Editorial Note

On February 7, 1949, Dean Rusk, head of the United Nations operational area in the Department of State from February 1947, either as Director of the Office of Special Political Affairs or as Director of the Office of United Nations Affairs, was confirmed by the Senate as Assistant Secretary of State (Department of State Bulletin, February 27, 1949, page 271). Although subsequently designated by Departmental order as Assistant Secretary “for United Nations Affairs”, Mr. Rusk in fact in the weeks that followed progressively disengaged himself from the United Nations operational scene and in effect came to function as a deputy under secretary of state for political affairs. This change in Mr. Rusk’s status took place against the background of a reorganization of the Department which gradually took shape as the year proceeded, and his own position was regularized when his designation as Deputy Under Secretary of State “for substantive affairs” was announced by the Department on June 5 (ibid., June 5, 1949, page 734).

Within the United Nations area itself the situation was hardly less ambiguous. From February 1949 Durward V. Sandifer, Deputy Director of the Office of United Nations Affairs under Mr. Rusk, 1947–1949, functioned as Acting Director, though this position was never formalized. Also no Acting Deputy Director was ever designated, although William Sanders, who held the position of Special Assistant to the Director, was “understood” to be performing ad hoc the duties of deputy director during this period.

With the announcement on July 8 of the appointment of John D. Hickerson as Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs and of Mr. Sandifer as Deputy Assistant Secretary, the situation was seemingly clarified (ibid., July 18, 1949, page 78). When Mr. Hickerson took office on August 8, however, he was designated Assistant Secretary for United Nations Affairs, with responsibility for the Office of United Nations Affairs. As part of a general [Page 2] reorganization of the Department of State that Office was reconstituted effective October 3 as the Bureau of United Nations Affairs under the direction of Mr. Hickerson as Assistant Secretary and Mr. Sandifer as Deputy Assistant Secretary (Department of State Bulletin, October 31, 1949, page 677, and November 7, 1949, page 713). For a list of the organizational units of the new Bureau and the names of the officers in charge, see ibid., November 7, 1949, pages 713–714.