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

Subject: U.S. Position in the Security Council at the Meeting Scheduled for Wednesday, January 15, on the Subject of the Atomic Energy Commission Report and Regulation of Armaments

After checking the attached draft resolution with Mr. Acheson I called Mr. Johnson and said that Mr. Acheson thought that the draft which we had prepared might be helpful to Mr. Johnson and to Senator Austin. Mr. Acheson thought of it simply as a crystallization of his understanding with the Senator resulting from his conversations this morning with the Senator as to the action we would like to see the Security Council take tomorrow.

I pointed out that Mr. Acheson did not want Mr. Johnson and the Senator in any way to regard the language of our draft as binding [Page 359] on them. They should feel free to change it in order to meet circumstances.

I added that we had thought that the Senator would probably not wish to propose a resolution at the very outset of the meeting but might want to have a prepared resolution available for introduction if no one else made a similar proposal and if the course of the discussion indicated that a proposal of this kind would help accomplish our objective. Mr. Johnson said that he was rather inclined to feel that because of the fact that we already have a resolution before the Council it might be desirable for us to state at the very outset of meeting that we wished to suggest a modification of our resolution and consequently it might be desirable for us to propose a new resolution promptly. I said that I thought this was a question of tactics which should be left to Mr. Johnson and Senator Austin to determine.

I pointed out that what we were suggesting was not very different except in form, and hence psychologically, from the resolution we have already put in. We still are opposing the immediate establishment of a commission to consider the question of regulation of armaments. Our position had been vigorously opposed by Gromyko1 and unless he could be talked to along the lines of Senator Austin’s discussion this morning with Señor López of Colombia,2 he would probably continue vigorously to oppose our new proposal and we might find ourselves unable to obtain sufficient support in the face of his opposition to accomplish our objective. Mr. Johnson said that he was planning himself to see Gromyko this afternoon about this matter but he was not too sanguine as to the result. He pointed out that López had been anxious to facilitate our objective whereas Gromyko probably would have no such approach to the problem.


The Security Council resolves:

That it will take up on February 4 the Report of the Atomic Energy Commission dated December 31, 1946, and

[Page 360]

That immediately following its consideration of that Report it will give consideration to the further steps to be taken by it in fulfillment of its responsibilities under the General Assembly Resolution of December 14, 1946, concerning “the Principles Governing the General Regulation and Reduction of Armaments”.

  1. Andrey Andreyevich Gromyko, Permanent Soviet Representative at the United Nations.
  2. The record of a telephone conversation between Austin and Acheson on January 14 indicates that following a conversation with Dr. Alphonso López, Colombian Representative to the Security Council, Austin and Herschel Johnson had decided to present to the Security Council the next day a motion along the following lines. Consideration of the Report of the Atomic Energy Commission would be postponed until February 4, and that thereafter those parts of the General Assembly resolution of December 14, 1946, which dealt with general disarmament would be considered. The motion would provide that consideration of general disarmament could begin prior to full and final disposition of the atomic energy question. (Files of the United States Mission at the United Nations; hereafter referred to as USUN Files).