USUN files

Memorandum by the Deputy United States Representative at the United Nations (Gross) to the Assistant Secretary of State for United Nations Affairs (Hickerson)

top secret
  • Subject:
  • Appointment of Secretary General

I met with Sir Gladwyn Jebb and Ambassador Hoppenot, at latter’s request. Hoppenot said he had talked to Lie a couple of days ago and Lie protested that he was serious regarding his resignation, but would be prepared to stay on until a “suitable” successor was found. Hoppenot said everyone he mentioned to Lie was considered “not suitable” by the latter. This included Boheman, Stikker and Entezam.

Jebb has instructions to the effect that the UK would prefer to have the Secretary General matter held over for the resumed session in February. UK feels that if the Russians should ask for a meeting of the Security Council or private consultations of the Five Permanent Members, it would be undesirable for us at this stage to put names forward.

Hoppenot agreed. He said that if the Russians press for a Security Council meeting, he would suggest prior Five-Power consultation.

The three of us agreed that if the Russians demand an SC meeting and, for example, put forward the name of the Polish Foreign Minister and insisted on voting on it, the three of us would vote against it.

Both the British and the French now hold Pearson as first choice; the French like Entezam, but the British have made it clear they could not live with that. The question came up of Stikker as second place to Pearson and Boheman. Hoppenot mentioned Spaak. He and Jebb agreed Spaak would be out of the question for a number of reasons.

I said we were not now in a position to talk about any specific names, but would prefer to have the matter go over to February. However, I added that we ourselves had been considering a list of possible names and of course Romulo was on that list, as well as several others. But I did not want to talk about names at this point. Hoppenot said Schuman was against Romulo, that he did not trust him. He felt Romulo wouldn’t increase the prestige of the UN as Secretary General. Jebb agreed. I said I wasn’t in a position to discuss the matter, but felt Romulo should not be excluded.

New Subject: Convening of GA Regular Sessions

Jebb said Eden is flatly opposed to the Spring session idea, not only this year but in general. He referred to budget problems in the Parliament, etc. Hoppenot was opposed to a Spring session for the same reasons. I said we might talk about it again and reminded them of [Page 434] Pearson’s interest in it. They were aware of that, but Pearson has not the same problems which confront the French and British. We left it at that for the moment.