UNP files, lot 59 D 237, “Membership”

Memorandum by the Director of the Office of United Nations Political and Security Affairs (Wainhouse) to the Assistant Secretary of State for United Nations Affairs (Hickerson)

  • Subject:
  • Admission of New Members to the United Nations

Attached is a summary of a Membership Team discussion of your suggestions concerning a possible package deal. While only preliminary views were expressed and although FE and GER in particular had reservations, there was a general disposition to proceed with exploring such an arrangement. However, there was little support for a Charter amendment.1

At this stage, the following points arise for decision:

1. Package Proposal

a) States to be Included. There are now eleven non-Soviet applicants. Japan will probably apply soon and Germany, Spain, Laos and Cambodia are possible future applicants. Of all these, Korea, Germany and Vietnam would probably have to be excluded to prevent a Soviet veto. If Vietnam is excluded, Laos and Cambodia would also have to be omitted. FE appears willing to consider this, but believes that we would have to justify the exclusion of Korea and Vietnam on ether grounds than the fact of rival claimants. Spain presents another problem. We believe it should be included, but this could mean a Soviet veto.

The Soviet Union would in all likelihood insist on the inclusion of all five of its candidates. Of these, Outer Mongolia is especially difficult, particularly if Korea is excluded. However, FE is willing to consider this.

b) Timing. If the Department should decide to accept a package proposal, should we wait until the Seventh Session of the Assembly or should action be taken earlier in the Security Council? Should we suggest that Japan apply in the near future? Should we approach Spain to apply for membership if it is decided that it should be included?

2. Amendment to Article 4

We are not sure what your present thought is concerning the nature of the amendment. The following alternatives suggest themselves: [Page 805] (a) removal of the qualifications for membership; (b) removal of the veto from votes on membership; (c) elimination of the role of the Security Council admission procedures; and (d) a combination of (a) and either (b) or (c).


Summary or Minutes of Membership Team on Question of Admission of New Members

A meeting of the Membership Team was held on March 25, 1952 to consider our position on the membership question. Particular attention was given to the suggestion that we might propose the admission of all present and future applicants except for areas over which there are rival claimants and at the same time propose an amendment to article 4 to remove the membership qualifications. The opinions expressed at the meeting were only preliminary views.

Mr. Sale said that EUR believed the suggestion should be seriously considered. Mr. Howard (NEA) and Mr. Fensterwald (I/UNA) thought that their offices could support a package arrangement, although they believed it would be unwise and unnecessary to propose an amendment to article 4. Mr. Monsma (ARA) expressed the opinion that ARA would probably be willing to go along with a package proposal if the parts of the Department most closely involved believed this to be the best solution, although he thought that we should continue to consider ways to achieve the admission of only the qualified through circumvention or overriding of the Soviet veto.

Miss Bacon (FE) pointed out the various problems for FE of a package proposal which omitted Korea and the three states of Indo-China and which included Outer Mongolia. She stated that FE would like to reserve its position pending further developments. However, she believed FE might be willing to accept a package arrangement as the only way to achieve the admission of Japan and others we favor. If Korea and Vietnam were excluded, she thought that we would have to justify their omission on other grounds than that they are areas over which there are rival claimants. While Mr. Sale thought Spain should be included, MissBacon expressed the opinion that this would mean a Soviet veto. Miss Bacon did not believe that we should try to amend article 4. Mr. Williams (GPA) mentioned the difficulties involved if Germany was excluded. Nevertheless, he did not wish to say that GER would stand in the way but thought that we should await further developments.

It was generally agreed that the Department would have to weigh very carefully public reaction to a package proposal and that a final decision to modify our position could only be made at the highest level. [Page 806] There was also general agreement that in view of our past position on the membership question, it would probably be easier for the United States to accept a satisfactory package arrangement proposed by another member than to propose an arrangement itself.

Messrs. Sale, Howard and Fensterwald hoped that in the near future we could sufficiently crystalize our position so as to begin consultations with the United Kingdom, France, Italy and others. Miss Bacon, however, believed that it was too early to carry on consultations with other governments and that we should wait until later in the year to finalize our views.

  1. For documentation on the projected 1955 Charter review conference, see pp. 170 ff.