320/12–1451: Telegram

The United States Representative at the United Nations (Austin) to the Secretary of State


Delga 664. For the Secretary. Re old Soviet item. As Dept has long anticipated, it seems likely that Soviets in connection their omnibus [Page 489]item1 will launch major attack on NATO. US and other NATO countries will wish to respond with vigorous offensive showing reasons for creation of NATO and in giving our idea of NATO’s proper relationship to UN. USDel here in Paris has been considering how best to conduct this offensive when Soviet item is reached.

One idea that has been put forward is that political comite, in course of debate on Soviet item, might invite or request NATO to send a rep to make a statement before comite. Such statement might be made by General Eisenhower, as the single individual who most genuinely symbolizes and represents NATO as an organization. Such an appearance by General Eisenhower before comite would need to be concurred by appropriate agreement among the 12 govts concerned, after prior consultation with General. Contemplated Eisenhower statement wld be most broadly conceived, to place NATO in true perspective, to state reasons for its existence, and to state its purposes in world situation where San Francisco expectations of great-power cooperation are not a reality today.

Del has discussed above suggestion, and a number of considerations have emerged as favoring suggestion, while at same time certain difficulties have been seen.

Fol are some of difficulties: Appearance of General Eisenhower before UN wld dramatize debate on Soviet item and perhaps lend additional magnitude to Soviet charges directed against NATO. Western Eur countries and certain Asian countries might resent appearance of General Eisenhower as indirect pressure by US to compel greater sacrifices by them for achievement of current NATO goals. There might be unfavorable reaction to appearance of high military figure in UN deliberations. Such appearance by NATO reps in political comite might imply a degree of answerability and even subordination of NATO to UN which countries such as UK and Fr might object to. Some question has been raised as to possible adverse effect on US domestic political situation of appearance by Gen Eisenhower before UN at Paris session.

On other side of ledger, fol considerations have been advanced: Appearance by General before UN wld actually serve to emphasize bipartisan character of US foreign policy in regard to NATO, and tend to withdraw this issue from 1952 campaign. Magnitude of UN debate on Soviet attack against NATO may in any event be determined by USSR rather than West. Appearance of General Eisenhower in political comite wld serve as dramatic counterweight to role Vyshinsky has played at this session, where for some time he has been single most dominating figure on scene. Positive and broadly philosophical statement by General Eisenhower before UN wld help free world in disposing decisively of Soviet charges. It could show that [Page 490] NATO is not rival or alternative to UN, but that existence of NATO accords with UN and is in support of UN purposes and principles. US statement on behalf of NATO powers would serve as reassurance to Western European countries as well as Middle East countries concerning US intentions in current East-West conflict.

In light of del discussions and above considerations, del believes question of Eisenhower appearance before UN shld be weighted carefully in Wash. In preliminary discussion Dec 13 Congressman Mansfield and Vorys and Amb Gross expressed strong doubts as to wisdom of suggestion, while Mrs. Roosevelt and Cohen warmly supported it. Cooper, Strauss and Tobias also support. Jessup absent from mtg but opposes.2

  1. That is, agenda item 67. See Doc. A/1944, November 8, p. 477.
  2. All persons named herein were Members of the United States Delegation to the General Assembly. For information regarding the composition and organization of the Delegation and its advisory staff, see pp. 2–10 and 37–44. The Delegation discussion described herein is recorded in the minutes of the December 13 meeting (IO Files, Doc. US/A/M(Chr)/219).