Memorandum of Conversation, by the Officer in Charge of General Assembly Affairs ( Taylor )1

  • Subject:
  • British Request for Additional Membership Discussion in London
  • Participants:
  • Miss Barbara Salt, First Secretary, British Embassy
  • Mr. Ward P. Allen, EUR
  • Mr. William B. Sale, EUR
  • Mr. Paul B. Taylor, UNP

Miss Salt came on instructions from the Foreign Office to sound us out informally on the question of whether we would be receptive to an invitation to Tripartite discussions of the membership problem in London after the middle of September. The Foreign Office message which she read to us spoke of “clearing our minds” on this question. It spoke also of the “undignified spectacle” of the membership discussion involving now some twenty-one applicants. (This seems to include Vietminh and North Korea.) Miss Salt said she thought London had in mind discussions of a longer range, exploratory character that would not be tied up in any way with the Assembly discussion which will take place here in Washington around September 20. She thought London had no idea of trying to commit us to anything at this stage.

In further discussion she said she thought the UK Delegation in Paris2 had unintentionally “fuzzed up” their position on membership and that, in general, Mr. Eden would like to secure the admission of a number of countries when possible.

After consulting Mr. Hickerson, I informed Miss Salt later that Mr. Hickerson does not think such discussions would be useful. We are sending instructions to New York on this subject; USUN will consult with UKUN, and we will go over our position with Miss Salt here. If the British wish to raise any aspect of the membership question in the September talks here, they may do so, and we will be glad to discuss the problem anytime at New York. I pointed out, in addition, the fact that we do not now have anyone in London who is familiar with the membership problem.

  1. Source text indicates this memorandum was dictated Aug. 18.
  2. A reference to the meetings in Paris of the Sixth Regular Session of the General Assembly, Nov. 6, 1951, to Feb. 5, 1952.