Memorandum for the Files by the Assistant Secretary of State for United Nations Affairs (Hickerson)
The attached telegram from USUN (508, March 30, 1:38 p.m.) was handed to me while I was attending a meeting this afternoon in the Under Secretary’s office with the request that I get in touch with the Secretary about it at once. I went to the Secretary’s office and found that Ambassador Lodge had already talked briefly to the Secretary on the telephone about our views concerning Mr. Hammarskjold. I learned that Messrs. Matthews and Nitze had been in the Secretary’s office when the Secretary was talking to Lodge and that both of them spoke in high terms of Mr. Hammarskjold’s ability; and that the Secretary told Ambassador Lodge that we thought well of Hammarskjold but that we would consider the matter further and let him have further views later in the day.
I then reviewed the biographic material which we have in the Department on Mr. Hammarskjold (attached) and talked about Mr. Hammarskjold with Mr. Ronhovde and Mr. Raynor of BNA, both of whom spoke well of Hammarskjold. I then discussed Mr. Hammarskjold with Mr. H. Freeman Matthews, who was American Ambassador to Stockholm. Mr. Matthews spoke in high terms of Mr. Hammarskjold’s ability and pro-Western views. Mr. Matthews said [Page 449] that he felt that the United Nations would be lucky to get Hammarskjold and that they could do a lot worse.
Late this afternoon I called Ambassador Lodge on the telephone and referred to the Secretary’s comments earlier in the afternoon about Hammarskjold. I said that our further inquiries had developed no adverse information but had rather confirmed the views which the-Secretary expressed that Hammarskjold seemed like a good man whom we should support. Ambassador Lodge asked if he was authorized to vote in favor of Hammarskjold and I replied that he was.