501.BC/6–1449: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the United States Representative at the United Nations ( Austin )


317. 1. Dept sees no objection Sunde’s1 proposed line in SC meeting on membership question June 16 (urtel 7252) and agrees his proposed statement3 makes response our part desirable. Believe our response shd be brief and general, in order not lead lengthy restatement old issues, detailed discussion individual applicants, or arguments on universality principle and on meaning ICJ membership opinion.4 Favor statement following lines:

We continue maintain position both on individual applications and on use of veto, which we have set forth fully in Council and elsewhere on various occasions. Our privileged vote has not in any instance excluded any applicant from UN membership; we have worked constantly toward agreement to eliminate veto altogether from voting on membership applications and we seek such agreement now; and we have no intention in the future of permitting our vote to prevent the admission to membership of any applicant receiving seven affirmative votes in SC.5 We agree that, if positions of SC members toward applicants or toward veto right have not changed in such way as to make possible different results from those reached in previous SC votes, no purpose served by formal vote on applications at this time.

2. However, shd debate extend to merits of different applicants, you shd in your discretion restate briefly our views on individual [Page 293] applicants, stressing continued violations human rights provisions of peace treaties by Hungary, Rumania, and Bulgaria, and referring to treaty procedures initiated by US and other parties on subject.6 You might stress especially mention Italy and Ceylon, noting re former that even USSR admitted Italy’s qualifications and re latter that Sov attitude toward admission Ceylon seems inconsistent with its professed desire help former colonial territories achieve independence and full status in int’l community.

3. If matter arises in any way, you might make clear that we are willing that SC reconsider these applications again later on, preferably shortly before GA.

4. Above may be brought attention SC Pres and, in your discretion, other reps. Dept concerned, of course, to hold line against applicants we oppose.7

  1. Ambassador Arne Sunde, Permanent Representative of Norway at the United Nations.
  2. Not printed.
  3. The Norwegian Representative held the presidency of the Security Council during June 1949 and had proposed for the Council’s agenda for June 16 Security Council consideration of applications for membership in the United Nations, in pursuance of a General Assembly resolution of December 8, 1948, recommending such consideration. Reference should be made to Ambassador Sunde’s informative opening statement to the Council on June 16, in which he recapitulated Security Council consideration of the three new membership applications made earlier in 1949 and described the status of older applications still pending; see SC, 4th yr., No. 17, pp. 2–6.
  4. On May 28, 1948, the International Court of Justice had rendered an advisory opinion in the negative to two questions put to it by the General Assembly: whether any conditions for membership could be set other than those provided for in Article 4, paragraph 1 of the United Nations Charter and whether the admittance of other states at the same time could be imposed as a condition for the admission of a given applicant.
  5. Applicant-states which had received seven or more affirmative votes in the Security Council at sometime in 1946–1948 but against which a permanent member, the Soviet Union, had cast a negative vote, thus constituting a “veto”, included Austria, Ceylon, Finland, Ireland, Italy,-Portugal, and Transjordan. In a new development at the June 16 meeting the Argentine Representative (Arce), in a lengthy speech, submitted seven resolutions providing for Security Council approval of the applications of each of these seven states in the order named; see SC, 4th yr., No. 17, p. 14.
  6. Documentation regarding U.S. protests at treaty violations by these three states is scheduled for publication in volume v .

    The United States also opposed the admission to the United Nations of Albania and the Mongolian Peoples Republic.

  7. The U.S. statement was made by Ambassador Austin to the Security Council on June 21; see SC, 4th yr., No. 31, pp. 5 ff.