Memorandum of Two Conversations, by Mr. Richard J. Kerry, Administrative Attorney, Division of International Administration
Subject: Elimination of any requirement of Ninth Proviso action in any case covered by Section 11 of the Headquarters Agreement with the UN
|(1) April 3, 1951: Congressman Francis E. Walter (D., Pa.), Chairman, Subcommittee, Immigration and Naturalization;|
|(2) April 4, 1951: Congressman Clifford P. Case (R., N.J.), Senior Minority Member.|
(1) Mr. Ingram gave Mr. Walter a copy of Secretary General Lie’s note protesting delays in the admission of the Polish newspaper correspondent Brodski. Mr. Ingram explained that the note in the Brodski case was not strictly responsive to the Committee’s request for the views of the SYG on the effect of the Internal Security Act of 1950 on U.S. obligations under the Headquarters Agreement, as the General Assembly had never addressed itself to that question by formal resolution. The U.S. was very anxious to avoid, and heretofore had been successful in avoiding, any such formal action by the UN. Mr. Ingram summarized the adverse effects which delays in admission of persons coming under the Headquarters Agreement had had. Mr. Walter said that certain Committee members and Senator Ferguson, in particular, were disturbed over political activities which some correspondents admitted to attend sessions of the UN had carried on outside the Headquarters District. He assured Mr. Ingram that the Committee was very much concerned with the problem of United States obligations under the Headquarters Agreement and said that the State Department’s proposed change to eliminate the necessity of Ninth Proviso action by the Attorney General was at the head of [Page 51] the list of items which the Committee would consider in Executive Session.
(2) Mr. Ingram handed Mr. Case copies of the papers he had given to Mr. Walter the previous day and again explained the nature of the SYG’s note in the Brodski case. Mr. Ingram then summarized the difficulties involved when Ninth Proviso action is required. Mr. Case inquired as to what security measures, other than those taken by the Attorney General, were taken in connection with the accreditation and admission of correspondents generally.
Mr. Ingram explained the accreditation procedure as follows: when a correspondent applies to the UN for accreditation the UN requests the comments of the Department before acting on the application, and the Department then makes a review of any security information available in the Government before indicating whether or not it has any objection to the accreditation of the applicant. Upon being accredited by the UN, the correspondent applies for a visa and if the Consul has no information which indicates that the applicant is excludable, the visa is then issued. If, however, either as a result of investigations by the Department or by the Consul, the applicant is found to be inadmissible (by reason only of Section 2 of Section 22 of the Internal Security Act), Ninth Proviso action is then requested of the Attorney General. The Attorney General may then either admit the alien in reliance solely upon the Secretary of State’s certification that admission of the alien is in the national interest or may conduct his own security investigation and then determine whether or not to admit the alien.
Mr. Ingram pointed out that this procedure was excessively time consuming in all cases and that the elimination of Ninth Proviso action was only one aspect of the problem of eliminating delay in the accreditation and admission of correspondents. He said that under the consultation agreement pursuant to which the UN requests the comment of the U.S. on applications before accrediting correspondents, the U.S. has two weeks in which to make its comments, but that, because of the great workload now imposed on agencies involved in making security checks, the accreditation procedure now took from six weeks to three months. Despite this delay the UN, to date, has not accredited any correspondents before receiving the comments of the U.S. In view of the delays which were involved it was, however, now giving consideration to accrediting correspondents at the end of two weeks consultation period whether or not U.S. comment had been made. He said that the Department was studying various possible means of eliminating these delays without reducing security standards and that revision of the entire accreditation procedure was under consideration. Mr. Case inquired under what circumstances correspondents were admitted subject to their being restricted to the [Page 52] Headquarters District. Mr. Ingram replied that all of the correspondents who had been admitted by Ninth Proviso action had been restricted. Mr. Case then inquired whether it would be feasible to admit all correspondents promptly on a restricted basis and then to deal with the security question by post-audit. He pointed out that it would be necessary to have something like a restriction to provide the same incentive for prompt action in the case of a post-audit as is inherently present in the case of a pre-audit. Mr. Ingram said that the idea of admitting correspondents promptly, if the Consul to whom they applied for a visa did not have any information which would exclude them, was under consideration, but that it would be undesirable to restrict all correspondents even for a short time. Mr. Kerry pointed out that the incentive to promptly complete post-audits would be adequately provided if correspondents were initially accredited only for a period sufficient to complete a security check (about three months) and that under such a procedure it would probably be sufficient to restrict only certain correspondents. Mr. Case inquired as to what restrictions were imposed by Soviet and Iron Curtain countries on the movement of U.S. representatives resident there. Mr. Ingram pointed out the differences in the status of persons accredited to the UN in New York and persons accredited to the U.S. Government in Washington, D.C., and said that Curtain country representatives accredited to the U.S. were being restricted on a basis of reciprocity. Mr. Case concluded the interview by saying that he was very hopeful that the Committee could recommend some provisions which would satisfy the Department and be acceptable to the whole House and to the public.