Minutes of Seventh Meeting of the United States Delegation to the General Assembly, Paris, November 8, 1951
[Here follows list of persons (46) present.]
1. Mr. Stein continued his presentation on the Moroccan question. The Sec’y had been in consultation with Schumann [sic]1 about this matter and had told him that the US would abstain, itself, on a vote [Page 153] on putting the matter on the agenda, in line with our previous commitment to the French. In addition he had told Schumann that the US would work as much as was consistent with our not taking the lead to convince other delegations of the wisdom of not putting the matter on the agenda at the present time, either by seeking to obtain abstentions or negative votes on the Arab proposal. The US would support a negative report of the General Committee on this matter, and abstain on a positive one. We would work to get the General Committee to postpone inscribing this matter on the GA’s agenda.
In talks with Chauvel and Jebb, Ambassador Gross had rehearsed the agreed strategy of having a friendly member of the General Committee move postponement after the Egyptians had made their charges. Under Rule 75 this would allow only two speakers in favor and two against the proposition. France and the US would speak against inscribing the item on the agenda. Chauvel was to consult with Schumann as to whether he (Chauvel) would make any reference in his speech to the effect that France was living up to her obligations under Article 73(e) of the Charter and carrying out plans for the social, economic, and political evolution of Morocco. Although the French were not likely to agree to make such a statement, the US should point out to them that political statements would be made by the Arabs and the Russians, and it would be unwise for the record to remain silent on the French side.
Ambassador Gross found the draft of the French statement, which they had not discussed with the US, to be unsatisfactory in that it did not address itself to the issue of postponement and was not in conformity with the agreement we had worked out with the French. In regard to the argument that the French were providing for the proper evolution of Morocco, the draft statement quoted all of Article 73, vehemently denied the applicability of the Charter to this matter, and in a very offhand manner mentioned French compliance with this part of the Charter. It ended with a statement that the General Assembly could not investigate the status of human rights in Morocco.
Ambassador Gross would contact Chauvel and try to get him to adhere to the agreed procedure for postponement and discuss with him the statement. He recommended that the US not make any statement if the French give one equally as bad as the draft he had seen.
Mr. Cohen said that unless a French policy statement showed a bona fide desire to reach a settlement with the Arabs, the accusation would undoubtedly be made that the US had imposed a trick upon the General Assembly by opposing its consideration of the Moroccan matter. Mrs. Roosevelt referred to a considerable undercurrent against the French on this reversal in the US position. The Secretary agreed to speak again to Schumann to get him to be sensible, adding, in response [Page 154] to a request for a clarification of the US position by Ambassador Austin, that the US wanted itself, the UK and France in the same corner on this matter, the only feasible one being that of a postponement. He would try to obtain Schumann’s agreement to be reasonable on this and admit of the necessity of postponing. Only thus would the US be able to go along easily with France and oppose the Arabs.
Mr. Cohen questioned whether the motion in the General Committee to postpone referred to postponement of General Committee consideration or postponement of General Assembly consideration. The Secretary said that even if Mr. Cohen was right in thinking it referred to postponement in the General Committee, the matter would be questioned when the report of the Committee came up for discussion in the Plenary. Ambassador Gross said that he had previously assumed that there would be discussion in the GA on the question of postponement. A working group of Messrs. Cohen, Gross and Fisher would discuss this matter further. Mr. Taylor had been given information to the effect that when the question of Tibet had come up in the General Committee during the last GA, and the General Committee had agreed on postponement, and the General Assembly did not consider this action by the General Committee.
[Here follows discussion of other agenda items.]
- The references here are to Robert Schuman, French Foreign Minister, and not to Maurice Schumann.↩