320/12–1451: Telegram

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


Gadel 541. Re old Sov item (Delgas 664 and 665). Irrespective of any domestic pol considerations, gen view in Dept is that, on balance, arguments against Eisenhower appearance in First Comite outweigh those in favor. Fol points seem to us especially important:

We question whether Eisenhower appearance before UN Comite wld have as great a psychological effect as those supporting it believe. Wld it not have only a limited and temporary effect?
No matter how invitation and statement are phrased, we will not be able to avoid fact that NATO is being defended in UN by a mil man and an American, with all that that connotes in terms of alleged US domination of NATO and imagined domination of US policy by mil arm.
Sov propaganda to above effect wld be especially difficult to refute because Gen Eisenhower does not, properly speaking, represent NATO in its totality as distinct from SHAPE as a mil org in one area of NATO. If we wished to have a NATO spokesman appear in UN, Ave shld think it more appropriate for that spokesman to be a pol rep—say Pearson as Pres of NATO Council. As you know, we are endeavoring to refute charges that NATO is no more than a mil alliance.
We believe that sound relationships between NATO and UN are being gradually worked out over period of time, and that comprehensive [Page 492]statement of UNNATO relationships such as Gen Eisenhower wld have to make wld be premature at this stage. In fact, we wld foresee greatest difficulty in obtaining consent all NATO members to Eisenhower statement if it went beyond broadest generalities. Indeed, it seems to us preferable UN Reps of NATO countries themselves defend NATO in GA, coordinating their activities.
Moreover, we wld rather not use our heavy ammunition for anything less than a major crisis. Sov attack on NATO is after all only one portion of a typical Sov agenda item composed of diverse charges against the US and the West. The substance of most of these charges (e.g. disarmament and Korea) will have already been dealt with when Comite 1 begins discussion of old Sov item. We wld anticipate that there will be very little difficulty in these circumstances in disposing of Sov item with same scale of effort we applied last yr, or, if needed, by counter Res along lines position paper SD/A/2491 with sponsorship suggested by Lie as indicated Delga 589 Dec ll.2
We are also concerned re possibility of establishing precedent under which regional grps wld be answerable in the UN for their activities and wld be required appear before UN organ to explain or justify those activities beyond specific Charter requirements. This wld imply a degree of intimacy of regional orgs to UN which we wld not now desire.
If, notwithstanding the considerations mentioned in Paras 4, 5, and 6 Del believes appearance some NATO Rep desirable, suggest Del discuss with Can Del and Dels other NATO countries possibility appearance by Pearson.

  1. Not printed. This paper, dated October 10, 1951, was entitled “General Assembly resolution on regional and collective self-defense organizations”. It was one of several amalgamated into a Delegation position book entitled Soviet Peace Propaganda at the 6th GA. See editorial note, p. 476.
  2. Delga 589 was a classified Daily Summary from the U.S. Delegation. On this particular item it was reported that “During a discussion with Gross and Ross, SYG Lie indicated still felt it would be desirable not merely to vote down old Soviet item resolution but to develop a constructive counter initiative.” It was agreed that the disarmament aspect would have been disposed of “in large part” and that “the Korean aspect should not be discussed pending the outcome of the armistice negotiations. … With regard to the remaining aspects … NATO and the Five-Power Pact … , Lie believed there should be a counter-proposal … a positive affirmation of NATO’s legality.” Lie spoke of NATO as a free association of large and small nations “brought together to carry out UN Charter principles. … Lie thought a group of small powers should develop the constructive counter-initiative and that the Scandinavian and Low Countries would be very much interested. In dealing with the NATO aspect of the Soviet resolution, he suggested obtaining a couple of Latin American states in order to bring in the OAS concept … and a couple of Arabs … to bring in the Arab League concept.” (Paris telegram Delga 589, December 11, 2 a.m., 320/12–1151)