320/12–2251: Telegram

The Acting Chairman of the United States Delegation to the General Assembly ( Roosevelt ) to the Secretary of State

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Delga 795. As follow-up of conversation between Mrs. Roosevelt and Schuman (France) concerning newsgathering and FOI conventions,1 USDel staff met with Kayser (France)2 to consider possible alternative lines of action in GA when FOI discussion opens in Comite 3. This subject likely to be reached beginning third week January.

Kayser stressed point that Fr del is continuing to press for some action in GA to save right of correction provisions of newsgathering [Page 815] convention. Fr del continues to prefer adoption resolution in GA simply opening these provisions for separate ratification. Fr del might be willing to go along with res opening newsgathering provisions for separate ratification also.

In view US opposition to convening internatl conf to complete FOI convention, Fr del urging that US join France in supporting at same time some affirmative action on FOI at this session GA.

Fr suggest that same resolution postponing completion FOI convention refer to drafting of code of ethics. Kayser claimed his del was simply seeking to place moral duties on correspondents through a code of ethics to be adopted and admin by private journalist organizations and not through govt controls. One suggestion was that FOI subcommission draft code of ethics might be sent by ECOSOC to private organizations for implementation by latter. Under this provision ECOSOC itself wld not undertake to make any changes in subcommission draft.

As pointed out Delga 757, Schuman expressed to Mrs. Roosevelt strong support his govt for some “balance” in FOI field, which might be in form of code of ethics.

Kayser also urged desirability of provision in res against monopoly which limits free flow of info. Free competition wld be stressed in such provision. State action might be called for this connection to prevent monopoly by few which wld handicap others in furthering free flow of info.

USDel wld appreciate receiving from Dept by January 5, any suggestions on code of ethics and monopolies which Dept considers cld appropriately be included in GA Res on FOI.

[Roosevelt]
  1. See Delga 757, December 20, supra.
  2. M. Jacques Kayser, French journalist, Technical Adviser on the French Delegation to the General Assembly.