ODA Files, Lot 60 D 512

Discussion Brief for Bilateral Talks on Colonial Policy To Be Held at London and Paris (Agenda Item IV (b) 1)


Item IV, (b), 1: General Assembly Resolution on Rural Economic Development in Trust Territories

I. Problem: To determine U.S. position with respect to GA resolution on Rural Economic Development in Trust Territories.

II. Recommended United States Position:

A. As indicated in opening speech of Secretary of State to Fifth General Assembly, U.S. believes there is urgent need for efforts to meet problems of use and ownership of land. U.S. therefore co-sponsored GA Resolution 438 (V), Rural Economic Development of Trust Territories.

B. U.S. believes rural economic development, with particular emphasis on land problems, constitutes appropriate and potentially useful field of study for TC.

C. Committee of Rural Economic Development of TC has made useful beginning in its study of land problems in trust territories, having determined what data is necessary as basis for Council’s recommendations and having requested these data from administering authorities.

D. While it is not feasible to arrive at definite decision on question of recommendations of TC until such time as all data requested from administering authorities has been received and studied by Council, U.S. preliminary thinking on this question is as follows:

In view of diversity of conditions in various trust territories, U.S. believes Council’s recommendations, if any, should be of specific nature for each territory.
However, if it should be found possible to formulate meaningful general recommendations, U.S. would be prepared to consider advisability of this approach, especially if such general recommendations were supplemented with specific recommendations for particular trust territories.
Recommendations of Council should not be inconsistent with those of other UN bodies dealing with land problems, particularly ECOSOC, but it should be borne in mind that conditions in trust [Page 635] territories differ in certain respects from those in many other areas of world.

E. It is strongly urged that an energetic effort be made by all concerned to accelerate consideration of this question by TC so that it may be in position to make full and constructive report to Seventh Session of GA.

F. Although it will not be practicable for emphasis to be given to interim report of TC on this question in forthcoming session of GA in view of strictly preliminary nature of Council’s work up to present, administering authorities might well take advantage of opportunity afforded by Fourth Committee’s discussion of TC’s report on question to describe measures already taken in trust territories under their administration to improve land situation.