315.2/7–3052: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Mission at the United Nations1


43. Following message sent today to U.S. Missions in countries currently entitled to appoint a member UN Comite on Contributions, except China: [Page 604]

“Reduction US percentage contribution in UN to 33⅓% for 1953 will be important US policy issue in 7th GA. In 1948 UN GA accepted fact no member in normal times shld pay more than ⅓ but other members so far been unwilling put this ceiling into effect except in very gradual stages. US received reduction to 36.90% at 6th GA but when USDel pressed for full reduction to 33⅓% only NIC supported us. Congressional preoccupation this matter provides recurrent danger amount over that percentage not be appropriated. Current appropriation bill gives another year’s grace but House bill as originally passed refused appropriate more than 33⅓% for current year.

UN Contributions Comite, which will recommend 1953 scale to GA, begins session Aug 4. This Comite composed for experts serving as individuals but appointed by their govts. National of govt to which you are accredited is member of Comite. Dept wld appreciate your informing FonOff of importance US attaches this matter. Inasmuch as Comite members not instructed reps of govts, you shld handle matter with some delicacy, stating that US has intention prejudicing professional character Comite deliberations, but impress upon FonOff fol facts:

  • “(1) Dept believes immed reduction US share to 33⅓% most important if wholehearted support US other UN programs not to be jeopardized. US willingness pay higher percentage larger special programs predicated on assumption that ceiling on regular expenses will be quickly reached and maintained.
  • “(2) This not matter of cost but matter of principle as has been expressed by USDel since first GA. All elements USGovt feel strongly that ceiling shld be implemented now.

FYI, recommendations of Contributions Comite have been accepted each year since first GA. US plans push its position strongly in GA whether or not Comite recommends such action, but adverse Comite recommendation will make success quite difficult.

“It wld be appreciated if appropriate officials cld be contacted before Contributions Comite convenes.”

Request that Mission staff informally make same case in contacts with members of staffs of Missions to UN from same govts, to extent deemed desirable in your judgment.

Request Gross or Ross talk with Tsiang, setting forth case for revision US percentage outlined above and stating we assume China will not seek revision its percentage. Gross or Ross shld mention such action on China’s part might seriously jeopardize US objective to which we attach great importance.

  1. Drafted by the Acting Chief of the Division of International Administration (Henderson) and approved and signed by the Assistant Secretary of State for UN Affairs (Hickerson).