IO Files, Lot 71 D 440

Memorandum of Conversation, by the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for United Nations Affairs (Sandifer)1


US/A/AC. 43/4

Subject: Collective Measures Committee

Participants: Mr. Hume Wrong, Ambassador of Canada
Mr. George Ignatieff, Counselor, Canadian Embassy
Mr. Sandifer, UNA
Mr. Raynor,2 BNA
Mr. Allen,3 EUR
Mr. Bancroft, UNP
Mr. Popper,4 UNP

The Canadian Ambassador called at his request to ascertain our views with regard to the scope of the work of the CMC and the priority we had in mind for it. His questions were based on the draft plan of work for the Committee included in Airgram A–17 to New York dated January 20. The Canadians appeared somewhat concerned that we might have in mind a wide-ranging report by the Committee this September, including suggestions not only on military measures but also economic, financial and political steps. They put forward the view that the primary task of the Committee this year should be to work out methods of coordinating United Nations elements maintained in accordance with Paragraph 8 of the Uniting for Peace Resolution and implied that it would be unfortunate if, by seeking to do too much, the Committee were diverted from this task.

The Canadians were assured that we agreed with them regarding the primary function of the CMC this year. It was pointed out that it would be appropriate for the Committee, in view of its broad terms of reference, to refer in its report to other related suggestions which should eventually be covered if a well-rounded collective security scheme was to be worked out over a period of time. With regard to these broader topics, included toward the end of the plan of work as set forth in A–17, the Committee might merely recommend procedures to be followed next year or later in reaching agreement on detailed steps.

The discussion was centered principally around the following points:

1. United Nations Elements

The importance of securing satisfactory results on this matter during [Page 627]the year was stressed to the Canadians. Reference was made to the interest of the House Sub-committee on State Department appropriations on the need for a higher proportion of contingents from other United Nations states in the Korean operation, and to the desirability of avoiding improvisation if United Nations action should be taken in any future act of aggression.

2. Relations with Regional Organizations

The Canadians flagged this as one of the principal problems under the Uniting for Peace Resolution. They were informed that we recognized the difficulty of the problem but had as yet no firm ideas on how to deal with it. It was stated that one idea we had in mind was to ask the governing bodies of various regional agencies to consider the problem themselves.

3. United Nations Legion

The Canadians wondered whether we intended to press immediately on this point. We made the comment that, while the basic idea was attractive, the more one studied it, the more practical difficulties seemed to arise. It was clear that we were not going to get a United Nations Legion within the next year, but we did feel that thought should be given to methods of ironing out the difficulties involved.

4. Bases, Rights of Passage and Other Facilities

The Canadians were interested in knowing what we had in mind on this point, especially reference to possible special agreements. We indicated that some countries not in a position to make armed forces available to the United Nations might usefully make available such facilities. It was pointed out that here we might build upon the work done by the Military Staff Committee, which had dealt at some length with this problem. The idea of special agreements was one to be borne in mind for future consideration as a possible method of arranging for the use of such facilities.

5. Panel of Military Experts

We told the Canadians that our military people had recommended that the Panel consist of twelve members, with a balanced composition of land, sea and air authorities and similarly a balanced geographical composition. The Canadians seemed to have been thinking in terms of a smaller panel but appeared to appreciate the reasons behind our military recommendation.

6. Secretariat Studies

The Canadians agreed that certain factual studies of a historical or non-controversial character might well be made by the Secretariat, Mr. Bancroft noted that Katzin of the United Nations had already had a study prepared on the experience of the League with sanctions in 1935 and 1936.

[Page 628]

7. Privacy of Meetings

The Canadians agreed that it would be highly desirable for the meetings to be private.

Mr. Bancroft informed the Canadians that he would make a general statement on the possible lines of work of the CMC at the meeting on March 5.4

Durward V. Sandifer
  1. Circulated as USUN document US/A/AC.43/4, March 7.
  2. G. Hayden Raynor, Director of the Onice of British Commonwealth and Northern European Affairs.
  3. Ward P. Allen, Special Assistant on United Nations Affairs, Bureau of European Affairs.
  4. David H. Popper, Officer in Charge, General Assembly Affairs.
  5. The First Meeting of the Collective Measures Committee occurred on March 5. For information on the proceedings of the CMC, see editorial note, infra.