320/1–3150: Telegram

The Deputy United States Representative at the United Nations (Gross) to the Secretary of State 1

secret   priority

98. On basis of information here, it is our view that Soviet walkout is probably designed to embarrass US in its relations with Communist China and with those countries that have recognized the new regime, and they will make full use of this development in their propaganda. Consideration should be given, however, to possibility that move is designed to arrange for Soviet absence from SC to avoid embarrassment over projected direct or indirect aggressive action involving Yugoslavia, Indochina, Burma or Berlin. There also exists possibility it is preliminary step in permanent Soviet withdrawal from UN. We feel that whatever Soviet motives may be, the trend of developments may inevitably transform what is probably intended as a temporary withdrawal into a permanent one. We believe USSR may well have decided to accept that risk.

The absence of Soviets for matter of weeks would probably not have a serious effect on the functioning of UN. We would endeavor to do business as usual in their absence and keep our heads as well as persuading our friends to keep theirs. However, as period grows longer certain problems will arise which may affect Soviet decision whether to remain in UN or attempt to force other member states to make concessions as the price for resumption of Soviet participation, or leaving permanently. Examples of such problems are:

A special session of GA to deal with Jerusalem and/or Spain. This would raise the question of Chinese representation again and set the stage for another Soviet walkout, or;
The membership question, which would face the UN with alternative of evading problem to detriment of its prestige or taking action to admit nine new members, marking such setback in Soviet voting strength that it might balance scales in favor of their permanent withdrawal.

In private conversations here, in their world-wide propaganda and through statements by important satellite officials, Soviets have left definite impression that they will return to UN if and when Nationalist Chinese are unseated.

The feeling among other delegations here that an early Soviet return is desirable is reflected in efforts made by some figures to work out a solution. Rau of India has proposed adoption of an unsatisfactory change in rules. SYG Lie has made an impractical proposal, by way [Page 218] of Charter interpretation. Their proposals are finding some favor among those who fear the break-up of UN.

The mission assumes that it remains basic US policy to seek to preserve world peace through universal collective action in UN. With regard to USSR, it is assumed that US believes that Soviets can best be held accountable for their actions through membership in UN, and that UN is only available instrument for potential bridging gap between Soviet world and free world. It follows then that it is to interest of US that Soviets resume participation as early as possible not only that pursuit of these long-range US objectives may be begun again within UN, but also to avoid the prospect that other developments might result in permanent withdrawal.

We are aware that this analysis, leading as it does to the conclusion that the early seating of Communist Chinese delegates would be consistent with US objectives concerning UN, touches only a segment of our over-all policy with regard to our recognition of Communist China, and Far Eastern policy generally. As to these latter questions, we can give no worthwhile opinion. Nor can we comment upon such important matters as timing any action we take rhythm with developments in the Far East, such as Mao visit to Moscow.

However, we feel bound to point out that in our view the issue of Chinese representation in the UN is not necessarily favorable one on which to risk permanent Soviet withdrawal from our standpoint. There is much uncertainty on question here and some tendency among other delegations to blame the US for the basic situation that gave rise to the Soviet walkout. This is true even as to some who are following our lead. If the Soviets are to leave the UN permanently, it would be better for us if this would occur over some issue which would clearly fix the blame and galvanize the non-Communist world into condemnation of Soviet wrecking UN in pursuance of some evil Soviet design.

Foregoing analysis would suggest that unless countervailing considerations are more important than our objective of keeping UN alive on universal membership basis, we should cease activity designed to discourage other members UN either (a) from recognizing Chinese Communist Government or (b) from voting against seating Chinese Communist representative whether or not they recognize Chinese Communist Government. We should neither encourage nor discourage other states from taking such action in either respect as they believe wisest from their own point of view. And as in the case of Israel admission to UN, we should not discourage other members of UN from distinguishing between national recognition policy and question of seating new representative in UN bodies. This distinction is implicit [Page 219] in our public statement that we will abide by majority vote in UN organs on this question notwithstanding our recognition policy.

Please relay AmEmbassy Moscow 1.

  1. Repeated to certain Embassies as follows: Paris (436), London (476), Warsaw (45), Belgrade (63), Brussels (129).