Department of State Disarmament Files

Memorandum of Telephone Conversation, by the Executive Secretary of the Executive Committee on Regulation of Armaments (Elliott)


Mr. Osborn called today to say that he had talked with the French and Canadian representatives on the CCA about a majority resolution along the lines of the draft prepared by USUN (EAC D–31/5).1 [Page 378] Mr. Osborn said he found strong opposition on the part of these Delegations to the adoption of a resolution of this kind. Both Delegations expressed the view that the CCA report should consist merely of the resolutions adopted on Items 1 and 2 of the Plan of Work, the Secretariat’s summary of proceedings, and certain documents to be included in an Appendix.

I told Mr. Osborn that this proposal was not in accordance with the Department’s telegram of June 4 (RAC D–26/10a)2 which suggested a statement by the majority expressing pessimism as to the fruitfulness of future CCA work, in face of Soviet opposition, but stating their intention to proceed with the remaining items on the Plan of Work. I told Mr. Osborn that I would discuss the French and Canadian views with other members of RAC and let him know the result. I ventured the opinion that the least that should be done with respect to the position stated in the June 4 telegram would be to have those members of the majority who agreed to state their views along the lines of that contained in the telegram. Mr. Osborn said that he thought there would be no difficulty in accomplishing this. The statements of the members to this effect would appear as a part of the report.3

  1. The draft resolution read as follows:

    Draft Resolution on Report of Progress by the Commission for Conventional Armaments to the Security Council

    Resolved that the Security Council be informed of the following, resolutions which were adopted by the Commission For Conventional Armaments in the course of its proceedings and deliberations to date:

    1. Resolution Adopted at Fourth Meeting of the Wording Committee; see document S/C.3/SC.3/8, 9 September 1947. [For text, see footnote 3, p. 313]

    2. United Kingdom Resolution; see document S/C.3/SC.3/15, 7 April 1948, [For text, see GA (IV), Suppl. No.2, p. 71.]

    Further Resolved that in accordance with the Security Council’s instructions the Commission will continue its discussions of the remaining items of the Plan of Work However, the Commission feels obliged to inform the Council that the Soviet Union has been unable to agree with the majority on principles considered by the majority to be basic too the regulation of armaments. Until such agreement is obtained, it is unlikely that the Commission will be able to formulate plans for the establishment of a system for the regulation of armaments which will obtain general agreement

    And Further Resolved that the records of the proceedings and deliberations, to date, of the Commission For Conventional Armaments and its Working Committee be transmitted to the Security Council for its information.

  2. Reference is to telegram 361 to New York, June 4, p. 346.
  3. At its 13th Meeting, August 12, the Commission for Conventional Armaments approved the resolutions on Items 1 and 2 of its plan of work, which had been adopted by the Working Committee on July 26 (see footnote 1, p. 373). The CCA decided to transmit these resolutions and a progress report prepared by the Secretariat covering the period July 16, 1947, to August 12, 1948, to the Security Council.

    At its 15th Meeting, August 17, the Commission approved the progress report. This document not printed, based on the report of the Working Committee, consisted of a summary of activities and eight statements by members of the Commission, included as annexes. For the substance of the United States statement, Annex II, see telegram 492 to New York, July 30, p. 373.

    The progress report and the two resolutions approved on August 12 comprised the draft report to the Security Council, S/C.3/32/Rev. 1, August 18, 1948. The CCA decided that this document would become final in the absence of requests for reconsideration prior to September 15. On September 14, the Soviet Delegation informed the Secretariat that it could not accept the draft report since it did not contain certain amendments proposed by the USSR. The Soviet Union also noted that it had voted against the two resolutions which formed part of the report. The CCA was unable to meet to consider possible revision due to the fact that the General Assembly was to convene in Paris on September 21. The CCA report was therefore not transmitted to the Security Council in 1948.