votes); Peru (47 votes); Ukraine (41 votes); USSR (47 votes); UK (48 votes) and the US (47 votes). Voting on second and third ballots between New Zealand and Yugoslavia which had received 31 and 27 votes respectively remained indecisive. Meeting therefore adjourned until Monday.53 First meeting of SC is now tentatively scheduled for Monday afternoon.54

  1. See GA (I/1), Plenary, pp. 72 ff.
  2. For Secretary Byrnes’ statement to the General Assembly regarding the United States position, see ibid., pp. 73 ff.
  3. For the proceedings in the General Assembly on January 14 in which New Zealand withdrew its candidacy and Yugoslavia was elected as the eighteenth member of the Economic and Social Council, see GA(I/1), Plenary, pp. 93 ff. For a statement of appreciation addressed to the New Zealand Delegation by Senator Tom Connally, United States Representative, see ibid., p. 94. The first meeting of the Economic and Social Council was held on January 23 with former Ambassador John G. Winant being seated as the United States Representative on the Economic and Social Council. Regarding Mr. Winant’s interim and permanent appointments effective respectively on January 12 and March 28, 1946 see Department of State Bulletin, January 20, 1946, p. 74 and April 7, 1946, p. 573.
  4. The first meeting of the Security Council was held at Church House, Westminster, London on January 17, 1946, at which time the Representative of Australia, Mr. N. J. O. Makin, assumed the presidency of the Council. For the initial United States statement in the Security Council made at this inaugural meeting by the United States Representative at the United Nations (Stettinius), see United Nations, Official Records of the Security Council, First Year, First Series, No. 1, p. 7.