320/12–251: Circular telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Diplomatic Missions in the American Republics 1


500. UNGA will hold elections this week, probably Dec 5, to fill seats on Security Council being vacated by India, Ecuador and Yugo. Elections fill first two seats (US supporting Pakistan and Chile respectively) present no particular difficulties but election fill seat now held by Yugo and formerly by members Sov bloc is special problem. USSR has put forward candidacy of Byelorussia, claiming Sov bloc entitled to one nonpermanent seat on basis a 1946 gentleman’s agreement that Eastern Eur, Western Eur, British Commonwealth, and Near East and Africa shld each have one seat and LAs two seats.

Dept strongly opposes election of Sov sponsored country fill Yugo seat for fol reasons:

Apart from consideration that gentleman’s agreement, although followed in succeeding years, was in our view meant to apply for 1946 only, allocation one non-permanent seat to Sov bloc of 5, already represented on SC by USSR, cannot now be justified on any grounds. On other hand, same representation other areas as that which applied for 1946 (such as two seats for LAs) can still be justified on basis numbers, support for UN activities or contributions.
Election of Sov candidate wld make functioning of SC, already obstructed by USSR tactics, all the more difficult. Further, maintenance safe voting margin in SC is highly important for free world in difficult years which lie ahead.
GA already decided in 1949 against election Sov candidate when it elected Yugo over Czech and events past two years make it even more inappropriate that Sov candidate shld be elected. We do not believe election non-Sov candidate to succeed Yugo wld be as provocative as election Yugo in 1949.

Greece is principal non-Sov candidate for Yugo seat and US strongly supports its election. Greece has been one of main supporters UN programs, including Korea. Art 23 of Charter provides that in SC elections due regard shld be specially paid in first instance to contribution UN Members maintenance intl peace and security and other purposes of Organization. Further, Greece borders on area from which Eastern Eur seat hitherto filled and has deep interest that area.

Unless you perceive strong objection, pls stress soonest above US position to FonOff and express hope its GADel will be instructed take or continue take this position. FYI only, USDel has been informed by LADels that US shld not now count on LA support for Greece and that LA countries are inclined support Byelorussia as result US position [Page 106] not support LA candidate for regular term on Intl Court of Justice. Dept greatly concerned this matter and desires strong presentation US position re SC election to FonOff.

To justify tendency support Byelorussia, LADels have expressed concern re possibility decrease their own SC representation if existing pattern upset. Consequently, in ur conversations with FonOff, you shld carefully refrain from any inference US wishes alter existing practice maintaining two LA seats on SC.2

  1. Sent for action to all Embassies except in Guatemala. Sent for information to Guatemala and the U.S. Delegation in Paris. At request of U.S. Delegation, sent on December 4 in telegram 4324 to London for information (320/12–251).
  2. Of answers received before the voting began on December 6, somewhat less than half assured that categoric instructions were being sent to Paris to vote for Greece. The remainder were noncommittal but strongly pointed in the direction of voting with the “Latin American bloc.” Only one government specifically linked the Security Council and ICJ elections, suggesting a settlement of issues on a quid pro quo basis. Ecuador was the object of particular interest to the U.S. Delegation as the incumbent Security Council president was; an Ecuadoran (Antonio Quevedo), but the Delegation seems not to have know the direction of the Ecuadoran vote. The reaction in Montevideo to the U.S. démarche was, that “Uruguay would not consider voting against Greece unless obliged to do so to maintain faith and confidence of Latin block which [Foreign Minister] insisted Uruguay can not let down.” (Montevideo telegram 234, December 4, 1 p. m., file 320/12–451; the Latin American bloc candidate for the ICJ position was Enrique C. Armand Ugon)