501.BB Palestine/6–1448

Memorandum of Telephone Conversations, by Mr. Robert M. McClintock


In conversation with Dr. Jessup on Friday, June 11, he said that consideration had been given in the Mission to Gromyko’s rather plaintive remark to Dr. Jessup on the 10th, that all the USSR wished with regard to participating in the sending of military observers to Palestine was a very small representation on Count Bernadotte’s staff of observers.1 Senator Austin and Dr. Jessup had been turning over in their minds whether it might not in fact be useful for the United States to agree to the Soviet Union sending a few military observers to Palestine and the Near East.

Today Mr. John Ross, Deputy to Senator Austin, inquired what the Department’s reaction to this suggestion was.

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I told Mr. Ross what I had told Dr. Jessup on Friday. I thought that we could not at all rely upon Mr. Gromyko’s promises that the Soviet Representation would be kept to a minimum. One could not exclude the possibility that, if the United States had three patrol vessels off the Palestine coast, the Russians would ask for three destroyers to be sent there also. Furthermore—and this I regarded as very important—we had taken a firm position from the outset on limiting the military observers to be provided from the governments represented on the Truce Commission. We had got Count Bernadotte to accede to this view and had made it stick with Mr. Bevin. I thought, in consequence, that it would be unfortunate for us now to wobble.

I told Mr. Ross that other officers in the Department shared the foregoing views and that, in consequence, I did not feel that we should accede to Gromyko’s suggestion.2

  1. Mr. Jessup’s memorandum covering this conversation is filed under 501.BB Palestine/6–1048.
  2. Mr. Gromyko, on June 15, submitted a draft resolution to the Security Council providing that the military observers attached to the Mediator’s staff be appointed by Member States of the Security Council, except for Syria; for text, see SC, 3rd yr., No. 84, p. 8. Only the Soviet Union and the Ukraine voted for the resolution. The remaining nine members abstained and the resolution failed of adoption, ibid., p. 11.