IO Flies: US/A/1572, US/S/905

Memorandum of Conversation, by Mr. Charles P. Noyes of the United States Mission at the United Nations


Participants: Mr. Pierre Ordonneau, French Delegation
Mr. J. E. S. Fawcett, United Kingdom Delegation
Mr. C. P. Noyes, United States Mission

Mr. Ordonneau has received his instructions. They were to avoid, if humanly possible, any commitment of any kind on the question of the veto. His first suggestion was that we ask the Russians to a meeting. He expressed the view that they would not come to a meeting and that that would be the end of the matter. Both Fawcett and I said this was highly unlikely. We thought they would certainly come to a meeting of the Big Five.

Ordonneau then indicated that if they came to a meeting he was certain they would simply repeat their previous statements. The French Delegation would thereupon state that there was no possibility of an agreement along the lines of the General Assembly recommendation and they would suggest that they simply report this fact to the Security Council. He said they were instructed to say nothing about the French position. Both Fawcett and I indicated serious doubts about such a course of action. We explained to him our thought that each Delegation would be called upon to state its own position. Even if it is by good luck possible to avoid this meeting of the Five, it seems unlikely that it would be possible in the Security Council. We pressed Ordonneau for further details of his position in case he was forced to say something.

As to paragraph 1 of the resolution, Ordonneau said they could agree that the thirty-five items were procedural. Ordonneau had not asked the Foreign Office about the Double Veto aspect of the question. He thought that would be a matter of some difficulty for them. As to the second recommendation, he indicated that they could not agree to give up their veto on items 2, 43, 44, 49 and 50 of the Interim Committee Report. The French could accept both recommendations 3 and 4.

Ordonneau said that his position was somewhat difficult. At Paris, no Foreign Office decision had ever been made to sponsoring the veto [Page 318] resolution. There had been a misunderstanding between him and representatives of the other three delegations. When the resolution was put out, he found that the French name was on it. Under the circumstances the French decided that they would not make any trouble about it. He was, however, a little embarrassed not to have this matter of sponsorship put up to him as indicating a moral commitment of the French Government.