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


Subject: Attached Paper on UN Membership and Participation of Non-Members in the General Assembly1

The attached paper represents the results of our discussions within UNP, and with Mr. Johnson and various others in UNA. Its main purpose is to develop the various alternative positions as to membership and non-member participation in the General Assembly, as a basis for determining our policy. Our preliminary conclusions are that the effort toward a broad solution of the membership problem ought, if possible, to be carried forward even if this involves no more this year than a general statement in favor of a total solution of the membership problem including Japan and other countries that have not yet applied, on the basis of the elimination of the veto. Our preliminary view, further, is that on balance the advantages to be derived from a general arrangement for participation by non-Members are probably not important enough to justify presentation of such a proposal by the U.S.; however, we think the U.S. should support such an arrangement if proposed by some other state. Our preference for putting emphasis on the membership question rather than on some scheme for participation for non-Members receives support from the new British interest in a membership deal, reported by Ward Allen in the attached Memorandum of Conversation.2

Since I assume you now wish to have the reactions of the geographic bureaus to these alternatives, I am giving copies of the paper to the membership team,3 making clear that you wish to have the possibilities [Page 315] explored in the Department but that UNA has not taken any position on the matter and that, specifically, the attached paper only represents UNP’s preliminary views.

  1. Not attached, but see infra. Apparently the paper herein mentioned, not found in Department of State files, was dated May 21 and presumably was a longer and more detailed version of the paper dated May 1, p. 305.
  2. Memorandum of conversation not attached, but see the Allen memorandum of conversation with officers of the British Embassy, May 21, supra.
  3. The Membership Team was an ancillary group of the United Nations Liaison Committee (UNLC). The UNLC was a Departmental committee which was set up in March 1946 to effect liaison on United Nations affairs between the office with primary responsibility for such matters (then the Office of Special Political Affairs) and the geographic offices; each of the geographic offices appointed representatives to the committee on a permanent basis, and the functional offices (such as the Bureau of Economic Affairs) as necessary. Although the primary function of “the membership team” was considered to be the formulation of policy on the working level regarding the admission of new members to the United Nations, often its focus was directed to questions concerning the U.S. position on elections to various United Nations offices and organs, so it met fairly regularly through the years. Nevertheless there is no systematic record of its meetings and minutes in the Department of State central indexed files.