IO Files: US/3/264, also US/A/AC. 18/85

Memorandum of Conversation, by Mr. Charles P. Noyes of the United States Mission at the United Nations

Participants: Mr. M. E. Bathurst, United Kingdom Delegation
Mr. C. P. Noyes, United States Mission

Bathurst had approached me previously to discuss the veto question. I had a short talk with him in the lounge yesterday. He said his Government had put forward proposals to the Interim Committee but that they did not propose to press this hard and apparently did not feel that it is of serious importance. Bathurst said he had forwarded to his Foreign Office a proposal along different lines. He had had preliminary reactions—some favorable and some not, and had been requested to discuss his proposals with us. His proposals in outline are roughly as follows:

That the Interim Committee should examine all the categories of decisions which the Security Council might take;

That it should take from this list all those which might perhaps be considered procedural;

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That it should recommend to the General Assembly that this list be sent to the International Court of Justice with the request that the Court give an advisory opinion as to which of these categories of decisions were in the Court’s opinion procedural and which substantive.

I asked whether he contemplated that the General Assembly should give its own opinion as to which of these categories should be considered procedural or whether there would be an implication that the list sent to the Court should be in the Assembly’s opinion procedural decisions. He said this was not in his mind. He wished to leave the Court free to decide without reference to political considerations. I said I had not yet gotten our position clear from the State Department and that until I did I would not be in a position to talk with him in detail. I hoped, however, we would be in a position to do so in a very short time and that he would then be able to give me in more detail his suggestions. He said he would be glad to at any time.