IO Files: US/A/M(Chr)/68

Minutes of the Twenty-Fourth Meeting of the United States Delegation, New York, October 21, 1947, 9:15 a.m.


[Here follows list of persons (31) present.]

Measures To Be Taken Against Propaganda and the Inciters of a New War

Ambassador Austin read the document “Soviet Kesolution on Measures to be Taken Against Propaganda and the Inciters of a New War”, (US/A/C.1/395, October 20) as a draft of a statement which he might make in Committee I.1

Mr. Dulles commented that he thought the statement on the whole was a very good one.

Ambassador Austin stated that several Members had a different view on how the Soviet resolution might be handled. The Canadians had an amendment offering recommendations for the conditions that were asserted to exist. He read the draft resolution which might be proposed as a substitute by the Canadian Delegation (US/A/C.1/394) which read as follows:

The United Nations condemn all propaganda containing incitement to war or civil strife and urge member governments to take every possible step to promote, by all means of publicity and propaganda available to them, friendly relations among nations on the basis of the Purpose and Principles of the Charter.

Ambassador Austin said he had told Mr. Pearson that the Soviet resolution attacked a fundamental principle on which the United States could not compromise. Also he had said that the Soviet resolution must be seen as a whole. It was an attack on the United States, therefore the United States could not yield anywhere along the line. Accordingly, Mr. Pearson had said he would put in a substitute resolution instead of an amendment.

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There also was a possible Australian amendment, the official text of which had been made available to the Delegation (US/A/C.1/397), which he read.2

Ambassador Austin said that when the above resolution had been shown to him by the Australian Delegation, he had said to them that, as warm friends of the United States, they should help us knock out this type of resolution. He had continued that he would be very sad if it were introduced and that he thought they should take a stand beside their friends. He thought that the French were favorable toward the Australian resolution.

Mr. Achilles said that the French had not made a decision on this matter yet. He added that they doubted that the United States was following the right line if it confined itself to opposing the Soviet resolution without considering alternatives. Mr. Raynor added that the United Kingdom felt the same way. Mr. Dulles said the Latin American countries also felt the same way.

Mr. Osborn said the Canadian resolution would condemn Winston Churphill and the Yugoslav Peasant Party at the present juncture. He doubted that the United States wanted to do that. Ambassador Austin said he did not like the Canadian resolution.

Mr. Bohlen said that the Canadian resolution had no merit or substance save that it would blacken the United States. He pointed out that a voice of warning raised against a danger would be taken as warmongering. He pointed out that this was virtually the same as Hitler’s tactics and had become a classic way of stifling those who spoke out against dangers that were evident. He stated he would rather compromise on other issues, if compromise with the Soviets had to be made. He thought that the Soviet warmongering resolution should be defeated on its merits as bad principle and bad policy. He thought there had not been enough explanation of the United States position made to other delegations. He noted that Hector McNeil (United Kingdom) had not shown signs of moving far on the previous day in conversations which he had had with him. Mr. McNeil did not seem to be troubled by the implications of the resolution.

[Here follows further discussion of the subject.]

Mr. Sandifer expressed the opinion that an artificial attitude was developing with respect to a need for a Soviet victory. Such a victory should be won only on sound principles. He pointed out that the Soviets had actually won two victories, as for instance the previous day in the Assembly, and in the recent votes in Committee IV. He thought it was artificial to think that the situation could be solved by any resolution on this subject. He said there was nothing that the other Members of [Page 89] the United Nations would take which would conciliate the Soviets. It seemed that some of the delegations felt that they could not explain at home their opposition to a resolution which oposed propaganda for war, however. He said he sympathized with the defeat of the Soviet resolution and thought that the Canadians should be told they were off on the wrong track in trying to make a concession in this matter. Ambassador Austin inquired what the Delegation vote would be if the Canadian resolution were offered, or if the Australian resolution were offered. He concluded that the Delegation was in agreement that the primary effort should be to achieve an outright rejection of the Soviet resolution. The question of whether or not to support a substitute resolution would be considered further in the light of subsequent developments.

[Here follows discussion of another subject.]

  1. Not printed. The Committee was scheduled to begin consideration of this item on October 22. For summary of the Austin statement as made to the committee on October 23, see GA (II), First Committee, pp. 192–195.
  2. This text is found in GA (II), First Committee, P. 575, annex 13b.