350/1–1553

Draft Position Paper Prepared in the Department of State 1

restricted

Cessation of the Transmission of Information Under Article 73(e) of the Charter in Regard to Puerto Rico

the problem

The problem is to determine the position that the United States Government should take on the question of the future transmission of information on Puerto Rico under Article 73(e) of the Charter.

recommendations

1.
The United States should take appropriate action as recommended below based on the conclusion that the establishment of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico under the Constitution which entered [Page 1437]into force on July 25, 1952 renders it inappropriate for the United States to continue to transmit information to the United Nations on Puerto Rico under Article 73(e) of the United Nations Charter.
2.
In accordance with existing obligations, information on Puerto Rico for the administrative year ending June 30, 1952 should be transmitted in the usual manner early in 1953. Appropriate information relating to the period July 1–July 25, 1952 should be included as practicable, so that this action will complete the regular transmissions of information on Puerto Rico which have taken place annually since 1946.
3.
Pursuant to the terms of General Assembly Resolution 222(III) (Text in Annex A),2 the United States should inform the United Nations that as a result of the change in the constitutional position and status of Puerto Rico it is considered unnecessary to transmit further information under Article 73(e) of the Charter and should communicate to the Secretary General of the United Nations as soon as practicable appropriate information and documentation as requested by that Resolution. The draft text of a communication to the Secretary General for this purpose is attached (Annex B).2 A List of Documents suggested for submission with the communication is also attached (Annex C)2
4.
Subject to final approval, the attached draft Analysis of the New Constitutional Status of Puerto Rico with respect to the Report of the United Nations General Assembly’s Ad Hoc Committee on Factors should be made available to officers of the United States Government only for use as background in discussions which will ensue on the new status of Puerto Rico (Annex B).2
5.
In view of the importance of the views of the Government of Puerto Rico in relation to United Nations consideration of the question, the procedures to be followed should include:
(a)
an appropriate initiative by the Government of Puerto Rico requesting the United States Government to cease transmitting information to the United Nations on Puerto3 Rico; and
(b)
participation by a representative of the Government of Puerto Rico on the United States Delegations to United Nations meetings where the question is considered, with opportunities for him to describe from the viewpoint of the Government and people of Puerto Rico the attainment by Puerto Rico of a “full measure of self-government” and to answer questions which may be raised.
[Page 1438]

Consultation and Clearance Required

In taking the necessary steps vis-à-vis the United Nations to cease reporting under Chapter XI of the Charter, the Government of Puerto Rico should be consulted fully in order that all authorities concerned may be in agreement on the procedures to be followed. Consultation should also be carried out as practicable with Congressional leaders and members of the Congressional Committees concerned.

[Here follows the “Discussion” section of the paper, based on information contained in the October 9, 1952 letter of the Acting Secretary of the Interior.]

  1. Presumably drafted in the Office of Dependent Area Affairs, Bureau of UN Affairs. Apparently the cleared draft was incorporated into the documents system of two different committees, the Colonial Policy Working Group and the Interdepartmental Non-Self-Governing Territories Committee (CPD–13a, Jan. 7, 1953 and NSGT D–1/53, Jan. 8, 1953, respectively). Regarding the Colonial Policy Working Group, see pp. 1075 ff. The interdepartmental committee had had an indifferent existence since 1946 and met only rarely; for most of this time it was an adjunct of the Interdepartmental International Social Policy Committee.
  2. None of these annexes is printed. All of the substantive information generated within the U.S. Government on this subject was based on the body of information that appears in the letter of the Acting Secretary of the Interior, Oct. 9, 1952, p. 1429.
  3. None of these annexes is printed. All of the substantive information generated within the U.S. Government on this subject was based on the body of information that appears in the letter of the Acting Secretary of the Interior, Oct. 9, 1952, p. 1429.
  4. None of these annexes is printed. All of the substantive information generated within the U.S. Government on this subject was based on the body of information that appears in the letter of the Acting Secretary of the Interior, Oct. 9, 1952, p. 1429.
  5. None of these annexes is printed. All of the substantive information generated within the U.S. Government on this subject was based on the body of information that appears in the letter of the Acting Secretary of the Interior, Oct. 9, 1952, p. 1429.
  6. Luis Munoz Marin, Governor of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, sent such a letter to the President under date of Jan. 17, 1953, not printed (copy attached to Department of State instruction 192, to the Mission at the United Nations, Mar. 11, 1953, not printed (350/3–1153)).