IO Files

United States Delegation Working Paper 1


Subject: The Old Soviet Item

The Soviet draft resolution on “Measures to Combat the Threat of a New World War and to Strengthen Peace and Friendship Among Nations” consists of four principal parts:

An attack on NATO and on United States bases.
A proposal for settlement of the Korean war which would involve withdrawal of forces from the 38th parallel within ten days and withdrawal of all foreign troops and foreign volunteer units within three months.
A series of paragraphs (three through seven) on prohibition of atomic weapons and reduction of armaments and armed forces.
A proposal for the conclusion of a five-power peace pact and a call upon other states to join it.

If we are successful in our argument that the Assembly should not consider Korea while the armistice talks continue at Panmunjom, we can dispose of the second item quickly.

The paragraphs on prohibition and disarmament have already been disposed of in the Committee; they were embodied in the Soviet amendments to the three-power proposal on disarmament. It is unlikely that many members of the Committee will wish to discuss these proposals again so soon.

The attack on NATO is met in part by the resolution the Committee is expected to adopt this afternoon on the CMC. The 8th paragraph of the preamble and the 6th operative paragraph applaud regional and collective self-defense arrangements and urge members to seek support for United Nations collective measures in such bodies.

The proposal for a five-power peace pact was considered and rejected by the Assembly in 1949 and 1950.

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This analysis suggests that the Soviet item can be disposed of this year by simply voting it down. The resolutions on disarmament and the CMC are positive contributions towards peace in which the United States is taking the lead. Vyshinsky has already said five or six times in the debate on these two items anything he could be expected to say in the debate on his own resolution. We believe committee members are bored with this performance and that repetition of the same old succotash will not make much new impression on world opinion. In these circumstances, the effort needed to prepare and put across a counter-resolution would seem to dignify beyond its deserts the Soviet resolution; and it is unlikely that we could produce anything whose effect on public opinion would be sufficient to warrant this effort.

We should try to get other states to speak before us in rebuttal to Vyshinsky, since it is only the United States which is attacked by name in this resolution and since the United States has taken the lead so far in the First Committee. A particular effort should be made to get representative of the Organization of American States and of the Arab League to support the principle of regional and collective self-defense arrangements: it should be pointed out to members of these other organizations that, although NATO is named, the OAS and the Arab League operate on the same principle and can likewise expect to be attacked when it serves the purposes of Soviet policy to do so. It might also be possible to get some of the smaller states to attack the provision of the five-power peace pact, even though they are as an after-thought invited to subscribe to it, on the grounds that they don’t want the big five dividing up the world and settling questions of interest to themselves.

There is much useful material in the background book on “Possible Soviet Propaganda Tactics in the General Assembly”,2 in particular three papers analyzing the five-power pact, the attack on NATO, and the United States bases abroad (SD/A/245, 249, and 252). It would also be useful to refer to what we and others have said in previous years, in order to help demonstrate that this is a tired old item which the Assembly need not take too seriously. (There is useful material in the President’s Reports to Congress for 1950—pages 109 through 112—and for 1949—pages 24 through 28. Statements by United States representatives in committee and plenary for these years are contained in United States Delegation press releases Nos. 735 of November 11, 1949, 760 of November 29, 1949, 1033 of October 26, 1950, and 1035 of October 28, 1950.)

Political officers should take this line immediately with other delegations in the hope that the item can be disposed of with the minimum of fuss compatible with the maximum of exposure.

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Text of United Nations Document A/C.1/698, Paris, January 12, 1952 (a revised draft resolution submitted by the Soviet Union)1

1. The General Assembly declares participation in the aggressive Atlantic bloc and the creation by certain States, and primarily by the United States of America, of military, naval and air bases in foreign territories incompatible with membership in the United Nations.

2. The General Assembly recognizes it to be essential that:

The countries taking part in the Korean war should immediately end military operations, conclude an armistice and withdraw their forces from the 38th parallel within a period of ten days;
All foreign troops and also foreign volunteer units should be withdrawn from Korea within a period of three months.

3. The General Assembly, considering the use of atomic weapons as weapons of aggression and of the mass destruction of people, to be at variance with the conscience and honour of peoples and incompatible with membership in the United Nations, proclaims the unconditional prohibition of atomic weapons and the establishment of strict international control over the enforcement of this prohibition, it being understood that the prohibition of atomic weapons and the institution of international control shall be put into effect simultaneously.

The General Assembly instructs the Disarmament Commission to prepare and submit to the Security Council, not later than 1 June 1952, for its consideration, a draft convention providing measures to ensure the implementation of the General Assembly decision on the prohibition of atomic weapons, the cessation of their production, the use of already-manufactured atomic bombs exclusively for civilian purposes, and the establishment of strict international control over the observance of the above-mentioned convention.

4. The General Assembly recommends the permanent members of the Security Council—the United States, the United Kingdom, France, China and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics—to reduce the armaments and armed forces in their possession at the time of the adoption of this recommendation by one-third during a period of one year from the date of its adoption.

5. The General Assembly recommends that forthwith, and in any case not later than one month after the adoption by the General Assembly of the decisions on the prohibition of atomic weapons and the reduction by one-third of the armaments and armed forces of the five Powers, all States should submit complete official data on the situation of their armaments and armed forces, including data on atomic weapons and military bases in foreign territories. These data [Page 496] shall be submitted with reference to the situation obtaining at the time when the above-mentioned decisions are adopted by the General Assembly.

6. The General Assembly recommends the establishment within the framework of the Security Council of an international control organ, the functions of which shall be to supervise the implementation of the decisions on the prohibition of atomic weapons and the reduction of armaments and armed forces, and to verify the data submitted by States regarding the situation of their armaments and armed forces.

With a view to the establishment of an appropriate system of guarantees for the observance of the General Assembly’s decisions on the prohibition of atomic weapons and the reduction of armaments, the international control organ shall have the right to conduct inspection on a continuing basis; but it shall not be entitled to interfere in the domestic affairs of States.

7. The General Assembly calls upon the Governments of all States, both Members of the United Nations and those not at present in the Organization, to consider at a world conference the question of the substantial reduction of armed forces and armaments and also the question of practical measures for prohibiting the atomic weapon and establishing international control over the observance of such prohibition.

The General Assembly recommends that the above-mentioned world conference should be convened at the earliest possible date and, in any case, not later than 15 July 1952.

8. The General Assembly calls upon the United States, the United Kingdom, France, China and the Soviet Union to conclude a peace pact, and to combine their efforts for the achievement of this high and noble aim.

The General Assembly also calls upon all other peace-loving States to join in the peace pact.

  1. Addressed by David W. Wainhouse, Executive Office for United States Delegation matters relating to political and security affairs, to all Political Officers of the Advisory Staff of the Delegation.
  2. Regarding this background book, see the editorial note, p. 476.
  3. This English language source text is from GA (VI), Annexes, fascicule for agenda item 67. Printed also in the Department of State Bulletin, January 28, 1952, p. 127.