UNA Files: Lot 55D323

Memorandum of Conversation, by Mr. Howard C. Johnson, Jr., of the Division of International Security Affairs


Subject: Provision of Armed Forces.

Participants: British Embassy—Mr. Henderson and Mr. Maclean
EUR—Mr. Raynor
UNS—Mr. Howard Johnson

Mr. Henderson and Mr. Maclean visited the Department at their request on the subject of Conventional Armaments and Article 43 forces, the first of which is being handled by a separate memorandum.

Mr. Henderson read an instruction from London to the effect that the Soviet Union would probably not oppose a report of the Military Staff Committee to the Security Council to the effect that no further progress can be made in the Military Staff Committee until the Security Council resolves the general principles. The Foreign Office would like to have the Security Council meet once or twice during the summer on the subject of general principles in order to see if there were any prospect of reaching agreement. If this failed the Foreign Office suggested adjournment of the work of the UN on this subject, including the Military Staff Committee, until after the General Assembly. He indicated that in the view of the Foreign Office the Soviet [Page 358] Union might try to obtain a Security Council discussion of overall strength and that the British Government, principally out of deference to the minority position of the United States, wished to avoid such discussions.

Mr. Johnson asked Mr. Henderson if he could give any indication of the attitude of the British Government toward the General Assembly handling of this question. He also inquired whether or not the British Government felt that this was the time to take additional steps toward the implementation of Article 43.

Mr. Henderson was told that the United States hopes to be able to discuss this matter with the British Government within ten days or two weeks. Mr. Henderson pointed out the urgency of the situation in view of the likelihood that the Military Staff Committee on July 1 would decide to submit its report to the Council.