600.001/9–1450: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the United States Representative at the United Nations ( Austin )


268. Dept has been considering possible tactics in event USSR submits more balanced and attractive version Stockholm Peace Appeal for GA action.1 At Prague mtg this August World Committee of Defenders of Peace prepared way for modification of Appeal looking toward possible GA action by broadening objectives to include (a) support for general reduction, under control, all forms armament (as well as banning atomic weapons), (b) condemnation of aggression and foreign intervention by force of arms in internal affairs of any people, (c) support for all peaceful moves to stop war in Korea and condemnation of bombings of civilians in Korea, (d) demand for admission genuine representatives great powers and for hearing both parties in Korea, and (e) banning all propaganda favoring war.

[Page 397]

Realizing that UN action Korea and USDel GA program2 constitute real answer to Appeal, Dept nevertheless concerned lest, as in case of “warmongering” resolutions,3 many other dels find it difficult reject Appeal outright and decide instead work out “acceptable modification”. Appeal might then emerge with GA endorsement and, even if substantially modified, provide further grist Soviet propaganda mill.

In dealing with Appeal, two courses of action suggest themselves: (1) Exposing true nature Appeal, rejecting it outright and reaffirming Essentials of Peace Res;4 or (2) Submitting acceptable jointly sponsored counter-proposal.

Efforts draft such counter-proposal here have not yet produced suitable text. Draft transmitted Ross recognized as unsuitable.

Dept suggests Mission initiate consultations this matter with key representative dels to explain the problem and obtain their suggestions. Dept considers it advisable group of representative dels agree keep matter under concerted review in order be prepared join in sponsoring counter-proposal or taking other appropriate action.

  1. The text of the Stockholm Peace Appeal for the Prohibition of the Atomic Weapon, adopted by the Permanent Committee of the World Peace Congress, March 19, 1950, reads as follows: “We demand unconditional prohibition of the atomic weapon as a weapon of aggression and mass annihilation of people, and that strict international control for the implementation of this decision be established. We shall consider as a war criminal that Government which first employs the atomic weapon against any country. We call upon all people of good will throughout the world to sign this appeal.” This text is based upon that printed in Royal Institute of International Affairs, Documents on International Affairs 1949–1950 (Margaret Carlyle, editor) (London: Oxford University Press, 1953), p. 139. Documentation regarding Soviet peace propaganda policy is scheduled for publication in volume iv.

    The Soviet “peace” offensive was launched with a world peace congress, held in Praha and Paris, in the spring of 1949. It was the observation of the Embassy in the Soviet Union in June 1950 that “This campaign, which gives every sign of becoming a primary Soviet theme in the cold war, has absorbed a major share of the attention of Soviet propagandists in recent months; mounting emphasis has been devoted to the peace drive in the press and radio of the Soviet Union itself, its satellites, and among fellow-travelling elements in the free world.” The Embassy opined that the campaign was likely to reach “a crescendo” in September with the convening of the General Assembly. (Moscow despatch No. 704, June 5, 661.00/6–550)

  2. For the U.S. program to place before the General Assembly a number of recommendations designed to increase the effectiveness of the United Nations against aggression, see pp. 303 ff.; see also the general debate statement to the General Assembly by Secretary of State Acheson on September 20 in United Nations, Official Records of the General Assembly, Fifth Session, Plenary Meetings, vol. i, pp. 23 ff. (hereafter cited as GA (V), Plenary).
  3. This refers to the 1947 resolution presented by the Soviet Union to the General Assembly in condemnation of “war-mongers” and related resolutions proposed in 1948 and 1949; for documentation on U.S. policy regarding these items, see Foreign Relations, 1948, volume i, Part 1, and 1949, volume ii .
  4. For documentation regarding the Essentials of Peace resolution, see Foreign Relations, 1949, vol. ii, pp. 72 ff.