315.2/5–550: telegram

The Secretary of State to the Embassy in the United Kingdom

confidential   priority

2109. Issue of US contribution percentage WHO, UNESCO, FAO, ILO, ICAO will be raised these orgs next few weeks. In view recent experiences Congress, Dept considers imperative US take firm stand against intense pressure increase present percentages. Particularly concerned possibility US be forced up where relatively low (ICAO—18.27; ILO—22; FAO—27.10) without gaining substantial decreases where still above our 33⅓% UN goal (UN 39.79; UNESCO 37.82; WHO 36). US will drive for further reductions forthcoming WHO Assembly Geneva May 8, UNESCO Conf Florence May 22 but anticipates major difficulties. At same time, US percentage now under strong attack FAO Spec Comite studying FAO scale report FAO Conf this fall. Same true respect ILO Allocations Comite Geneva May ‘29, governing Body Geneva June 2. ICAO Assembly May 30 will consider proposed new scale assigning US larger share. Negotiating position US worsened by GA Res 311–B last Nov, opposed by US, France but [Page 91] passed 38–2–7. Preamble of Res states “Believing there is room for closer relation assessments member states UN and Specialized Agencies; Recognizing, that, to extent contribs Specialized Agencies assessed accord principles similar those UN are based, desirable same data be utilized assess these contribs”. While Res ambiguous, experience to date in Specialized Agencies makes clear other governments will attempt use Res as unqualified support idea higher percentage assessments US. Dept believes vigorous representations to certain govts members UN and Specialized Agencies concerned essential this time convey seriousness with which US views possibility having its views contrib scales overridden one org after another. Issue US percentage contribs receiving concerted attn Congressional Comites Appropriations, Expenditures, FonAffs. House Appropriations Comite report on 1951 appropriation (HR 7786) says, “Every effort must be made reduce unusually high percentage contribs which too many instances this country called make. Should be reduced just quickly as econ conditions other member countries make possible their assuming more equitable share cost. Comite will examine carefully Depts submission this item next year determine accomplishments”. Request you approach FonOff soonest along following lines:

US most seriously concerned pressure other member govts increase US contrib percentage FAO, ILO, ICAO when same govts for most part exhibit little concern that US contrib percentage UN has moved downward only token amount toward 33⅓ percent and no assurance substantial downward adjustments forthcoming this year WHO, UNESCO.
Whatever interpretation place on UN Res, US considers imperative any upward movement in ICAO, FAO, ILO be gradual and directly related downward revision US percentages UN, WHO, UNESCO.
US particularly concerned reduction US share UN thus far only one-tenth one percent. In opinion US more active effort other members UN to accomplish 33⅓ percent ceiling that org would contrib tremendously solution problem other agencies.
US considers fol pattern of related adjustments 1951 scales (to be negotiated 1950) reasonable and necessary if US contrib percentages to be raised either ILO, ICAO at this time. US strongly hopes govt to which you accredited see fit communicate these views its reps each org and lend support in these agencies:
In WHO, US will not attempt at this time secure greater reduction than from present 36 to 35 percent.
In UNESCO, US will not attempt secure greater reduction than from present 37.82 to 35 percent. Assessments new members shld permit this adjustment with little or no added burden other members.
In FAO, US percentage shld remain constant. Move to Rome this agency with consequent reduction need for dol contribs means members in better position than previously.
Provided above US proposals accepted and subj to Congressional action raising dol ceilings on US contribs ILO necessary for practical implementation, US will not object increase US percentage share ILO from 22 to 25 percent and ICAO from 18.26 to 20 percent.
With respect UN”, US will propose such further reductions US share as justified light report Contribs Comite to next GA, light any additional membership, light any increase percentage shares members now patently underassessed, particular reference Sov states.
Position US toward adjustments after 1950 contingent upon experience UN and these Specialized Agencies this year. Until UN makes substantial progress reduce US share, US considers no justification increase present US share FAO, or share ILO above present FAO level, or ICAO above 25 percent.
US fully recognizes and supports authority UN and each Specialized Agency determine own scale and has no wish prejudice professional character deliberations their contribs comites. However, Dept considers essential other members understand realistic US position. US may find it difficult continue support large scale spec programs involving exceptional US percentage shares as in past unless US percentage shares regular budgets at reasonable levels.1

Important you do everything possible enlist UK support for US position. Request you report reception this approach soonest. For urinfo, UK has been among govts who have not indicated appreciation US position in past. ILO is exception. UK has taken reasonable position that org.

  1. Repeated to United States diplomatic missions in Australia, Canada, Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Mexico, Brazil, India, Egypt, and Syria. In each instance an individual last paragraph was inserted here, containing brief information and/or instruction regarding the position of the local government on the question of contributions percentages. In particular, it was indicated whether the concerned government or its spokesmen in the specialized agencies had favored increases in the United States percentages or whether it had shown sympathy or support for the United States position.