No. 325

700.001/4–2151: Circular airgram

The Secretary of State to Diplomatic and Consular Offices 1


World Peace Council

Department considers it essential that spurious Soviet peace propaganda, now in high gear, under the imprimatur of the recently established “World Peace Council,”2 and likely to mount for some time, be combatted with imagination and vigor. Accordingly Department currently engaged in preparation of materials for use in serious campaign to counter phony peace propaganda. These will be made available in the form of guidances and backgrounders. The following, for such use as you deem appropriate, is Department thinking re current anti-UN phase of the Soviet-sponsored WPC program:

Sov-commie propaganda has for some time engaged in systematic efforts to undermine confidence in the UN. Simultaneously it has been trying to build up the “World Peace Council” as a possible heir presumptive to the UN. The following events appear significant:

The Warsaw “Peace Congress,” November 1950, described the UN as a new Holy Alliance, called for a “return to the true UN Charter” and addressed a communication to the UN to consider the terms of the Warsaw Appeal.

Stalin in his Pravda interview of February 153 attacked the UN as unrepresentative, as a failure in its task of achieving peace and as a tool used by the US to bring about World War III. Stalin claimed ten NATO countries and twenty Latin American countries form aggressive core of UN and added that “UNO is taking the inglorious road of the League of Nations. In this way it is burying its moral prestige and dooming itself to disintegration.”

The Berlin meeting (February 21–26) of the Soviet sponsored WPC demanded that the UN consider the resolutions of WPC and that it return to the role assigned it by the Charter, namely to serve as an area of agreement between the governments and not as the instrument of any dominant group. WPC [Page 1247] also announced its decision to send a delegation to the UN to present its demands.4

Romanian paper Scanteia,5 declared February 23, “Turning UN into instrument of aggression has disappointed people and this disappointment has led to setting up WPC.” Other commie journals began refer to WPC as “new world power.”

On February 27, Soviet propagandist Oleshchuk stated Moscow in public lecture that the WPC appeal constitued a second warning to the UN to carry out its chief function—preserving peace, and that if warning had no results and the UN continued to serve the cause of US aggression, the peace loving countries would have to leave the UN.

Pravda editorial, March 3, echoing Stalin line, asserted: “The UN has the choice either to fulfil the demands of the WPC or share the inglorious fate of the League of Nations and doom itself to disintegration.” Pravda added: “In making its demands to the UN the WPC is acting as the most representative organ of all nations . . . The demands of the WPC are the demands of hundreds of millions of people of good will of the whole world.”

The latest North Korean communication to the UN is apparently based on the WPC resolution re Korea.

While the possibility cannot be disregarded that the present campaign may have the object of preparing Soviet withdrawal, there are no indications that the USSR has reached such a decision. Current Department thinking that USSR would have no compunction about withdrawing from the UN if it should decide that continued membership no longer serves Soviet ends. WPC resolutions and Sov statements indicate, however, that the USSR plans for the present to continue its efforts to make the UN more responsive to Soviet pressure and that the USSR is now using the threat of withdrawal and of the establishment of a rival organization as a means toward this end.

In view proportions and significance this Sov campaign it is important that we counter with appropriate information. Following points should be stressed:

WPC is a Soviet controlled group representing no serious body of opinion in free world. It exists only to advance Soviet purposes. Comparison of Soviet policy statements of past year with demands of WPC reveals remarkable identity.
Analysis of political creeds of 85% of the 225 original members of the council reveals that all are either communists or fellow-travellers. Data on the remaining 15% is unavailable. Members of the Council were selected by 2nd Congress Peace Partisans from lists drawn up by the Bureau and Secretariat on the basis of nominations made by various national delegations. These delegations, for most part, nominally chosen by national “peace” officials and other commie-front organizations but as matter of practice delegates often self-appointed or selected by executive members of organizations or the communist parties. Actual control wielded by the Bureau and Secretariat of Peace Partisans—a staff of 27 persons of whom all but two are either communists or fellow-travellers.
The WPC claim to represent public opinion is based on signatures to the “Stockholm Appeal.”6 Those signatures never authenticated. Moreover, overwhelming majority obtained in USSR and the Sov satellite states.
Soviet “peace” protestations and the Stockholm Appeal relating to atomic weapons, fell with dull thud last summer when communist forces invaded ROK and world opinion recognized that Stalin could have prevented aggression in Korea had he desired.
Had UN failed to oppose communist aggression in Korea UN might have been reduced to status of the League of Nations, following League failure to take effective action in the Corfu, Manchuria and Ethiopian cases. However, the UN did act, supplying an impressive example of the vindication of the rule of law in international affairs. Fifty-three member nations indicated in communications to the SYG of UN that they supported the action of the UN pursuant to the SC resolution. Any subsequent differences among UN members as to conduct of the UN Korean campaign only confirm that the UN is a genuinely democratic organization and is not dominated by any one member.
Well known that the USSR has obstructed UN efforts to establish just and enduring peace. Despite Soviet obstruction, UN has important achievements to its credit: withdrawal of Soviet troops from Iran, establishment of independent Indonesia, cease-fire in Palestine and Kashmir, role in maintenance of Greek independence, defense of ROK: this in addition to valuable work done by the specialized agencies in fields of health, agriculture, food, relief, economic progress, education and advancement of non-self-governing people.
Fundamental UN political and security decisions of General Assembly were supported by a vast majority including not only the NATO countries and the Latin American Republics, but also the Middle Eastern and Asian states. This is true of such decisions as resolutions on atomic energy, disarmament and Essentials of Peace.
USSR failed in its efforts to impose its own will on the United Nations. Soviet threats of withdrawal is a threat that unless majority capitulates to Soviet plans, the Soviets will repudiate their [Page 1249] Charter obligations. The United States wants the Soviets to stay in the United Nations and is willing to cooperate with them as with any other Member. However, continued membership of any Member, large or small, cannot be bought at a price of a compromise with Charter principles.
Exchange of correspondence between UN SYG Trygve Lie and President of Soviet-sponsored WPC Joliot-Curie, reveals that whereas Lie expressed willingness to receive WPC deputation in Paris and notified Joliot-Curie to this effect 10 days in advance of his arrival in Paris, WPC officials declined to keep the appointment. By declining Lie’s offer and insisting that its deputation go to New York the WPC has manifested greater interest in obtaining propaganda advantages connected with their appearance at UN headquarters than in peace itself.7
UN SYG Lie in excellent statement (which merits heavy emphasis) enclosed with his letter to Joliot-Curie (Wireless Bulletin 90) set forth these themes:
The UN offers best hope to all people everywhere who are genuinely interested in peace.
Those whose actions tend to weaken the UN, to undermine its authority, to sharpen the discords that are inevitably present in a world organization—they are no true friends of peace no matter what they profess to be.
Support the UN with understanding and loyalty and you shall have peace.

FYI: Brit FonOff has instructed its missions along similar lines requesting that where appropriate they bring UK views on this matter to attention of other governments and seek to obtain recognition by press and public of the fantastic and impudent nature of the claims advanced on behalf of the WPC. Department suggests you discuss the above with your British colleague and other interested colleagues in your discretion.

Department interested in obtaining detailed reports concerning

appeal and impact of Soviet “peace” propaganda on local population and manner of selection of local representatives to the WPC.
nature and scope of local efforts to combat fraudulent peace movement.
suggestions and recommendations re action required to deflate Soviet “peace” campaign, discourage signatures, etc.

Further guidance, particularly re WPC proposal for a 5 Power Peace Pact, will be upcoming shortly.8

This airgram is being sent to the Soviet orbit posts for their information only.

Further instructions to missions in the other American Republics follow.

  1. Drafted by Revey (P/POL) and cleared in substance by UNP, UNA, EUR, FE, ARA, NEA, GAI, P/POL, P, and IFI.
  2. The World Peace Council was established by the Communist-dominated Second World Peace Congress held in Warsaw in November 1950. See telegram 1082, November 24, 1950, Foreign Relations, 1950, vol. iv, p. 331.
  3. Regarding the Stalin interview under reference, see Documents 765 and 766. Pravda is the daily newspaper of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.
  4. The World Peace Council held its first session in East Berlin, February 21–26. Its principal resolution, calling for a five-power peace pact, is quoted and discussed in Document 629. The texts of some of the other Council resolutions appear in Folliot, Documents on International Affairs, 1951, pp. 304–306. An evaluative report on the Council session, transmitted in telegram 1095 from Berlin, March 1, is printed in vol. iii, Part 2, p. 1997. An analysis of the activities and resolutions of the World Peace Council was made by Assistant Secretary of State Hickerson in a speech entitled “The Phony ‘Peace’ Offensive” made before a foreign policy group in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on April 27. (Department of State Bulletin, May 7, 1951, pp. 731–735)
  5. Daily newspaper of the Romanian Workers’ Party (Communist).
  6. For documentation on the so-called “Stockholm Appeal” or “Stockholm Peace Resolutions” adopted by a Communist-dominated World Peace Conference in Stockholm in March 1950, see Foreign Relations, 1950, vol. iv, pp. 276 ff.
  7. In early March 1951 Joliot-Curie addressed a communication to UN Secretary-General Lie asking Lie to receive a deputation from the World Peace Council. Lie would not receive such a deputation in New York but did propose a meeting with WPC representatives in April in Paris. No meeting took place. Lie subsequently released to the press the statement he had intended to make to the WPC representatives. The Lie statement is printed in Department of State Wireless Bulletin, No. 90, April 14, 1951, pp. 10–11. A long quotation from the Lie statement also appeared in the Hickerson speech cited in footnote 4 above.

    On March 15 some U.S. leaders of the so-called “Campaign for Peace” called at the Department of State to present their views and to hear the comments of an official of the Department. An account of the meeting is ibid., No. 66, March 15, 1951, pp. 10–11.

  8. See the circular airgram, Document 629.