IO Files

Memorandum of Conversation, by Ambassador Philip C. Jessup of the United States Delegation to the General Assembly


Subject: Slate in Security Council—Disarmament

Participants: Ambassador Y. Malik—USSR Delegation
Ambassador Philip C. Jessup—US Delegation

In accordance with the decision of the Delegation, I arranged with Mr. Vishinsky at the close of the Committee I session this morning to meet Mr. Malik at the Palais at 5:45 before the meeting of the General Committee.

Mr. Malik was accompanied by the young interpreter. I told him that I wished to answer his question and to ask a question. I said I would give him our answer and give him the reasons for our answer, but that I did not expect that we would reach agreement today on our position.

I then told him that we had considered the question of seats in the Security Council and had decided to vote for Greece, and that we had announced that decision. Malik started to interrupt, but I told him that I wished to state our reasons. I said that we did not admit the existence of an agreement made in 1946 along the lines which the Soviets claimed. I said there had been a discussion in regard to the original composition of the Council but no permanent arrangements. I said that, in regard to the Charter, there were both the provision about geographical distribution and the principle of contribution to the UN. I said we thought that Greece could make a [Page 103]better contribution. I reminded him that Vishinsky in his speech in the First Committee on Saturday had said that the views of a regional group should be followed except when there were special ethical or political reasons. Perhaps our view about Byelorussia in the Security Council was due to what Vishinsky called ethical or political reasons.

Malik then started to repeat the usual arguments. We had turned geography all around with our formation of the Atlantic bloc. We were trying to fill up the SC with seven members of the Atlantic bloc. We were unwilling to follow the provisions of the Charter. We were violating the agreement of 1946. They had checked this agreement, and there was nothing about limiting it to one year and it was in fact applied until we put Yugoslavia in. These arguments were advanced without any particular vigor and more or less as if he were reciting his lesson. I said that, as I had told him at the outset, I did not expect him to agree with me but I had stated the situation and our reasons. He said he was sorry we had made such a decision.

[Here follows brief discussion of the other matter.]