740.0011 EW (Peace)/3–1049: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Embassy in the United Kingdom 1


796. Dept has decided advisable proceed invocation treaty machinery violation human rights provisions peace treaties by Hung, Bui and Rum. US prepared, if necessary, to act unilaterally this matter, although Canada has expressed desire to see something done and we believe almost certain Canad will join, either with parallel complaint, or jointly. Austral expressed informally interest and matter will be discussed further with Austral prior to action.2 Pls urgently advise FonOff above and also explain very strong feeling developing among Latin American Dels New York for UN action this subject. Reasons our position have been fully set forth previous tels. Inform FonOff as fols re points Wallinger’s ltr (ur A–377, Feb 253):

As to pt 1,4 as we see it, treaty machinery affords some chance definite conclusion that treaties violated, and we think this possibility warrants risk of rebuffs which may be encountered along way. We [Page 236] think mere fact that treaty machinery wld consume fairly extended period time indicates seriousness with which we view this matter.

As to pt 2,5 we feel extensive use this device in past has lessened its present effectiveness, if in fact it has been effective at all.

As to pt 3,6 we think UN course in first instance wld be more likely to get out of control than treaty machinery course. For instance, treaty machinery does not contain authorization for either economic or dip sanctions. Result under treaty procedure, if obtained, would be clear finding of treaty violation, with flexible position maintained as to what if anything should be done thereafter. In all fairness, however, must be pointed out that even in event treaty machinery invoked can give no guaranty that Latin Americans may not nevertheless initiate UN action. However, invocation treaty machinery shld lessen this possibility and also lessen possibility if started of its getting into irresponsible actions.

We feel initial complaint should be made to Hung Bui and Rum Govts as soon after Mar 15 as possible. It is very important that it be made prior to opening of GA. For that reason we hope to initiate action by Mar 20. Therefore, we urgently need to have final decision Brit Govt whether it will or will not take parallel or joint action with us.

  1. For the arguments presented in favor of the approval and transmission of this telegram, see the memorandum of March 8 from Thompson to the Secretary of State, supra.
  2. Officers of the Australian Embassy were called to the Department of State on March 11 and given an explanation of the American decision to invoke the peace treaty machinery (memorandum of conversation by G. Hayden Raynor, March 11: 740.0011 EW (Peace)/3–1049).
  3. Not printed, but see footnote 2 to telegram 652, February 23, from London, p. 230.
  4. Point 1 of Wallinger’s letter argued that the proposed action might lead to further rebuffs at the hands of the Balkan states and thereby further damage Western prestige and influence.
  5. Point 2 of Wallinger’s letter argued that the indictment and condemnation of the violation of human rights in the Balkans could be achieved equally well by pronouncements directed to the world at large.
  6. Point 3 of Wallinger’s letter argued that the attempt to implement the peace treaty machinery might inevitably lead to the necessity of considering economic sanctions and even the rupture of diplomatic relations, decisions on which the Foreign Office preferred not to have to face.