UNP Files. Lot 59 D 237, “Membership General IV (Beg. 1951)”

Memorandum by the Acting Director of the Office of United Nations Political and Security Affairs (Wainhouse) to the Assistant Secretary of State for United Nations Affairs (Hickerson)


Only a summary of Ambassador Dullesl supposedly off-the-record remarks at the Board of Trade luncheon April 3, 1951 in honor of the Latin American Foreign Ministers is available. It was on this occasion that he commented on the problem of membership in the United Nations, with the problem of the admission of Japan as his point of departure. Following is the official summary (Dept. PR242, April 3) of this portion of his remarks:

“Japan undoubtedly will apply as promptly as possible for membership in the United Nations. But their application may be vetoed, as has been the application of Italy and other peace-loving states.

“This is an aspect of the problem which I am sure you will want to consider both as belligerents in the Japanese war and as members of the United Nations. It is becoming increasingly intolerable that the Soviet veto in preventing the realization of the United Nations Charter provision that membership should be open to all peace-loving states which accept the obligations contained in the Charter and which are able and willing to carry out those obligations. Denial of membership to such nations makes it difficult to develop a genuine collective security system, such as is needed in the case of Japan. I believe that the United Nations Assembly should at an early date give consideration to how this problem can be practically resolved.”

We have already begun to receive official inquiries concerning any possible U.S. intentions to move in the membership field. As you know, the Italians made inquiries of Mr. Gross2 last week and were in effect told nothing new. Moodie of the Australian Embassy3 is [Page 305] coming in to see Ward Allen4 and, on instructions, will ask whether Mr. Dulles’ reference means that we have something in mind.

The line we have taken thus far is that Mr. Dulles’ remarks were his own; that he was simply pointing up a frustration in the UN which everyone is aware of and one with which we have been contending for a long time; that we are continuing to study the problem carefully but that we have no concrete suggestions to make at this time; and that we will be glad to keep in touch with the Australians on any develelopments in this field before the GA. We might also mention that one of the possibilities which has been suggested by the Italians and, last fall, by the Salvadorans is that of establishing some general measure of participation in the GA by non-Member states.

A working group from various UNA offices is now preparing positions on various membership problems, particularly in the specialized agencies, and UNP is now working up a basic paper both on the broad aspects of the membership situation and on the narrower question of a possible arrangement of increased participation in the UN by non-Member states.

We will keep you informed of any developments in this field.

  1. John Foster Dulles, Consultant to the Secretary of State.
  2. Ernest A. Gross, Deputy United States Representative at the United Nations.
  3. C. T. Moodie, Counselor of Embassy.
  4. Ward P. Allen, Special Assistant on United Nations Affairs, Bureau of European Affairs.