320.2–ac/1–2051 : Airgram

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


A–17. Fol prelim Dept views re work of CMC are transmitted for your use in prelim discussions with UK, Fr, SYG Reps, and with Dels of other members of CMC in order achieve gen agreement re approach and work of CMC before initial meeting. Your comments welcomed.

I. Gen Approach to Work of CMC

1. Gen Objectives of CMC Project

It is clear that the development of means and measures adequate to meet aggression is the outstanding need of the internatl community as a whole, and that such measures must be planned in advance to avoid improvisation after aggression is in motion, as had to be done in the Korean case.1 This need is both immediate and long-range in its nature. To meet it the US is, as you know, exerting every effort to develop on regional or mutual assistance basis, particularly in NATO,2 effective means of collective use of force. At same time we believe it essential to proceed actively with development of collective security measures on world-wide scale, i.e. to build up in advance capacity of UN as whole to act effectively against aggression. This is essential thought underlying Parts C and D of Res on Uniting for Peace.3

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We believe work of CMC during this year must be directed toward achievement of both long-range and short-range objectives. First, the CMC shld develop before Sept 1, 1951 the broad outlines of a collective system for the use of armed forces, facilities and resources to furnish basis for further recommendations by 6th GA. Suggested program of work set forth under II below is framed with this objective in view. It is clear that a considerable period of time may elapse before final adoption of all collective security arrangements resulting from these studies.

CMC shld thus lay foundation for building fully effective system of collective security. But it shld not concentrate in planning foundation at expense of immed accomplishment which at the end of the first year will make the UN better able to act collectively against aggression than it was a year ago.

The Uniting for Peace Res contemplates during initial period, the promotion of individual effort by member States to develop their capability to assist in UN collective action, and consultation and cooperation between member States and the UN in such efforts. (See paras 7–11 of Res.) Therefore, CMC shld, in addition to the prosecution of its formal studies, be available to consult with and give appropriate advice to states working toward this end. It is hoped that, by end of year, practically every UN member will have developed some increment of concrete help available to UN for action against aggression.

In all of this work, the greatest stress shld be laid upon the point that the UN system for collective security is to be used only pursuant to the Charter and against aggression wherever aggression may occur. The CMC and possible successor bodies of the UN cannot be limited to the consideration of measures to repel only small-scale aggression. Nor shld their task be conceived as the preparation of measures against only such aggression as may be committed by the USSR or by some other particular country. FYI it is at the same time important for the US to bear in mind that if gen war shld break out it wld be our objective that it be waged between the UN and the enemy, rather than [Page 618]between the US or even the US plus its Allies and the enemy. To this end we wld, therefore, in war want to use the CMC or similar UN collective machinery to help organize a world-wide coalition against the enemy. While this objective is potential and contingent and of course unexpressed, it shld be borne in mind in connection with our approach to the work of the CMC, the relationships between the UN and regional security systems and similar problems.

2. Gen Nature of CMC Functions

Dept considers tasks of CMC to be more than merely technical in nature. Terms of reference of Comite are so broad that action taken under them must be organized within a gen polit framework which provides the basis for technical action in, for example, military and economic fields. Thus, at outset of long-range planning and study, CMC must to considerable extent deal with problems which are polit in nature. We accordingly envisage that the Reps on CMC, who wld not themselves be technical experts, wld have high-level technical advisers. In order to deal with such technical problems as may arise, the CMC will probably find it desirable to appoint specialized subcomites or working parties.

3. Relationships to Military Staff Comite

Questions will arise concerning the relationship between the program of the CMC and that of the MSC, especially if the USSR shld seek to renew discussions in the MSC in order to undercut the CMC effort. It is believed that the CMC effort shld proceed without any relationship to the MSC. It shld be noted that the Uniting for Peace Res was intended to insure that the UN have “at its disposal means for maintaining internatl peace and security pending the conclusions of Article 43 agreements”.4

4. Relationship to Regional Pacts

The question of relationship of UN system of collective security to regional pacts will arise at many points. The relationship of the UN system to regional or defense pacts or organizations in existence or which may be created will necessarily be worked out in the course of the development of the UN program. The Res itself requires that “account be taken of collective self-defense and regional arrangements.”

5. CMC Operations in Connection with Korean Crisis

Although it was not originally contemplated that CMC wld perform UN functions in Korean crisis, we see certain advantages, as you [Page 619]know, in its possible use under the authority of the GA as a mechanism for the consideration of collective measures against Chi aggression. This is additional reason for favoring early org of the CMC. While we will of course expedite any CMC action desired by the GA, we wld not wish this to delay initiation of the longer-term process of organizing collective security against future acts of aggression. We believe these two aspects of work shld be kept separate.

II. Proposed Program of Work

1. Procedural Matters

The Committee should at its first meeting seek to reach agreement on the most important procedural problems. The US makes the following tentative suggestions concerning organization:

The Comite should elect a permanent Chairman. The primary consideration in selection shld be the personal competence of the officers.
Rule 160 of GA probably provides adequate rules of procedure for Comite.5
The Comite shld contemplate the creation of such working groups as are needed to deal with various phases of the problems confronting it.
The mtgs of the Comite shld generally be private and its records classified. Press communiqués cld be issued as appropriate.

2. Approval of appointments made by the Secretary-General to the Pawel of Military Experts

The GA resolution on “Uniting for Peace” placed upon the Collective Measures Comite the duty of approving the nominees of the SYG to the Panel of Military Advisers. As heretofore stated, the SYG shld be urged to submit a list of nominees as soon as the CMC is organized.

3. Reports on elements of national armed forces

An early item of business shld be a communication from the CMC to all UN Members inviting them to report to the CMC pursuant to para 9 of the Uniting for Peace resolution.

4. Plan of Work

The primary function of the Comite, as expressed in para 11 of the GA resolution, is to study and report to the SC and GA by 1 Sept 1951 “on methods, including those of part C of this resolution, which might be useful to maintain and strengthen internatl peace and security in accordance with the principles and purposes of the Charter, taking account of collective self-defense and regional arrangements (Arts. 51 and 52 of the Charter)”. It is suggested that the Comite make preliminary studies of the chief methods with a view to the establishment by the 6th GA of suitable organization and procedures for continuing the work on a long term basis. The chief methods of [Page 620]strengthening the UN which have been suggested and which shld be given preliminary study are the following:

Methods for stimulating creation and maintenance of elements for possible UN use within national armed forces of all Member states.
Methods and machinery for coordination among all cooperating states on use of such elements.
Interim arrangements for immediate availability.
Establishment of continuing machinery for long-term coordination, including arrangements for training, organization, and equipment of such elements.
Methods of coordinating such elements with forces organized under auspices of regional organizations.
Formation of a UN force, individually recruited by or on behalf of the UN, and relation of such a unit to other units of armed forces to be made available to the UN.
Provision to the UN of bases, rights of passage, and other facilities.
Possible use of special arrangements for provision to the UN of armed forces, bases, rights of passage, and other facilities.
Development of methods to assure the expeditious creation of an effective command to direct elements made available for UN service.
Use of economic measures as part of UN effort to maintain or restore internatl peace.
Interruption of economic relations.
Interruption of rail, sea, air, postal, telegraph, radio, and other means of communication.
Preclusive buying of stratgic materials.
Use of financial measures as part of the UN effort to maintain or restore peace.
Interruption of financial relations.
Use of political measures as part of the UN effort to maintain or restore internatl peace.
Severance of diplomatic relations.
Use of radio broadcasting and other means of internatl communication.
Question of continuance of CMC and creation of permanent machinery within the UN to implement the program of Uniting for Peace.

This list of studies is not intended to be exhaustive and will be supplemented by a more detailed outline of topics and doubtless by suggestions of other states. The studies cld be made by the SYG or by working groups of the CMC.

  1. Documentation on the Korean conflict is presented in volume vii.
  2. For documentation on the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, see vol. iii, pp. 1 ff.
  3. The Uniting for Peace Resolution, Resolution 377 (V) adopted by the General Assembly on November 3, 1950, contained the following basic provisions:

    • A) The General Assembly resolved to devote prompt consideration to collective action against aggression in the event that the Security Council was unable to act due to lack of unanimity.
    • B) A Peace Observation Commission was established to observe and report on situations causing international tension.
    • C) Member states of the United Nations were asked to maintain armed forces elements available for service as United Nations units upon the recommendation of the Security Council or General Assembly.
    • D) The General Assembly established a Collective Measures Committee to 14 members (Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Burma, Canada, Egypt, France, Mexico, Philippines, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States, Venezuela, and Yugoslavia) to study and report to the Security Council and the General Assembly by September 1, 1951, on methods which might be used to maintain and strengthen international peace and security.
    • E) The General Assembly urged member states to intensify individual and collective efforts to achieve observance of human rights, economic stability, and social progress.

    For text of Resolution 377 (V), see United Nations, Official Records of the General Assembly, Fifth Session, Resolutions Adopted by the General Assembly, pp. 10–12 (hereafter cited as GA (V), Resolutions), or Department of State Bulletin, November 20, 1950, pp. 823–825. For documentation on the formulation of the Uniting for Peace Resolution, see Foreign Relations, 1950, vol. ii, pp. 303 ff.

  4. Article 43 of the United Nations Charter (Department of State Treaty Series No. 993, or 59 Stat. (pt. 2) 1031) specified that all members would make forces and facilities available to the Security Council upon call, in accordance with agreements between the Security Council and member states. Negotiations in the Military Staff Committee of the Security Council since 1946 had failed to produce arrangements whereby forces were actually placed at the disposal of the Council. Documentation on this subject is included in material on regulation of armaments in Foreign Relations, volume I for the years 1946–1950.
  5. A/520/Rev. 1, Rev. 2; now Rule 161 in A/520/Rev. 12.