Memorandum of Conversation, by Mr. Paul B. Taylor of the Office of United Nations Political and Security Affairs


Subject: Security Council Slates

Participants: Mr. C. T. Moodie, Counselor, Australian Embassy
UNP—Mr. David W. Wainhouse1
Mr. Paul B. Taylor

Mr. Moodie called at his request to present the views of the Department of External Affairs on the Yugoslav seat on the Security Council. He read extensively from a carefully written document expressing the Australian concern lest the Soviets be led to withdraw from the United Nations and making the point that the non-Soviet members should be careful not to take any action which would lead to Soviet withdrawal except in a matter of real importance to themselves. The Australians believe, therefore, that we should not oppose the election of some satellite to Yugoslavia’s seat in the Security Council. They realize that we could not support Czechoslovakia and Mr. Moodie asked whether a “compromise” could be reached on Byelorussia or Poland. He further pointed out that even if we are committed to opposition to a satellite there were still various degrees of intensity of such opposition. He asked how strong our opposition would be.

We said that in our view the U.S. would have to oppose very actively the election of any Soviet satellite to Yugoslavia’s seat. We mentioned the attitude of American public opinion on that point and mentioned also the possibility that the working majority of the free nations in the Security Council would be cut down to a dangerous point. Mr. Wainhouse suggested that the mere defeat of a satellite for this SC seat would not in itself lead the Soviets to withdraw from the [Page 87] United Nations—that such a decision would probably be taken only if they considered that United Nations membership was no longer helpful to them and that they probably had not reached that conclusion.

Mr. Moodie said that if we were to push actively our opposition to a satellite this would alter to that extent the geographic pattern heretofore followed on the Security Council and that this would have very interesting possibilities for Australia. Australia, he said, does not agree to the existing geographic distribution under which only one member of the Commonwealth may be on the Security Council at one time and he rather jokingly said that if Australia were to run for the Security Council next year he would make it embarrassing for us if we opposed him on the basis of geographic allocation. Mr. Wainhouse said that obviously to cut down the Eastern European representation would not mean abandonment of the whole geographic principle.

Mr. Moodie said that elimination of a satellite from the Security Council would look worse if it were merely one of a series of anti-Soviet measures such as (1) increasing the Soviet financial contribution, (2) opposing the Soviet nominee for the ICJ and (3) freezing the USSR out of the General Committee, We said that, while we are not familiar with the details of the budget problem, we understand that the increase in Soviet contribution is a perfectly sound thing on its merits and is not anti-Soviet. As to the ICJ, while our position has not yet been determined, tentative working level opinion is that we will probably support Golunsky. As to the General Committee our tentative position is to support a Soviet bloc chairman for one of the committees, and we see a possibility of a Soviet chairman doing harm in every committee but the Sixth. Mr. Moodie agreed that this total position did not involve the complete freezing out of the Soviet bloc which the Department of External Affairs seemed to feel.

Mr. Moodie ended by indicating that on the Security Council seat his Government might have to differ with us.

[Here follows brief discussion of another matter.]

  1. Wainhouse was Director of the Office of United Nations Political and Security Affairs.