The Assistant Secretary of State for United Nations Affairs (Hickerson) to the United States Representative at the United Nations (Lodge) 1


Dear Cabot : When you were in Washington the week before last, I turned over to you the position paper on the subject of Disarmament which was prepared for the first part of the Seventh Session of the General Assembly,2 together with the resolution which we had discussed with the British, French and Canadians.3 I hope [Page 1097] you have had a chance to read these papers and that you can give me your reaction at an early opportunity.

I know that the new administration will wish to re-examine at an early moment the entire United States position on disarmament. This is as it should be. However it is my belief that, while such a re-examination may alter the course of action which we pursue in the Disarmament Commission when it reconvenes in the spring or summer, it would not affect our position in the second half of this session of the General Assembly. I believe that our present position—which merely renews the life of the Commission, commends the Western democracies for their constructive efforts, and lightly criticizes the Soviet Union for its obstruction—is satisfactory for the purposes of the reconvened session. In other words, the General Assembly at this session is merely being informed of the work of the Commission during the past year and requested to permit the discussions to continue. I do not see that we can do less than this, and if it is decided that we can do more, the framework will be available.

On the subject of the further work of the Disarmament Commission during the coming year, it is my view that unless there is a definite change in the situation the United States should in general not take the initiative and let others bear the burden of submitting further proposals in the Commission.

If you believe that it will be helpful, we shall be glad to submit to you some ideas and suggestions for the initial United States statement to the Committee on this item.

Sincerely yours,

John D. Hickerson
  1. Drafted by Bechhoefer (UNP) and Sanders (UNA).
  2. Position paper SD/A/C.1/393 Rev. 1, “Regulation, Limitation and Balanced Reduction of All Armed Forces and All Armaments: Report of the Disarmament Commission”, Oct. 3, 1952, not printed. (IO files, lot 71 D 440)
  3. See enclosure 1 to the memorandum from Smith to Lay, Feb. 17, p. 1104.