Editorial Note

Discussion of the Spanish question in Committee 1 (Political and Security Questions including Regulation of Armaments) began at the 26th meeting on May 4, 1949 and continued through May 7. In the course of its meetings the committee considered two draft resolutions: the first (A/C.1/452), submitted by Poland, recalled the 1946 resolution, reaffirmed that the Franco regime was Fascist, accused the United States and United Kingdom of strengthening their political and economic ties with Spain, and recommended that all member states should cease to export arms and strategic materials to Spain and refrain from entering any agreements or treaties with Franco Spain; the second (A/C.1/450), submitted by Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, and Peru, noting that the 1946 resolution had failed of its purpose and that confusion existed concerning its status, would give “… member states full freedom of action as regards their relations with Spain.”

During the debate on the draft resolutions the United States was accused by Polish, Soviet, Yugoslav, and Byelorussian representatives [Page 743] of supporting Franco Spain militarily, economically, and politically, accusations which were denied by Ray Atherton, an alternate United States representative. The two drafts were brought to a vote on May 7 with the committee rejecting the Polish draft paragraph by paragraph and adopting the Latin American resolution 25 votes to 16 with 16 abstentions, including the United States, the United Kingdom, and France.

For a full record of the debate in Committee 1, see United Nations, Official Records of the Third Session of The General Assembly, Part II, First Committee, 1949, pages 170 ff. For the text of the Polish resolution, see ibid., Annexes, pages 84–85; for the text of the Latin American resolution adopted by the committee, see ibid., pages 60–61. The United States Mission at the United Nations reported frequently on the activities of the First Committee; its messages and the Department of State’s instructions to it are in file 501.BC Spain/5–549 ff.

The First Committee Report on item 12 (55) Spain was transmitted to the General Assembly on May 9 with the recommendation that the Latin American resolution be adopted by that body. It was debated on May 11 and 16 together with the Polish resolution which was reintroduced on May 11. Both resolutions failed to obtain the required two-thirds majority, the former by 26 votes to 16 and the latter by 6 votes to 40. For the text of the First Committee Report, see United Nations, Official Records of the Third Session of the General Assembly, Part II, Annexes, 1949, pages 58–61. For a full record of the debate in the General Assembly, see United Nations, Official Records of the Third Session of the General Assembly, Part II, Plenary Meetings, 1949, pages 356–366 and 456–504.