320.2 AB/8–2751

Memorandum by the Assistant Secretary of State for United Nations Affairs (Hickerson) to the Secretary of State 1


Subject: Progress under Uniting for Peace Resolution

This memorandum is prepared in response to your suggestion, made at your meeting with Dr. John Dickey, Mr. Harding Bancroft and myself on August 23, that we furnish you with some documentation on the principal problems arising in connection with the implementation of the Uniting for Peace Resolution, so that you might discuss the matter with the British Foreign Minister.

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As we noted at the meeting, twenty-eight Members of the United Nations had by August 22 made responses to the last General Assembly’s recommendation that they maintain elements of their armed forces for possible United Nations service, and in general these responses are encouraging. The Collective Measures Committee established by the Uniting for Peace Resolution is nearing the end of its work on a comprehensive report which will outline the military, economic and political lines along which collective action under the United Nations can be taken in response to recommendations of the Security Council or the General Assembly in future cases of aggression. In our view, the report will be an important document, and the program it outlines a serious and worthwhile program. We consider it most desirable that the gains made by your introduction of the Uniting for Peace plan at the General Assembly last fall, and then carried forward by the Collective Measures Committee, be consolidated at the Paris session of the General Assembly which opens on November 6.

Accordingly, we are pressing in the Collective Measures Committee for a strong report in order to lay a foundation for suitable General Assembly action in the fall. As we see it, the General Assembly should as a minimum make recommendations to Member States along the following lines:

Continuing the direction of past United Nations action, it should impress upon Member States the fact of their moral responsibility to take part in collective action under the United Nations, and to put themselves in a position which will enable them to play their appropriate role.
For this purpose it should stimulate states to continue their preparations for the establishment within their national armed forces of units which could be earmarked for United Nations service, and should encourage states to prepare to furnish other supplies, assistance and facilities in support of United Nations action, including rights of passage (generally as set forth in Article 43 of the Charter).
It should arrange for continuation of the work of the Collective Measures Committee for the next year, in order to carry forward the studies initiated in 1951 and to assist states in appropriate ways in advancing their preparations for cooperation in United Nations action.

The relationships which are developed between the security arrangements made under the North Atlantic Treaty and other collective and regional defense systems, on the one hand, and the Uniting for Peace structure on the other, may be of crucial importance for the development of the United Nations program. Our concept of the relationship between the Uniting for Peace program and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization system is not one which would in any way subordinate NATO action to the United Nations or limit the freedom of action of the North Atlantic Treaty states under the treaty. We conceive of the United Nations Charter as the basic moral foundation for NATO and as its tangible tie with the rest of the world. As such, the Uniting for [Page 661]Peace program under the Charter would serve as a means of extending the area of support for NATO if the latter should become engaged in a war against an aggressor. We believe there would be very great dangers to NATO and to all peaceful nations if they should fail to mobilize both the moral and material resources of the whole free world in any major action against aggression. Thus it is in our opinion a matter of simple self-interest for the NATO states to further the sound development of the Uniting for Peace program. You may wish to assure the Foreign Minister, however, that we do not plan to seek the development of peace-time organizational relationships between the United Nations and NATO, and we agree with the United Kingdom view that it would be undesirable for the Collective Measures Committee at the present time to become involved in trying to spell out in detail, beyond presently agreed points, relationships which might exist between the United Nations and NATO or other collective security arrangements in the event of hostilities.

The British and French have expressed apprehension at our desire to move steadily forward in the implementation of the program as a whole both because of fear of possible irresponsible action by the General Assembly in a given case and fear that the USSR might seize upon the program as further evidence that the United Nations is becoming an anti-Soviet alliance and withdraw.2 The British and French have also shown some anxiety with regard to our views on relationships between regional systems and the United Nations, and in general maintain that this problem should not be raised in the Collective Measures Committee or other United Nations fora.

John D. Hickerson
  1. A memorandum by Robert G. Barnes of the Executive Secretariat to Lucius D. Battle, Special Assistant to the Secretary of State, September 6, indicates the following: The present memorandum is a revision of a version (also dated August 27) which was accompanied by various attachments. The original draft was revised to avoid mention of the attachments in the belief that the Secretary would not need or have the time to read them. (320.2 AB/8–2751)
  2. For documentation on the possibility of Soviet withdrawal from the United Nations, see vol. ii, pp. 455 ff.