501.AA/3–1848: Telegram

The Ambassador in Canada (Atherton) to the Secretary of State


21. My 20 March 15.1 I am officially advised today that Canadian Government agrees to admission of Italy to UN and believes question should be raised in Security Council with least possible delay. The Canadian representative will be instructed to support admission.

So far as other outstanding applications are concerned although in a few weeks’ time Canadian Government may be willing to give Finland’s application favorable consideration dependent on how current negotiations between Soviets and Finland develop, it would not be prepared at this time to support applications for membership by other countries than Italy or Transjordan.

Under Secretary for State [for External Affairs]2 makes following personal suggestion about a possible follow-up to a Soviet veto of Italy’s application for membership: “That one of members of the Security Council which has supported Italy’s admission might state in the Council after a Soviet veto that it intends at the next session of General Assembly to propose that Italy be given by Assembly all the rights and privileges of membership in Assembly with exception of right to vote.”

Under Secretary believes this proposal constitutional since under its own charter it is master of its own procedure and has already extended to Jewish Agency an unofficial body right to participate in discussions and this it did with the support of the Soviet Union. Now in view of Under Secretary if the Assembly can permit an unofficial body to participate in its discussions it would seem to be reasonable to conclude that it could permit a non-member state to participate. This non-member state might be called an associate member since it [Page 181] could not of course be called a member of Assembly. He furthermore points out a decision to admit Italy as an associate member of Assembly would require by two-thirds vote but he believes this might be possible to secure. Such an admission of Italy as an associate member would, Under Secretary agrees, establish a precedent for those nations whose applications had been vetoed by the Security Council but he does see danger in this and points out it would, for example enable Assembly to admit Ireland as an associate member.

  1. Not printed.
  2. Mr. Lester B. Pearson.