IO Files: US/A/M(Chr)/70

Minutes of the Twenty-Sixth Meeting of the United States Delegation, New York, October 1967, 9:15 a.m.


[Here follow discussion of the Greek situation and some discussion of the war-mongering resolution.]

Mr. Sandifer pointed out that all1 were agreed that the Russian resolution should be rejected outright, but that the question now under discussion was what the reaction would be when an alternative resolution was presented. Ambassador Austin recalled that the Delegation had authorized him to fight the Russian resolution, and that after it had been defeated there would be time to consider what should be done. Mr. Bohlen repeated that there was no disagreement in regard to fighting the Vyshinsky resolution and that the question was to anticipate our future action. Ambassador Austin replied that there was a difference of opinion on future procedure. The fact that a tentative United States draft resolution2 was now presented to the Delegation suggested that we might take the leadership in proposing an alternative. He felt strongly that someone else should do it.

[Page 92]

Mr. Fahy remarked that the matter should be referred to the Conference on Freedom of Information, and that any other solution would appear to be a Soviet victory even if it was contained in a separate proposal. Mrs. Roosevelt pointed out that she would be speaking, probably the same day, against the Yugoslav resolution on slanderous information in the Third Committee. This was a resolution with the same underlying purpose, but much less direct in its approach. Any implication that we would compromise on the Vyshinsky resolution would undercut the effect of her speech, which stressed the element of principle and of non-interference with freedom of expression. She asked that there be no compromise until after her speech had been made.

Ambassador Austin proposed that the Delegation fight to victory on the Russian resolution without, compromise and that it not disclose its future position until after defeat of the Russian position, Mr. Bohlen stressed the importance of frank conversation with other delegations to impress on them the reason why we view the situation with so much gravity. Otherwise, he stated, many Europeans would be inclined to compromise with the Russians.

As the meeting ended, Mr. Dulles stated that it was hard to see what kind of resolution we could accept unless it was one which merely referred the matter to the Conference on Freedom of Information. He felt he could find holes in any of the drafts3 presented for the Delegation’s consideration.

The meeting adjourned at 10:05 a.m.

  1. i.e., in the U.S. Delegation.
  2. Not printed; IO Files, Doc. US/A/C.1/426, October 23. The operative part of the draft resolution read:

    The General Assembly Condemns all forms of propaganda, particularly that controlled by governments or their political instruments, carried on by fabrication or distortion or suppression of the truth and designed to foster unrest, fear or hatred, and Calls upon all members of the United Nations

    To intensify their efforts to remove the root causes of war through cooperative action to solve their economic and political difficulties, and
    To encourage the free, truthful and accurate reporting of all developments affecting international relations.”

    This presumably was one result of a memorandum addressed on October 22 by Harley Notter of the Advisory Staff to Ambassador Austin and Messrs. Sandifer and Ross, in which Mr. Notter reported: “As of this morning it appears that the prevailing mood of the members of the General Assembly is even firmer than yesterday in favor of adopting some kind of resolution, especially one which would turn the tables on the Soviets. Our own position that the Soviet resolution must be defeated is therefore not so much in question, on its merits, as it is regarded as inadequate. A review of our position is advisable.” (Memorandum is in IO Files in folder “Committee 1 Measures Against Propaganda and Inciters of a War.”)

  3. Also available for the information of the Delegation were less formal drafts prepared by Mr. Notter and Mr. Achilles of the Advisory Staff and a revision of the text contained in Doc. US/A/C.1/426 by Adlai E. Stevenson, Delegation member. (Drafts are found in source cited in immediately preceding footnote.)