320/1–1352: Telegram

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


Delga 1007. Re Indians in South Africa. In estimating the influence of the Arab-Far Eastern group in this Assembly, Dept may usefully compare this year’s ad hoc comite vote on five-power res on above subj with vote in same comite last year.

Last year essentially same res was approved in comite by vote of 26 to 6 with 24 abstentions. This year res was adopted by vote of 41 to 2 (Australia being only country joining the union of SA) and 13 abstentions. Even West Eur ranks broken e.g. with Norway voting in support of res rather than abstaining and Neth abstaining rather than opposing it.

Perhaps fact that essentially same res has once been approved by Assembly was undoubtedly contributing factor in large vote. Another factor although with limited effect on voting constellation, might have been insertion of Israeli amendment providing for neutral mediator. Nevertheless, we believe that considerable increase in support for India since last year in this troublesome case is significant and can not be disregarded.

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Prior to vote in comite, Miss Strauss made strong pleas for elimination of last para of 5-power res providing that this matter be inserted on agenda of next Assembly. She urged comite members to vote against this para. It is significant that only Australia, Belgium, France and South Africa responded to this plea.

39 members voted in favor of retaining the para and 11 members abstained. Last year same para was included by comite vote of 31 to 3 with 22 abstentions. The increase of support for this para despite strong US plea and despite fact that many reps are personally tired of hearing same old story again and again is also of interest.

Sov bloc made speeches of unprecedented brevity limiting its anti-discriminating harangues generally to state of affairs in South Africa. This bloc switched from abstention last year to affirmative vote.

After voting in comite, Nehru (India) thanked USDel profusely for our support. Jordan of South African del indicated satisfaction over inclusion of Israeli amendment and said US negative vote on last para was “better than nothing.” He also said if SYG Lie undertakes his efforts get parties together with specific ref to comite res there might be hope for resumption of discussions.

From viewpoint of our relations to NE and FE states affected by our recent positions on such matters as Morocco,1 this year’s debate on above item was not unhelpful.

  1. For documentation on the Moroccan question in the General Committee in the opening phase of the Sixth Regular Session of the General Assembly, see pp. 135 ff.