320.2–AC/3–1751: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the United States Representative at the United Nations (Austin)1


792. I. Prelimin reactions of UK and Fr to work of CMC underscores importance further advance consultations with them and with other members CMC in order seek greater meeting of minds on scope and tempo of work and nature of problems to which Comite shld give priority. Pls discuss further with UK and Fr Dels, stressing extent to which our views coincide with theirs on scope and procedures of CMC work as set forth in part III below.

Dept believes that their attitude of extreme caution may be only prelimin one and that our apparent differences can be lessened if they can be reassured that we as well as they are tackling this problem in a hard-headed and realistic fashion and that we are not proposing directly or indirectly that prelimin steps towards creation of UN collective security system are substitute for or in derogation of NAT either in terms of organization or operations. Nor is it intended to convert UN into anti-Sov alliance.

US regards Uniting for Peace Res and work of CMC thereunder as an important development in UN which can play vital part as deterrent to potential aggressors. US attitude and policy was set forth by Secy in his GA statement2 and by Amb Dulles during course of debate.3 Those statements are our firm policy which we hope will be carried forward through positive action in implementing Uniting for Peace Res. Statements by Brit and Fr FonMins and their spokesmen in Comite I debate appeared to be in full support of US at that time.

Our ideas for work for CMC are logical development of concept of res and minimum required in light of its wide public support. CMC failure to make substantial progress during first phase of its operations wld have serious effect not only in reducing and deflecting momentum that was created last Fall, but also wld play into Sov [Page 633]hands who wld like nothing better than to see possibilities of CMC come to nothing.

With these factors in mind Dept assumes UK and Fr will agree we must assure that CMC, before it renders its report to GA, will make such progress as will have effect of maintaining momentum developed by Uniting for Peace Res so that Member States will regard prospects for UN collective security system as serious business to which they will give maximum support as practical step in their own national self-interest. This means at minimum that CMC must make start on its consideration of steps which can be taken practically toward coordination of national forces in support of UN action and at least survey possibilities of more complete, long-range system of coordination.

As far as NATO is concerned, efforts of UN to develop collective security system cld become useful supplement to strength that NAT members are mustering under the Treaty. In no sense wld the universal system, if it develops as we hope it will, deplete resources of NAT, or decrease forces available in NA area, but, on contrary, wld increase its collective strength by adding to it moral undertaking of other States to employ their resources in event of UN action in support of NAT defense of NA area. After all, only through use of UN can we hope get maximum assistance in that area from countries outside it.

Dept does not agree with Fr position that CMC shld give priority to consideration of measures other than military. Debate on Uniting for Peace Res made it clear that important new element that was being added to potential of UN in collective security field was possibility of making available armed forces and planning techniques for their coordination so that improvising that was necessary in Korea wld be substantially reduced in event of new aggression. For CMC now to emphasize economic or political collective measures at expense of military wld, in our view, be unfortunate deflection of course that was outlined in Uniting for Peace Ees.

II. In so far as list of topics which will be prepared by Secretariat is concerned, fol are problems on which we believe CMC shld concentrate its attention between now and next GA:

Bequest to SYG to send communication to UN Members urging that they maintain UN units recommended in Para 8 of Res and requesting a report on progress that has been made to that end in accordance with Para 9. Recommendation to maintain UN units has become part of UN policy which organs and agencies of UN shld seek have implemented as far and as promptly as possible. We are now discussing with Defense, problems re US response to Para 8 and hope be able discuss this with UK and Fr shortly.
Request to SYG to proceed with his nomination Panel of Military Experts so that it will be available for use by any Member State when called for. Our position set forth WGCMC D–8.4
Methods and machinery for coordination of action of national forces possibly by way of interim arrangements which cld be immediately applied in event an aggression occurred before UN has had time establish more definitive plans for collective security system and machinery necessary therefor, developing its study in light of responses to Para 9 as they are made. For example, Comite shld be able in its first report to GA to enumerate certain steps which Member States cld take in event of such aggression which wld have practical effect of reducing improvising that was necessary in Korea.
Question of assistance and facilities. Availability of facilities for UN action including rights of passage and minor elements such as weather stations and the like may be an important part of collective security system. CMC might study problem whether Member States should examine their national situation in respect to provision to UN of all types of facilities with a view to making them available for UN use in event of UN action to meet aggression. Kor experience was exceptional in that problem of bases and rights of passage did not arise with major significance, although cost of South Africa’s contribution of an air contingent was materially increased because it was not able overfly certain areas. In event of new aggression elsewhere problem of availability of assistance and facilities of all types might be a critical factor.
Longer-term organization and coordination of UN elements. We believe CMC shld make start on this subject even though it is recognized that such consideration cannot be carried through to a conclusion for some time. Such a study shld be exploratory in nature, designed primarily to raise issues in order pave way for later work on such questions as employment, degree of readiness, provision of assistance and facilities, logistics support and command. Such a study cld consider report of MSC as starting point and develop principles which cld form outline for further work.
UN Legion. This is another question of long-range nature but because of great popular interest in this idea, we believe it shld be studied by CMC.
Non-Military Measures. In these fields we believe that Comite’s problem is not to consider efficacy of any particular step or group of measures, but rather to look into techniques by which national action by Member States cld be most efficiently coordinated. In other words, Comite’s task is to consider techniques of coordinating national action in application of political, economic and psychological measures. We cannot define with any degree of exactness the extent to which Comite will be able to make progress in this field. It shld, however, in its report be able to describe problems arising in imposing economic and diplomatic sanctions on international level, discuss the type of action which may be taken on an international basis as distinguished from national, and to extent possible, propose techniques of coordination which cld be used to make such measures most effective.

In respect to relationships and methods of coordinating UN elements with forces under regional organizations and collective security arrangements, Dept does not believe that we shld insist that this be studied by CMC as separate topic. It seems clear, however, that question of relationships will arise in many different contexts and will have to be studied closely by NAT Govts and considered in one way or another by CMC.

Finally, CMC will have to make recommendations to GA in its report on question of machinery which UN shld establish to continue work started by CMC in its first phase. Although this question probably need not be considered as separate item at outset, it shld nevertheless be in background throughout so that CMC can make intelligent recommendations to GA in its report.

III. The foregoing points are matters which, in our view, shld be studied by Comite and touched upon in its report to GA. Paras 1 and 2 above can be completed promptly. As to other matters it is not possible to foresee extent to which progress can be made, but we believe that papers shld be prepared on each so that Comite will have had opportunity to consider them and to report to GA on results, however tentative, of its deliberations.

We do not contemplate that CMC wld itself begin discussion above topics immediately (except perhaps Nos. 1 and 2), but if Comite cld agree that these are topics which shld be considered in course next few months, we suggest most expeditious way to proceed wld be for each topic to be assigned as appropriate either to small subcomite, to individual member as rapporteur, or to Secretariat for purpose of preparing preliminary papers for consideration. Such procedure would get the Comite work started and wld provide ample opportunity for full exchange of views on substance of problems with UK and France which we all desire in advance of consideration by CMC or crystallization of respective opinion.

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We wld welcome UK and Fr ideas as to manner in which these preliminary papers shld be prepared and as to who shld be responsible for them. We believe it important to have responsibility for papers assigned promptly so that they can be worked on simultaneously. This can be done at next meeting or one thereafter at which CMC wld simply pick out topics for which priority wld be given and assign responsibility for preparation of papers.

We are continuing to develop our own thinking on these points and have asked our military officials to begin preparation of papers. As our ideas develop we will send you views for discussion with UK and Fr. Meantime, pls seek stimulate UK and Fr to follow similar procedure in order that we may begin soonest exchange concrete ideas.

  1. Repeated for information only as an airgram to the Embassies in London and Paris.
  2. For text of Secretary Acheson’s address before the General Assembly on September 20, 1950, see United Nations, Official Records of the General Assembly, Fifth Session, Plenary Meetings, vol. I, pp. 23–27 (hereafter cited as GA (V), Plenary, vol. I), or Department of State Bulletin, October 2, 1950, pp. 523–529.
  3. John Foster Dulles, Consultant to the Secretary of State, was a member of the United States Delegation to the Fifth Session of the General Assembly. For text of his statement on the Uniting for Peace Resolution before the First Committee on October 9, 1950, see Department of State Bulletin, October 23, 1950, pp. 651–655. For his remarks of October 13, 1950, see ibid., October 30, 1950, pp. 687–691. Summary records of the First Committee debate appear in United Nations, Official Records of the General Assembly, Fifth Session, First Committee (hereafter cited as GA (V), First Committee).
  4. Reference is to document WGCMC D–8, “The Panel of Military Experts,” March 8, 1951, not printed. The interdepartmental Working Group on the Collective Measures Committee (WGCMC) met in Washington from February to September 1951, on an irregular basis, with a view to coordinating United States policy at the CMC. Harding F. Bancroft, Deputy U.S. Representative on the CMC, was Chairman of the group. Those present at meetings varied, but Bancroft, Col. A. B. Swan of the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and Capt. D. W. Gladney of the U.S. Navy were generally among the State, Army, Navy, and Air Force representatives in attendance. A set of WGCMC documentation is present in Lot 58 D 224 (FRC Ace. No. 71A5255, Item No. 64), certain files of the Office of United Nations Political and Security Affairs, 1943–1956.