IO Files: US/S/C.3/37

Memorandum of Conversation, by Mr. Charles H. Russell, Adviser, United States Mission at the United Nations


Subject: Conventional Armaments

Participants: Mr. David Cole, United Kingdom Delegation
Mr. Harry M. Shooshan, Jr., UNP
Mr. Charles H. Russell, United States Mission
Cole said at lunch today that he thought that the reluctance of the Foreign Office to renewed activity in the Commission for Conventional Armaments, and the Working Committee, was due more to devoting time to what he called a “futile effort” than to the absence of the Soviet Union over the question of Chinese representation. The Foreign Office had expressed and recently amplified views which were opposed to the resumption of the work of the Commission in the absence of the Soviet Delegation; he thought they were also reluctant to ask the British Chiefs of Staff to pass on questions in the field of disarmament when their minds were occupied with more pressing problems of an opposite nature.
Cole said that speaking for himself only, he could see that there were arguments for the Working Committee proceeding to the formulation of the general principles of a plan of safeguards (and he admitted that this might even be desirable from a U.N. point of view) provided that every effort was made to avoid bringing matters to a vote before the Soviets returned. There was discussion of the point which would be reached before any question of voting would arise. He intimated that his delegation had recommended that the Working Committee proceed with its program avoiding if possible bringing matters to a vote in the absence of the Soviet Delegation.
Cole said that obviously the U.K. Delegation could not oppose anything being done in the Working Committee when other delegations [Page 68] wanted to proceed. I had previously told him what we knew of the views of the French, Norwegian and Egyptian Delegations. Cole said that in so far as he knew only Mr. Menon (Indian Delegation)1 had expressed doubts.
In regard to preparation for the meeting of the Commission on April 27, Cole suggested
that Noyes and Laskey compare notes on the Chinese representation question, and
that it would be preferable to have the resolutions of the Security Council of January 17, 1950 and of the General Assembly of December 5, 1949 referred to the working Committee by action of the chairman rather than through voting on a draft resolution.
Cole said that it was possible that the U.K. Delegation might hear further from the Foreign Office before April 272 and that, in that event, he would let us know. He saw no reason otherwise for a meeting between representatives of the U.K. and U.S. Delegations tomorrow. We said that Mr. Nash would be here tomorrow and that we were at their disposal.
  1. M. Gopala Menon, Alternate Indian Representative to the Commission for Conventional Armaments.
  2. The Commission for Conventional Armaments held its 20th Meeting on April 27, 1950, its first since August 1, 1949. His proposal for the expulsion of the Representative of the Republic of China having been rejected, Soviet Representative Yakov A. Malik withdrew from the meeting. He indicated that the Soviet Union would not regard as valid decisions taken in its absence.

    At the same meeting, the Commission approved the proposal submitted by Frank C. Nash, the United States Representative, transmitting General Assembly Resolution 300(IV) (see Foreign Relations, 1949, vol. i, p. 242) to the CCA Working Committee with instructions that that body resume work on item 3 of the Commission’s plan of work (safeguards). (IO Files: S/C.3/SR.20)