CFM Files: Lot M–88: Box 152: SFM Documents

Paper Prepared in the Bureau of United Nations Affairs 1


SFM D–2b

Coordinated Approach to Lie Peace Proposals 2 and SovietPeace Propaganda3 Including Means Whereby West May Take Initiative on This Subject in General Assembly

the problem

To coordinate the activities of the United States, United Kingdom and France in the General Assembly, and elsewhere, in dealing with [Page 1118] the memorandum on a twenty-year peace program prepared by the Secretary-General of the United Nations, and with existing and expected Soviet “peace proposals”, in particular, “the Stockholm Appeal”. This paper outlines a program for the General Assembly, which may be adapted for use in other media.


Since 1946, Soviet “peace” propaganda designed to present the USSR to the world as the principal advocate of world peace and the Anglo-American States as warmongers or imperialists, has steadily increased in virulence and has undeniably had an effect in many parts of the world. Each year, the Soviet propaganda campaign appears to reach a peak at the regular fall session of the General Assembly. At each Assembly, the Soviets, without advance warning, have introduced in the General Assembly a major political propaganda proposal, which has invariably been centered on the “peace” theme.

It is probable that the Soviet “peace proposal” for 1950 will use as a springboard the “Stockholm Appeal”, in support of which it is claimed that 300,000,000 signatures have been gathered. Exploitation of the Stockholm Appeal will presumably reach its climax at the General Assembly and at a Congress of Partisans of Peace scheduled to meet in London in November.

In 1949 the major Soviet political proposal in the General Assembly was a resolution which condemned the United States and the United Kingdom as warmongers, demanded abolition of atomic weapons and proposed a five-power pact for the strengthening of peace. Through intensive effort by the delegations of the United States, the United Kingdom and France at the General Assembly, a substitute resolution entitled “Essentials of Peace” was introduced in the General Assembly and succeeded in winning the support of 53 of the 59 United Nations Members.


The greatest effort must be made to assume the propaganda initiative by putting forward and strongly advocating our own proposals, instead of limiting ourselves to a defensive response to a new Soviet “peace appeal”.
Accordingly, the Ministers should agree (to the extent that agreement has not already been reached) on political measures which can be introduced in the General Assembly under the heading of a Program of United Nations action to stop aggression, or some similar title. (The proposals under consideration by the United States are [Page 1119] included in a separate paper.4) Wherever possible, resolutions introduced in the General Assembly on these proposals should be coordinated among the three powers, with additional sponsorship as appropriate.
Our attitude toward the Trygve Lie memorandum should be sympathetic. We should associate ourselves with its broad objectives—to employ Charter principles and United Nations resources on a long-term basis to relieve tensions and move toward lasting peace. We should as far as possible avoid detailed consideration by the Assembly of each specific proposal in the memorandum but should utilize the proposals as appropriate in argumentation in support of our major political items and in refutation of points made by the USSR in its “peace plan”.
At the same time, the three delegations should organize a concerted effort, by all friendly delegations in the Assembly, to expose the hollowness of any Soviet peace proposal and to “blanket” the Soviet spokesman in the General Assembly debate by coordinating the time of presentation and the content of friendly statements. The following themes might, as an illustration, be stressed by various free world spokesmen during the course of the General Assembly debate on the Soviet item:
Any plan which seeks to reduce tension and bring about lasting peace must be presented in good faith if it is to be taken seriously. We cannot be expected to accept at face value any proposal for peace originating with a state which supports aggression and repudiates its pledged word through violation of the Charter and of treaty agreements. Specific and pointed reference should be made to Soviet action in Korea, Yugoslavia, and other peripheral areas.
Paper pledges to eliminate any particular weapon or weapons, or to regulate and reduce others, are meaningless. The United Nations must continue to strive for systems of control or regulation which include adequate safeguards to insure compliance. For us to carry out a pledge to abolish the atomic bomb while the Soviets, behind the Iron Curtain, fail to do the same, would lay the free world open to attack by the USSR.
Mutual confidence and an atmosphere of peace are impossible unless the Soviet-dominated area can he opened to the exchange of ideas and persons on a basis approximating that which exists in the free world. Specific reference might be made to the treatment of foreign diplomats by the Soviet bloc.
As a first step in proving the sincerity of its desire for peace, the USSR should begin to cooperate loyally in the United Nations, by abandoning its unwarranted boycott of United Nations organs, ending its abuse of the veto power, ceasing its obstructive tactics wherever it is represented, and giving due weight to the opinion of the majority in accordance with the terms of the Charter.
It is also necessary for the USSR to give up the centralized direction and control of Communist minorities in other countries, who sow dissension through the practice of infiltration and subversion in the interest of a foreign power.
The greatest threat to free nations in the mid-twentieth century is the threat of Soviet imperialism, which is especially acute today in Asia. We have a right to demand assurances that the subjugation of free nations for Soviet political purposes will cease.
We should also be assured that the USSR will cease to use force to maintain satellite regimes in power; that it will cease attempts to undermine established governments; and that it will cease its conscious distortion of the ideas and motives of others for propaganda purposes.
International cooperation in the improvement of economic and social standards in all countries is a prerequisite of a peaceful world. The Soviet record of almost complete non-cooperation in United Nations welfare activities and in the Specialized Agencies must be changed before we can make definitive progress toward world peace.
Human welfare also depends on the extension of human rights and freedoms in all countries. Quite aside from Soviet enslavement of the mind, the USSR cannot cooperate for peace if it continues to wipe out or deport huge minorities within its borders; to utilize masses of humanity in slave labor; and to oppress unjustly foreigners within its control, such as unrepatriated prisoners of war and other foreign nationals who are prevented from departing from the Soviet Union.
A major factor in the reduction of international tension is the conclusion of peace treaties. Peace cannot be attained on the basis of the interminable stalling of the Soviets with regard to conclusion of an Austrian State Treaty,5 or on the basis of Soviet refusal to carry out the terms of the Potsdam Agreement on Germany. We have a right to ask for some assurance of Soviet cooperation in the settlement of World War II issues if we wish to avoid another war.
The General Assembly last year passed by a vote of 53 to 5, with one abstention, a resolution entitled “The Essentials of Peace”, which stated that it was urgently necessary for all Members to act in accordance with certain basic principles in order to obtain enduring peace, There is no evidence that the Soviets have modified their conduct in any essential respect to bring it into accordance with the terms of that resolution.
The program of action adopted by the three powers to counteract Soviet peace propaganda should be shaped with a view to ensuring the most favorable possible impact especially upon the peoples of Asia, and also upon all others who are threatened by Soviet imperialism.6

  1. Attached to the source text was a cover sheet, not printed. SFM D–2b was the second revision of SFM D–2, dated August 16, not printed. The first, SFM D–2a, dated August 21, was revised by the SFM Working Group on August 22. Both SFM D–2 and 2a make the same recommendations as SFM D–2b. (CFM Files: Lot M–88: Box 152: SFM Documents)
  2. For further documentation on the peace proposals of Secretary-General Trygve Lie, see vol. ii, pp. 371 ff.
  3. Documentation on the Soviet peace offensive during 1950 is scheduled for publication in volume iv.
  4. Under reference here is the SFM D–2/1 series (A Program for United States Action to Stop Aggression). The first paper in this series, SFM D–2/1, dated August 17, was revised by the SFM Working Group on August 18 and renumbered SFM D–2/1a, dated August 24. Copies of both papers and an undated brief of the latter are in the CFM Files: Lot M–88: Box 152: SFM Documents. For a summary of this program, see telegram 342 and footnote 2 thereto, supra.
  5. Documentation on the U.S. position with regard to an Austrian state treaty is scheduled for publication in volume iv.
  6. Among the documents prepared for the Foreign Ministers Meeting was a brief of SFM D–2b, dated September 5, for Secretary Acheson (CFM Files: Lot M–88: Box 152: SFM Documents).