310/4–1350: Circular airgram

The Secretary of State to Certain Diplomatic Missions 1


Re reporting and consultation on UN matters.

It is the Department’s desire to broaden the scope and extent of regular consultations with other governments on matters coming before the UN and particularly to intensify such consultations prior to the regular and special sessions in the General Assembly. The favorable [Page 7] results from the more extended consultations with other delegations initiated prior to and during the Fourth General Assembly at Lake Success, Washington and the European capitals, indicate the mutual advantages of such a course, and led several delegations from the European area both to express satisfaction with these consultations and the hope that such more extensive consultations might be undertaken on a year-round basis.
The principal purposes of such discussions will be:
To reach the maximum area of agreement on important issues by assuring complete mutual understanding of respective points of view and by providing opportunity for the U.S. to take the views of other countries more directly into account in the preparation of its own final position.
To receive early notice of new proposals for UN action which other countries may desire to submit, thus permitting more thorough advance consideration by this government and increasing the possibility of the U.S. being able to give its active support.
To stimulate the transmission of more specific instructions to delegations in New York and to provide a better background against which the missions can take up urgent problems with the governmental officials during the General Assembly or other UN meetings, whenever necessary.
The Department envisages that these consultations will be carried out in large part by the missions directly with the appropriate officials of the governments and the Department will therefore with greater frequency in the future, transmit separate instructions on specific subjects for discussion. At the same time, in view of the fact that most of the European area countries have permanent delegations in New York, it is intended to continue to make maximum use of the procedure of consultation between the U.S. Mission to the U.N. and these delegations and to coordinate this activity with discussions in the various capitals.
As part of the program of intensifying consultation on U.N. matters, it is requested that, in addition to discussions on specific subjects, the Embassy take appropriate occasion to obtain from officials of the government their general views and attitudes regarding the U.N. and basic questions before it, as well as their ideas as to its future course of development. It is suggested that special efforts be made in this connection to consult with those representatives of the government who although they may not be in the Foreign Office are included in the delegations to the General Assembly.
The Department is now working out plans to increase the usefulness and pertinence of information transmitted to the field on UN problems and activities and it is expected that a separate communication will shortly be transmit on this matter.
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The Department understands that in most of the missions an officer has been designated to handle and report on UN matters. In general these arrangements have been satisfactory and no criticism is intended of present activities. However, this instruction does envisage an increased scope and tempo of this work and it is suggested that wherever possible the missions designate for this purpose a political officer who has had UN experience. The possibility is under consideration of working out arrangements to provide some of these officers with more direct experience with UN matters through attendance at future UN meetings. You are requested to report to the Department the name and rank of the officer so designated in your mission.2

  1. Sent to the Embassies in Italy, France, the United Kingdom, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Iceland, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, South Africa, and Yugoslavia.
  2. Papers relating to replies from the concerned missions are located in the Department of State’s central indexed file 310.