IO Files: US/A/2333, US/1248

Memorandum of Conversation, by the Deputy United States Representative on the Security Council (Ross)


Participants: Sir Alexander Cadogan—United Kingdom Delegation
Sir Terence Shone—United Kingdom Delegation
Mr. D. S. Laskey—United Kingdom Delegation
Ambassador Ernest A. Gross—USUN
Mr. John C. Ross—USUN

We called on Sir Alexander1 by appointment pursuant to Department’s telegram No. 287 of June 1. Ambassador Gross outlined the Department’s views on the question of selection of a Secretary-General this Fall along the lines set forth in the Foreign Ministers’ Paper (FM D F–5 of April 19) on this subject.

Sir Alexander said that he had had no instruction on the subject except a rather vague one of a fortnight ago suggesting that in due course the matter be discussed with his American and French colleagues [Page 102] along the following lines: (a) whether anyone other than Lie would be available, (b) whether Lie would have to be kept on, and (c) in this event whether some arrangement should be made to continue him for a year or two.

The British apparently did not have at this time anyone other than Lie in mind although Cadogan speculated about Pearson of Canada2 who was, Cadogan recalled, our first candidate in 1946.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Cadogan said that he would ask immediately for instructions. He said also that he would probably be seeing Jebb in London and that Jebb may have some ideas when he arrives in New York. Cadogan seemed to feel that there was no hurry about the matter which possibly might not be taken up until rather late in the Assembly session in view of the fact, he said, that in any event Lie’s term runs on until February. Cadogan understood very clearly the difficulties that might arise because of the Chinese and Russian situations in the Security Council and he did not seem averse to a procedure whereby the Assembly might have to act although we did not discuss these procedural points in detail.

Before we left Cadogan’s office he raised with us the question of the Security Council Presidency in August. He said that in the event the Russians have not returned to the Security Council by the month of August, which was their month for the Presidency, he assumed that if there should be any occasion for a meeting of the Council there would be no objection to the United Kingdom Representative (the United Kingdom being next in alphabetical order) taking the chair of the Council without in any way impairing the right of the United Kingdom to occupy the chair during its regular month, namely, September. Cadogan thought that perhaps all that would be necessary would be an informal understanding with other members of the Council that in the event of Russian failure to occupy the chair in August, the United Kingdom Representative would take the chair and that this would not impair their situation in September.

We indicated that we thought there should be no difficulty in this regard, that in effect the United Kingdom would not be in the Presidency for the month of August but merely serving in this capacity at any meeting or meetings as occasion might require. We said that we would, however, consider this question a little more carefully and let the British know our view.3

John C. Ross
  1. Sir Alexander Cadogan was Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom at the United Nations.
  2. Lester B. Pearson, Canadian Secretary of State for External Affairs.
  3. The question was rendered academic by the return of the Soviet Representative to the Security Council on August 1.