Memorandum by the Assistant Chief of the Division of United Nations Political Affairs (Popper) to the Acting Director of the Office of United Nations Affairs (Sandifer)


Mr. Wainhouse1 and I have discussed with Mr. Raynor2 and Mr. Kopper3 the question of how to organize working groups in the General Assembly Delegation to deal with the principal agenda items. We have had no difficulty in reaching agreement on the membership of such groups, but have had some trouble over the problem of who is to steer them and what the position of the political advisers is to be.

Our original suggestion had been to make one member of each group a steering member, and our original list contemplated using a UNA or a USUN adviser as steering member in most cases. (See first name under each heading on attached list of proposed working groups.4) We made exceptions, however, in the special cases of Spain (Mr. Raynor) and Freedom of Information (Mr. Free).

This list aroused some objection on the part of Messrs. Raynor and Kopper. They took the line that the steering members of groups dealing with political questions in the Assembly should be representatives of the political offices principally concerned with those problems. They held that NEA had a primary interest in the Italian Colonies and that therefore its representative on the working team should be the “policy adviser”—a term suggested by Mr. Kopper—and that the EUR representative should have a similar place as regards Spain and the Mindszenty case. They could not agree on who had the primary interest on the Indians in South Africa, so that some sort of a compromise would have to be worked out on that case.

The chief point at issue was whether the working groups on political problems should be headed up invariably by representatives of the geographic offices principally concerned. Mr. Raynor and to a lesser extent Mr. Kopper felt that at Paris these people, who should have carried out such functions, were at times thrust aside, could not reach the Delegates, were not consulted at working group meetings, and could not sit directly behind the Delegates in Committee.

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On our side we took the view that it was important to have one member of each group coordinate its work and, under the direction of the committee executive officer, ensure proper staff work for the delegate concerned with the question. We disagreed with Messrs. Kopper and Raynor as to the feasibility of separating out procedural functions and policy functions. We saw no reason why an officer from one of the Department’s geographic offices should necessarily be the steering member of a group.

After a lengthy discussion we agreed on a tentative basis to try out the possibility of designating one member of a working group as coordinating officer, whose job it would be to see that the necessary work was done, while another man would be designated as Principal Policy Adviser, with the Delegation turning to him in the first instance for advice on policy questions. The attached list indicates the specific dispositions we had contemplated making under this plan.

We realize that this is not a very desirable solution in that it confuses lines of responsibility. Mr. Raynor’s idea was that we would define the respective functions of the coordinating officers and the Principal Policy Advisers in a cover sheet attached to our final list of working groups.

Mr. Bancroft recalled to us last night that Mr. Rusk had felt strongly at Paris that Advisers on a Delegation were not present as representatives of their geographic offices but as members of a delegation instructed as a unit by the Department. We would assume that under this conception there would need to be only a single coordinator in each working group and that the decision as to who he should be should not depend on his position in the Department. While the coordinator should be fully familiar with the problem at hand, he should also be sufficiently well versed in General Assembly Delegation procedures to carry out his staff functions efficiently.

We understand that you wish to discuss this matter with Mr. Rusk, and we have informed Messrs. Raynor and Kopper that we will have to go over the matter with them again at a later date.

  1. David W. Wainhouse, Associate Chief of the Division of United Nations Political Affairs.
  2. G. Hayden Raynor, Special Assistant (for United Nations Affairs) to the Director of the Office of European Affairs.
  3. Samuel K. C. Kopper, Special Assistant (for United Nations Affairs) to the Director of the Office of Near Eastern and African Affairs.
  4. Not printed.