L/UNA Files

Memorandum by Mr. Albert F. Bender, Jr., of the United States Mission to the United Nations to Mr. Richard J. Kerry, Administrative Attorney, Division of International Administration


Subject: Recommended Revision of Procedure on Accreditation by UN of Correspondents

I wish to refer to my telephone conversations with you and Bill Hall of May 25 concerning the above-mentioned proposed revision of the accreditation procedure.

[Page 57]

In my conversation with you I advised that the Mission was prepared to concur in the recommendations contained in your memorandum of May 17 entitled as above, subject to the comments contained in my memorandum to you of May 24 (which you said could be handled without difficulty),1 and subject further to a clarification of certain items contained in Mr. Ailshie’s memorandum of May 24. With reference to Ailshie’s memorandum, I was particularly concerned about paragraph 4 which provided “When advisory opinion requested by consular officer SY will make usual security check with FBI, CIA and Department files.” I stated that I believed it essential that we be informed concerning:

  • a. The number of cases in which it could be anticipated that advisory opinions might be requested by consular officers, in the light of past experience, and in view of the language contained in paragraph 13 of the Department’s Circular Airgram of October 11, 1950 dealing with the Internal Security Act.
  • b. Whether it was anticipated that a complete security check would be made in the case of all requests for advisory opinions.

c. Why complete security checks should be made with respect to correspondents in cases in which consuls requested advisory opinions when such checks were not made when advisory opinions were asked concerning representatives of foreign Governments coming from the Soviet Union.

I was further concerned with the question of visa fees raised by paragraph 10 of Ailshie’s memorandum, and believe that we should have a clarification as to whether or not visa fees would be demanded of correspondents coming to the U.S. for UN accreditation who had received visas prior to accreditation. In this connection I suggested that we ought ascertain whether or not it was possible to obtain a waiver of the visa fee if it were indicated that a correspondent was seeking UN accreditation or, if not, a refund of the fee after the correspondent had become accredited.

As I understood it, it was your opinion that USUN should not concern itself with Ailshie’s memorandum, and should limit itself to concurrence or non-concurrence with your memorandum. I was unable to agree with this position.

In my subsequent conversation with Bill Hall he stated, I believe with your concurrence, that in the past advisory opinions had been requested by consuls in only about 10 percent of the cases of correspondents applying for visas and for accreditation by UN, and that about half of these cases had been handled without the necessity of a full security check. This would mean that in only about 5 percent of all correspondent cases had a full security check been necessary. Hall said [Page 58] that he had received assurance from Ailshie that present practices would remain unchanged, but pointed out of course that the percentage of cases requiring security checks might rise should there be an increase in the number of correspondents of dubious reputation who might seek UN accreditation. I advised Hall that this was the clarification which I had sought concerning paragraph 4 of Ailshie’s memorandum.

I mentioned to Hall the matter of visa fees. He said he believed that there was a procedure for refunding visa fees, and that an inquiry would be made to establish whether or not this procedure could be applied to correspondents who received their UN accreditation after they had paid a fee to obtain a visa.

I also discussed with Hall the difference between the procedure with respect to a full security check adopted by the Department with reference to correspondents and that applied to alien governmental representatives to UN and Secretariat personnel. I pointed out that it had been my understanding that, in seeking to amend the new codification of the immigration laws to place the admission of persons covered by Sections 11(3), (4) and (5) of the Headquarters Agreement upon the same basis as persons covered by Sections 11(1) and (2), it had been the Department’s position that there was no basis for discrimination among these categories of persons since all were covered by Section 11. Hall said that he felt that alien correspondents presented a greater source of danger to the U.S. than governmental representatives and Secretariat personnel and that, even if the proposed amendments to the immigration laws were adopted, the Department would be warranted in applying more stringent procedures with reference to the issuance of visas to correspondents than were applied to governmental representatives and Secretariat personnel. I said that I was somewhat dubious about this position.

I advised Hall, however, that in view of the foregoing clarification, USUN concurred in the recommendations contained in their memorandum of May 17. I pointed out nevertheless that, in order to secure UN’s acquiescence in the revised accreditation procedure, we must be in a position to assure the UN that the percentage of cases in which the U.S. failed to give a final comment within 21 days would be kept to the barest minimum. I said I believed that, if UN were advised that the percentage would amount to as much as 10 percent of the cases, we would have great difficulty in selling the revised, procedure.

  1. The Bender memorandum of May 24 is filed under decimal number 314.1/5–2451.