ODA Files, Lot 60 D 512

Discussion Brief for Bilateral Talks on Colonial Policy To Be Held at London and Paris (Agenda Item III (c))


Item III, (c)—Ways of raising the prestige of the Trusteeship Council in the opinion of members of the Fourth Committee.

I. Problem: To determine U.S. position as to methods which might be adopted by Administering Members to raise increasingly low opinion in which many Non-Administering Members hold TC.

II. Recommended United States Position:

A. U.S. not only considers it important in principle to maintain at high level prestige of TC as major UN organ, but also believes heightened prestige advantageous to Administering Members as means countering tendency on part of certain Non-Administering Members to favor extension of direct GA action in trusteeship field.

B. U.S., recognizing that psychological factors are of major importance in attitude toward TC of Non-Administering Members, considers it of vital importance that no representative of an Administering Power deprecate value of TC and Fourth Committee in conversations with Non-Administering Delegates or Members of Secretariat.

C. U.S. considers that narrow legalistic attitude by some Administering Authorities on proposals, procedural or other, made by Non-Administering Members in TC is factor contributing to low estimate of TC by Non-Administering Members of Committee Four. U.S. believes that it would be advantageous to accept them, wherever possible, in order reduce criticism of TC by Non-Administering Members in GA.

D. U.S. considers that TC activities have on whole been of benefit to U.S. administrators. For example, Visiting Missions brought to light problems in minds of inhabitants of which administration not fully aware. U.S. would like to suggest that, whenever usefulness TC activities to Administering Authorities demonstrated, latter give full and favorable publicity in TC and GA.

E. U.S. also believes it would be to advantage of Administering Members to give careful consideration to next selection new Non-Administering Members TC with view to choosing Members who will be not only responsible and effective, but also of stature to affect favorably prestige of TC among other Non-Administering Members of UN.

F. We of course realize TC is major organ of UN. Nevertheless our experience in GA has indicated that, if measures adopted in TC are [Page 629] out of line with general attitude of GA, there will be strong attempt in Committee Four to inquire into, and in some instances reverse, TC decisions. This fact should be kept in mind by Administering Authorities in determining their policies on issues arising in TC.