320.2 AC/8–1551: Telegram

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


232. Re: CMC. At meeting with UK and French yesterday on questions relating to CMC report on military measures, British indicated in frank manner their basic attitude toward uniting for peace res and future progress that should be made in implementation thereof.

Coulson (UK) stated that UK had never liked res and had been pushed into it by our insistence. They were afraid last fall res would be thin edge of wedge leading to development collective security system beyond maintenance of UN units by members. He stated frankly that they objected to our fundamental concept that purpose of uniting for peace program was as stated in res preamble to ensure that pending Art 43 agreements the UN have at its disposal means for maintaining peace. He expressed view that so long as SC unable to function, no further efforts should be made to make UN effective as collective security agency.

It appeared that an underlying objection is fact that GA has authority and responsibility under uniting for peace res to institute collective action. UK objections stated last fall on grounds of GA irresponsibility are presumably still uppermost in their minds. They also continue to express fears of aggravating Soviet problem in various ways and use argument that universality of UN would be jeopardized.

Coulson indicated that despite policy position UK would agree to the conclusions relating to assistance and facilities and might agree to conclusions on rights of passage as set forth in Misun 64,1 subject to FonOff check. But the tone and implication of his remarks made it clear that they would object to: (1) Statements in CMC report of objectives of uniting for peace program of type contained in Secretary’s and Amb Dulles’ statements in GA last year and subsequent speeches of the President, and (2) any GA program to extend or strengthen uniting for peace res.

In other words, we anticipate British objection to conclusions in CMC report expressive of our position that “the UN must move forward energetically to develop a more adequate system of collective security”, as stated in Secretary’s speech last year.2 We feel that acceptance by CMC of policy conclusions of this sort would strengthen CMC report and its impact on member govts and their populations. [Page 657]CMC report shld show sufficient progress and determination for further progress to make clear that whole program is serious, worthwhile and susceptible of realistic and practical application.

Furthermore, if we have in mind a GA res based upon CMC report containing further recommendations to member states for purpose of increasing their awareness of responsibility to contribute to UN action and of augmenting their preparations thereof, we anticipate that considerable diplomatic preparation will be necessary in order to bring the UK along.

During course of CMC work, we have been able to persuade reluctant British to accept our program involving such matters as creation of military subcomite, study of steps for coordination of contributions of forces, and conclusions relating to contributions of assistance and facilities. Yesterday’s meeting demonstrated clearly what has over period of months been becoming increasingly apparent that they have a basic difference with US policy of (1) increasing strength of UN in collective security field under uniting for peace program, and (2) not permitting UN to become impotent and suspend its efforts in this area simply because of inability of SC to fulfill its charter responsibilities.

French position in past has been close to British in respect to particular issues but has been based primarily on fear of making UN into anti-Soviet alliance and desire not to do anything in UN which would affect NATO. The extent to which French share fundamental British objection cannot be determined from French comments. In our view most other CMC members, including Commonwealth, would support our general approach rather than that of UK. We therefore think it would be helpful if Dept could approach Franks3 on this question in order to help resolve this fundamental difference in approach. Dept might also consider whether FonOff should be similarly approached in London or question raised with UK in forthcoming FonMin meeting.4

  1. Telegram Misun 64 to New York, August 14, is not printed.
  2. Reference is to Secretary Acheson’s address before the General Assembly on September 20, 1950; for text, see GA (V), Plenary, vol. I, pp. 23 27, or Department of State Bulletin, October 2, 1950, pp. 523–529.
  3. Sir Oliver Franks, British Ambassador in the United States.
  4. For documentation on the meetings of the Foreign Ministers of the United States, the United Kingdom, and France in Washington, September 10–14, 1951, see vol. iii, pp. 1163 ff.