310/9–650: Telegram

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

secret

464. Taking advantage presence this morning in tripartite conversations of Chauvel (France) and Jebb (UK)1 with staffs, Hickerson [Page 120] and Ross brought up matter of successor to SYG Lie.2 Jebb said his FonOff preferred that final action on this be delayed until late in GA although it felt informal steps should be taken clarify situation in meanwhile. He said FonOff hoped action would be avoided until it is clear whether China and USSR would veto. It would have no objection to Jebb, as SC president, calling private meeting of permanent five, and if USSR turned out to be negative or evasive would contemplate short-term “reappointment” (Jebb later indicated this should be read in sense of “extension” of maximum two years). It desired to avoid commitment on Lie for full five years since, if USSR should leave UN, UK might desire look for “more acceptable” SYG. It did not favor exchanging lists other candidates for position at this time since it was coming to think of Lie as only possibility if Russians stay.

Chauvel declared above position seemed to represent French views also. He stressed French reluctance make commitment on Lie for any longer time than necessary.

Hickerson urged preferability settling matter early in interest of budgetary and administrative assistance to Secretariat and fairness to Lie himself. Ross was not sure that Lie would accept two year offer nor that such term would be wise from Secretariat viewpoint. It would be hard get good new ASYG’s for such short time.

Chauvel and Jebb feel strongly against commitment for Lie too early in GA in view possibility USSR might walk out before end, in which case they might want consider other SYG. Chauvel wondered how this could be put up to Lie, and Jebb agreed that it was problem. Hickerson reiterated preference for five year term but wondered, if shorter became necessary, whether proviso might be put in such as “or thereafter until successor is chosen”. Ross doubted Lie would take this proviso.

Jebb said he would talk to Tsiang and Malik. Re latter he considered various turns conversation might take and wondered whether Malik might suggest some alternative to Lie. If such alternative should be Ramaswami Mudaliar, Girja Bajpai or some other acceptable Indian, he thought UK would probably accept.

It was left that dels would say nothing to rest of SC until Tsiang and Malik consultations.

Austin
  1. Sir H. M. Gladwyn Jebb had replaced Sir Alexander Cadogan as the Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom at the United Nations.
  2. These were pre-General Assembly talks.