Memorandum of Conversation, by the Assistant Secretary of State for United Nations Affairs (Hickerson)


Participants: Ambassador Tarchiani (Italy)
Assistant Secretary Hickerson
Mr. Greene (WE)
Mr. Wells (UNP)

Ambassador Tarchiani referred to renewed discussion in the press of Mr. Hoover’s1 plan for reorganizing the United Nations without the USSR, and remarked that the present non-participation of that country and its satellites in United Nations activities led him to inquire regarding the views of the United States on what action might be taken with regard to pending membership applications if such nonparticipation were to be greatly prolonged.

I told him that the United States did not regard the Hoover proposals as satisfactory to meet the present situation. I said that with respect to the question of pending membership ‘applications we expected that the forthcoming fifth session of the General Assembly would be the scene of developments which would throw considerable light on Soviet intentions. It was still too early to take a final stand on the membership question ‘and the Department had accordingly not yet made up its mind. There were reasons, however, to believe that the USSR did not intend to abandon the United Nations. Malik had cancelled his vacation plans and would remain at Lake Success. In addition, as the term of service on the UN Secretariat of certain Soviet nationals expired, the USSR was naming others to replace them.

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In response to Ambassador Tarchiani’s query, I remarked that we had not the slightest doubt of the Security Council’s legal competence to act on a membership application in the absence of a permanent member. We did not believe, however, that it would at present be politically wise to bring before the Security Council for consideration membership applications which had already been vetoed.

J[ohn] D. H[ickerson]
  1. Former President Herbert Hoover.