IO Files: US/AEC/501

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


Subject: Atomic Energy; Six Sponsoring Powers, 14th Meeting, Jan. 19, 1950.2

Participants: General McNaughton,3 Mr. Arnold Smith,4 Major Pierce-Goulding,5 Canadian Delegation
Dr. Wei,6 Chinese Delegation
M. Chauvel,7 Baron de la Tournelle,8 French Delegation
Sir Alexander Cadogan, Mr. Laskey,9 United Kingdom Delegation
Mr. Ross,10 Mr. Osborn, Mr. Russell, United States Mission

[Page 18]

A short meeting was held at the United States Mission this morning, at the request of Dr. Wei who is to preside at the meeting on January 19.

It was agreed that representatives of the five delegations would attend the meeting. It would remain to be seen whether the Soviet delegation withdrew from the meeting.11 Mr. Osborn said that Mr. Hickerson would come from Washington for the meeting but would not be prepared to make the statements which had previously been discussed (US/AEC/47).12

Mr. Smith said that the question of Chinese representation was not who was the representative of China, but who was the member of the Security Council. General McNaughton agreed, and said that the Six Power Consultations were not a proper place to carry on a discussion of credentials. He regarded everyone present as being there in consequence of membership in the Security Council, and, in the case of Canada, in the UNAEC.

It was also agreed that in the event that the Soviet Delegation remained at the meeting the time could usefully be employed by directing questions to the Soviet Delegation. Mr. Osborn said that the United States representative would be prepared to ask questions based upon Mr. Vyshinsky’s remarks on inspection and quotas.

General McNaughton said that the Canadian government had not completed its study of General Romulo’s proposals and the other proposals made in the Fourth General Assembly and that he was therefore not yet prepared to discuss them. M. Chauvel and Mr. Osborn said that this applied also to them.

There followed a general discussion of the steps to be taken in the event that the Soviet representative withdraw from the meeting. It was agreed that M. Chauvel, who will be chairman of the 15th meeting, would draft and circulate to-day or to-morrow to the five delegations a proposed letter to the Secretary-General, which could also serve as the communiqué, and which would take into account the suggestions [Page 19] of Mr. Boss and others as to its contents. The draft would confirm the view that representation rested upon membership in the Security Council, would point out that the conversations could not usefully continue in the absence of the Soviet representative and would request the Secretary-General to inform the members of the United Nations that in the absence of the Soviet representative, the other Sponsoring Powers would be unable to implement the resolution of the General Assembly of November 23, 1949.

C. H. Russell
  1. Master Files of the Reference and Documents Section of the Bureau of International Organization Affairs, Department of State.
  2. On November 4, 1948, the General Assembly adopted Resolution 191(III), which approved the plan developed by the U.N. Atomic Energy Commission, stating that it constituted “the necessary basis for establishing an effective system of international control of atomic energy.” The resolution also requested the six sponsors of General Assembly Resolution 1(I) of January 24, 1946, establishing the U.N.A.E.C. (United States, United Kingdom, Soviet Union, France, China, and Canada), to consult in order to determine if, in view of their prevailing lack of unanimity (the Soviet Union was unable to accept the United Nations plan), there existed a basis for agreement on international control. For the text of Resolution 191(III), see Foreign Relations, 1948, vol. i, Part 1, p. 495. For documentation on the meetings of the six sponsors during 1949, see ibid, 1949, vol. i, pp. 419 ff.
  3. General A. G. L. McNaughton, Canadian Representative to the U.N. Atomic Energy Commission.
  4. Principal Adviser, Permanent Canadian Delegation to the United Nations.
  5. Major T. L. C. Pierce-Goulding, Adviser, Permanent Canadian Delegation to the United Nations.
  6. Dr. Hsioh-ren Wei, Alternate Chinese Representative to the U.N. Atomic Energy Commission.
  7. Jean Chauvel, Permanent French Representative at the United Nations; Representative to the U.N. Atomic Energy Commission.
  8. Guy de la Tournelle, Alternate French Representative at the United Nations; Alternate Representative to the U.N. Atomic Energy Commission and to the Commission for Conventional Armaments.
  9. D. S. Laskey, Adviser, Permanent British Delegation to the United Nations.
  10. John C. Ross, Deputy United States Representative to the Security Council; Acting Deputy Representative to the U.N. Atomic Energy Commission from January 31, 1950.
  11. At the 461st Meeting of the Security Council, January 13, the Soviet Representative, Yakov A. Malik, withdrew from the Council chamber after stating that the Soviet Union would not participate in the work of the Council until the Representative of the National Government of China was excluded and that the Soviet Union would not deem itself bound by decisions taken by the Council with the participation of the Chinese Representative. For documentation on the Soviet walkout of the Security Council and the question of Chinese representation, see vol. ii, pp. 186 ff.
  12. A memorandum of conversation by Russell, December 16, 1949; for text, see Foreign Relations, 1949, vol. i, p. 246. In that conversation, Osborn indicated to McNaughton, Wei, Chauvel, and Cadogan that the United States intended to make a statement in a meeting of the six sponsors commenting on the meaning of certain aspects of the United Nations plan for international control.