Memorandum by the Assistant Secretary of State for United Nations Affairs (Rusk) to the Secretary of State

Reference your question on the General Assembly Delegation for April.

The April session is a continuation of the Assembly which met in Paris.1 It was decided between the Department and the Delegation that the same delegation would remain available for service in April but that only those who were actually needed for specific agenda items would be called back.

Mr. Dulles, Mrs. Roosevelt and Ben Cohen (all public members) submitted their resignations early in January in order that the President could make changes if he saw fit. The White House and the Department agreed that we should not accept those resignations and [Page 5] the individuals concerned are aware that they are on a standby basis. The full list of the present official delegation is as follows:

Delegates Alternate Delegates
Mr. John Foster Dulles Mr. Ray Atherton
Senator Warren R. Austin Mr. Willard Thorp
Mrs. Eleanor A. Roosevelt2 Mr. Ernest A. Gross
Dr. Philip C. Jessup Mr. Francis B. Sayre
Mr. Benjamin V. Cohen Mr. Dean Rusk

The April session will deal with three conventions on freedom of information. These conventions were negotiated at a special conference held in Geneva during the past year. Since no present member of the Delegation is expert on this subject and since Mr. Erwin D. Canham of the Christian Science Monitor was at the Geneva conference and is highly regarded by the press, he is being asked to become an Alternate Delegate to deal with that subject. Since Mr. Gross’ duties will keep him in Washington, Mr. Gross is resigning as Alternate in order to make way for Mr. Canham.

Since the assignment of subject matter to individual members of the Delegation will depend to some extent upon policy decisions now in process, it is not contemplated recommending a final assignment of subjects until about March 1.

Another decision to be made at the same time is whether Mr. John Foster Dulles should continue as acting head of the Delegation or whether Senator Austin should resume that role now that the latter has returned from sick leave.

Dean Rusk
  1. For documentation on the first part of the third regular session of the General Assembly, which met at Paris, September 21–December 12, 1948, see Foreign Relations, 1948, vol. i, pp. 289 ff.
  2. Mrs. Anna Eleanor Roosevelt