Memorandum for the Files, by the Deputy United States Representative to the Commission for Conventional Armaments (Nash)
Subject: Draft Resolution re CCA for Introduction in General Assembly.
At luncheon at Lake Success on November 2nd I gave Baron de la Tournelle and Sir Terence Shone (accompanied by David Cole) copies of the proposed draft resolution attached,1 telling them it was a wholly tentative thing which had not yet received extensive consideration by our own people.
All agreed that in view of the likelihood the CCA item might be reached on the agenda of the Ad Hoc Political Committee in a matter [Page 206] of ten days or so, it was highly desirable to proceed with a concerting of views on the part of those who were in the majority in the Security Council as to what should be done in the Ad Hoc Political Committee.
All agreed further that it was desirable to establish a position generally acceptable to as many as possible of those who were in the majority in the Security Council and then assume the initiative in the Ad Hoc Political Committee by putting the agreed position forward at the earliest possible date.
With respect to the sponsorship of what ever resolution might finally be decided upon, it was agreed that France would be the most appropriate sponsor and that it probably would be desirable to have one or more co-sponsors. De la Tournelle suggested Norway as a possible co-sponsor and the suggestion met with general agreement. In a conversation with Cole prior to the luncheon, I was told that the United Kingdom Delegation was still under instructions to take no position with respect to the continuation of the work of CCA until it became clear whether the general “atmosphere of opinion” in the General Assembly favored or disfavored continuation and then to follow along with the prevailing view. Cole conceded that it was already obvious that any attempt or suggestion to suspend the work of CCA would meet with an overwhelmingly hostile reception by the GA and said that the UK would therefore support any resolution which the other friendly powers might agree upon and would even be willing to help in the formulation of a resolution. Bearing this out, Shone offered a number of suggested changes in the wording of the attached draft during the luncheon discussion and at my suggestion Cole agreed to work the suggestions into draft form and forward copies to France, Canada and the U.S.
De la Tournelle did not examine the resolution on the spot but took it with him in the understanding that it would be studied by the French Delegation and they would be prepared to discuss it with the U.K., Canada, U.S. (and possibly China and Norway) at a meeting next week.
Following the luncheon, I met with General McNaughton (who had been unable to make the luncheon) and gave him a copy of the resolution. He read it and by way of general comment concurred in the points on which Shone, de la Tournelle and myself had agreed in our luncheon discussion. He said Canada would vigorously oppose any suggestion to suspend the work of CCA but would prefer not to take on any co-sponsorship of a resolution in view of the lead it was taking with respect to atomic energy.
I also gave a copy of the resolution to Ribas2 of Cuba, whom I happened to meet in the Delegates Lounge waiting for the Plenary [Page 207] Session of the GA to convene, and asked him for his comments. He seemed pleased to have been brought into the picture and said he would be happy to let us have his comments.
I tried to reach Lunde of Norway and Wei of China in order to give them copies of the resolution but was unable to do so. Arrangements are being made, however, to see that copies are forwarded to them in the next day or so.
The draft resolution read in operative part as follows:
“[The General Assembly]
Approves the proposals formulated by the Commission for Conventional Armaments for submission by Member Nations of full information on conventional armaments and armed forces and the verification thereof as being fully responsive to the Assembly’s recommendation;
Notes with regret that unanimity among the permanent Members in the Security Council has not been reached on the proposals;
Recommends that the Security Council continue its study of the regulation and reduction of conventional armaments and armed forces through the Commission for Conventional Armaments in accordance with its Plan of Work in order to obtain concrete results as soon as possible;
Calls Upon the Security Council to cooperate so that the above recommendation may be carried out expeditiously and that thereby the possibilities of achieving increased international confidence may be enhanced.”↩
- José Miguel Ribas, Secretary-General of the Cuban Delegation to the General Assembly and of the Permanent Cuban Delegation at the United Nations.↩