501.BB/9–1747: Telegram

The Secretary of State at the United Nations to the Acting Secretary of State

us urgent

Delga 3. For State Special Rusk1 from Sandifer.2 Official text of resolution proposed to GA by Vyshinsky3 on Sept 18 follows:

  • “1. The United Nations condemn the criminal propaganda for a new war, carried on by reactionary circles in a number of countries and, in particular, in the United States of America, Turkey, and Greece, by the dissemination of all types of fabrications through the press, radio, cinema, and public speeches, containing open appeals for aggression against the peace-loving democratic countries.
  • 2. The United Nations regard the toleration of, and—even more so—support for this type of propaganda for a new war, which will inevitably become the third world war, as a violation of the obligation assumed by the Members of the United Nations whose Charter calls upon them ‘to develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, and to take other appropriate measures to strengthen universal peace’ and not to ‘endanger international peace and security, and justice’ (Article 1, paragraph 2; Article 2, paragraph 3).
  • 3. The United Nations deem it essential that the Governments of all countries be called upon to prohibit, on pain of criminal penalties, the carrying on of war propaganda in any form, and to take measures with a view to the prevention and suppression of war propaganda as anti-social activity endangering the vital interests and well-being of the peace-loving nations.
  • 4. The United Nations affirm the necessity for the speediest implementation of the decision taken by the General Assembly on 14 December 1946 on the reduction of armaments, and the decision of the General Assembly of 24 January 1946 concerning the exclusion from national armaments of the atomic weapon and all other main types of armaments designed for mass destruction, and considers that the implementation of these decisions is in the interests of all peace-loving [Page 77] nations and would be a most powerful blow at propaganda and the inciters of a new war.”4

Dept’s comments would be appreciated.5 [Sandifer.]

  1. Dean Rusk, Director of the Office of Special Political Affairs.
  2. Durward V. Sandifer, Principal Executive Officer of the United States Delegation to the Second Regular Session of the General Assembly.
  3. Andrey Y. Vyshinsky, Chairman of the Soviet Delegation to the Second Session of the General Assembly.
  4. For text of the Vyshinsky speech, see United Nations, Official Records of the General Assembly, Second Session, Plenary Meetings (hereafter cited as GA (II), Plenary), vol. i, pp. 81–106.
  5. One of the earliest exchanges of views between the Delegation Staff of Advisers and the Department of State occurred on September 25 (probably by telephone) between Elwood Thompson of the Delegation Staff and Dean Rusk of the Department, and information about this exchange of views was recorded on September 26 in a memorandum by Mr. Thompson to John C. Ross of the Delegation Staff (IO Files, U.S. Delegation Records for the Second Regular Session of the General Assembly, in folder “Committee 1 Measures Against Propaganda and Inciters of a New War”). According to this memorandum, Mr. Thompson had conveyed to Mr. Rusk the preliminary view (of the Delegation experts concerned) that “Probably the US should take up separately in the debate on the Vyshinsky resolution the first three paragraphs on propaganda, and the last paragraph on atomic energy and armaments.” Mr. Rusk had responded that “there had been some tentative thought in the Department that the first three paragraphs of the Vyshinsky resolution probably should be referred by the Assembly for consideration by the Conference on Freedom of Information [this U.N.-sponsored conference was due to convene at Geneva in March 1948].” The Department’s preliminary thinking also envisioned a U.S.-sponsored or supported resolution urging greater speed in dealing with atomic energy and conventional armaments, which would cover Point 4 of the Vyshinsky resolution.