IO Files: US(P)/A/349

United States Delegation Position Paper

Report of the Sixth Committee on the Item Proposed by Chile: Violation by the U.S.S.R. of Fundamental Human Rights, Traditional Diplomatic Practices and Other Principles of the Charter1

1. United States Position

The United States should vote in favor of the resolution declaring that measures which prevent or coerce the wives of citizens of other nationalities from leaving the country of origin of their husbands in order to join them abroad, are not in conformity with the Charter; and when these measures refer to the wives of members of foreign diplomatic missions, their family or retinue, they are also contrary to courtesy, to diplomatic practices and to the principles of reciprocity and are likely to impair friendly relations among nations; and further recommending that the Government of the Soviet Union withdraw the measures of such a nature which have been adopted.

It will be necessary for the United States to make a brief general statement on this subject.

2. History in Committee2

The original resolution on this subject was proposed by Chile (Documents A/C.6/296, and A/C.6/296/Corr. 1). Amendments thereto were proposed by the United Kingdom (Document A/C.6/311), Uruguay (Document A/C.6/315), and France (Document A/C.6/317). Chile subsequently withdrew its proposed resolution in favor of a joint French-Uruguayan draft (Document A/C.6/319) which was adopted by a roll call vote of twenty-six to six with six abstentions. The six negative votes were cast by the U.S.S.R., Byelo-Russia, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Ukraine and Yugoslavia. The six abstentions were Burma, China, Denmark, India, Siam and Union of South Africa.

3. Possible Developments in the Plenary Meeting

This resolution should be approved without difficulty, particularly since ten Latin-American delegates who would unquestionably support [Page 306] Chile were not present when the vote was taken in Committee. The Soviet group may, however, raise again the question of the competence of the, General Assembly or of the United Nations to deal with this matter, in view of the “domestic jurisdiction” provision of Article 2(7) of the United Nations Chatter.3

  1. This item was not taken up by the General Assembly until the second part of the third session, when the General Assembly reconvened in New York during April and May 1949. For text of this report of the Sixth Committee, see GA (III/1), Plenary, Annexes, pp. 17 ff.
  2. The Sixth Committee had taken up the Chilean item on December 2, 3, 6, and 7; for the proceedings on this matter, see GA (III/1), Sixth Committee, pp. 718 ff.
  3. For discussion in the plenary, April 25, 1949, see United Nations, Official Records of the General Assembly, Third Session, Part II, Plenary Meetings, pp. 141 ff. For remarks by the U.S. Representative (Mrs. Roosevelt), see, ibid., pp. 146–149. For text of the resolution adopted by the General Assembly on April 25, 1949 (Resolution 285 (III)), see United Nations, Official Records of the General Assembly, Third Session, Part II, Resolutions, p. 34.