396.1 NE/9–650: Telegram

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


467. Following is summary third meeting US, UK, French delegates on UN matters on agenda SFM meeting, Jebb, Coulson, Laskey, Campbell represented UK; Chauvel, Lacoste, Tine for French, and Hickerson, Ross, Maffitt, Allen for US:

1. Agreement reached that procedural problems in GA consideration of Korea1 and action on Lie proposals need not be referred to [Page 1182] FM’s since agreement reached by delegations, and that united action against aggression would not be ready for discussion by FM’s until just before GA.

2. United action against aggression:

Jebb reported that UK Cabinet had considered US proposals on September 4 and reached following decisions, given him by phone today:

UK cannot support proposal for convocation special emergency session GA on 24-hours notice and urges US not put forward. Believes that if necessary same result could be reached by simple amendment rules of procedure. Although UKDel has not yet been given reasoning behind decision, Jebb believes UK fearful that proposal would in practice result in enlarging GA powers by inviting and encouraging it to take action it might not otherwise take in situations where it might not be in interest western powers. Deprecates incitement to tail to wag dog.
UK agrees second part US proposal for establishment peace reconnaisance commission, although does not see any great benefits to be derived from it. However, will continue press to maintain requirement of two-thirds majority for IC action.
UK hopes to be able support US proposal that members survey resources and designate UN units in armed forces for UN service. This will be considered again by UK cabinet September 11.

Chauvel stated he has no instructions at all from FonOff on French position but believes it more or less similar to UK.

Hickerson expressed regret at UK position; indicated strong support for US proposals likely from other delegations and referred to great interest in US Congress for some action to strengthen UN, doubting that simple amendment rules of procedure would be adequate either to satisfy these interests or to counter radical, unwise or illegal proposals likely to be presented by others in GA. Chileans, for instance, have put in item on strengthening democracy, whatever that means. Hickerson reserved right of US to proceed with its proposals without UK or French support and, in response to question, Jebb replied that if US did so, UK might abstain but probably would not oppose.

Re previous UK suggestion for insertion in resolution of phrase to safeguard right of action under article 51, Hickerson stated we felt this not only unnecessary but definitely undesirable. In our view any express reservation of this right would tend to distort objective of resolution and make it appear that our real intention in any future crisis was to act under article 51 and not collectively through UN. UKDel seemed receptive this reasoning.

Also discussed UK desire make clear that designation UN units “to be available for prompt service on behalf of UN” did not import automatic commitment of forces on recommendation GA. Hickerson [Page 1183] reiterated such not intention of proposal and US could not support it if it were so construed. However, we have not been able work out any language change that did not have effect of appearing to belittle importance or effect of GA resolutions. Laskey proposed that provision read: “Each member designate within its national armed: forces a UN unit or units, to be so trained and equipped that they could be made available for prompt service on behalf of UN, etc.” Hickerson indicated this probably acceptable to US.

It was agreed that as soon as French and UK delegations receive further instructions they will discuss with USUN, but that since UK instructions would not be forthcoming before September 12 at earliest, matters should not be raised formally in FonMin meeting that date. It should, however, be taken up informally by FonMin’s some time before GA.

3. Chinese representation:

No change in positions. French still plan abstain on seating or unseating. UK without instructions. Question to be discussed by FonMin’s. In response to question from FrDel, Hickerson stated that no request for visas for Chinese Communists yet received, but we would be inclined refuse any direct request unless GA has decided seat them.

Re Credentials Committee, Hickerson indicated that on balance US would like to be member, recognizing this means Soviets will probably also want seat.

UK FonOff has suggested postponement immediate decision on seating Chinese delegation at outset since it might reveal US–UK split and set bad tone for rest of GA. UKDel disagrees on desirability or feasibility postponing such decision and continues believe matter should be disposed of promptly at beginning of session.

Re Cuban item on criteria for seating rival claimants, there was general agreement would be desirable have this matter referred to some body for study and report to next GA, since any attempt this session draw up criteria or methods would inevitably become involved in or colored by Chinese seating problem. It was general feeling that in any event, no criteria could be worked out which would offer perfect solution to similar future problems since most governments would necessarily continue make such decisions primarily on political basis.2

4. Lie peace proposals:

Ross held that Lie’s 10-point memo need not be brought to FM’s attention and this was agreed by British and French. He went on to say that he had gathered from Lie yesterday that Lie was prepared to accept any treatment of his memo considered appropriate by US [Page 1184] and might not even insist on a resolution. Hickerson asked if there was agreement on two main points: (1) that there be no item-by-item discussion; and (2) that the item be taken care of by a simple resolution, preferably in plenary. French and British signified assent, Coulson remarking that he was sure Lie would be pleased by amendatory resolution and that therefore memo better have such treatment.3

5. Spain:

Chauvel said his instructions had been to reserve position on any attempt to repeal parts of December 12, 1946 resolution. After previous tri-partite talk he had sent his FonOff careful report our twofold objective. Since then nothing heard from FonOff. He thought probable outcome would be at least French abstention if something like US ideas was presented. Coulson had no instructions since Bevin was reserving this for discussion with FM’s. USUN outlined situation created by Peruvian-Bolivian draft and indicated strategy at moment seemed to be to let LA’s take lead in evolving middle-road resolution. Consultations with some LA’s indicated they felt resolution along lines US wishes would be most likely fill bill.4

  1. Incorporated in Document 19 [D–1/2], September 6, which stated the following 3 points of agreement:

    • “1) The procedural problem of concurrent consideration of Korea by the SC and the GA arises because Article 12 of the Charter provides that while the SC is exercising its functions regarding a dispute the GA shall not make any recommendations with respect to it unless the SC so requests. A decision of the SC to remove an item from its agenda is not subject to the veto.
    • “2) During the GA the SC should continue to remain seized of the specific item of ‘complaint of aggression against the Republic of Korea’ and it should not request the GA to make recommendations regarding this matter. This position is subject to review should it prove necessary for the UN to take further affirmative action regarding the aggression or military operations and a Soviet veto in the SC appears likely.
    • “3) Since the GA will have before it the problem of ‘the independence of Korea’ and the report of UNCOK the GA, will have wide latitude in discussing and making recommendations regarding the future of Korea.” (CFM Files: Lot M–88: Box 152: SFM Documents 1–40)

  2. For the text of the agreed paper on Chinese representation at the United Nations, see Document 13 [D–1], infra.
  3. The points of agreement on the Lie proposal, set forth in Document 20 [D–1/3], read as follows:

    • “1. The General Assembly should avoid detailed or separate consideration of the various proposals in the Lie Twenty Year Peace Plan and should confine itself to a general resolution, passed preferably in plenary without reference to committee, commending the Secretary-General for his initiative, expressing our support of his basic objective of reducing international tension through adherence to the Charter and use of United Nations resources, and requesting the Assembly’s committees to take his proposals into account in their discussions.
    • “2. The US, UK and France should organize a concerted effort by all friendly delegations to expose the hollowness of any Soviet ‘peace proposal’ made to the Assembly and to ‘blanket’ the Soviet spokesmen in the Assembly debate by coordinating the time presentation and the content of friendly statements.” (CFM Files: Lot M–88: Box 152: SFM Documents 1–40)

  4. For text of the agreed paper concerning the draft resolution on Spain, see Document 14 [D–1/1], p. 1185.