711C.02/11–853: Telegram

The Deputy United States Representative at the United Nations (Wadsworth) to the Department of State


Delga 244. Re Puerto Rican case in plenary. Mrs. Bolton, Dr. Fernos and Committee 4 advisers have analyzed situation with following tentative conclusions:

US objectives should be:

Eliminate competence clause in preamble. On assumption two-thirds rule would apply, this could be accomplished only by insuring [Page 1466] that Latin American delegates who voted no or abstained in committee (Colombia, Panama, Paraguay, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Peru) as well as Thailand and Iran maintained their previous votes or could be persuaded to vote in negative. Ecuador might be persuaded to abstain.
Secure adequate number of votes to pass resolution as a whole. This depends first upon ability persuade administering members other Commonwealth and Scandinavian countries to change abstentions to yes and negative votes to abstentions and explain votes. Uncertainty of what Arab bloc may do in view of US position on Morocco and Tunis makes this situation precarious. Further consideration that Ethiopia, Haiti, Liberia, Uruguay, and Philippines be persuaded to continue support resolution if competence paragraph eliminated.
Because of possibility that application of two-thirds vote might not be sustained, in conversation with administering members and other Commonwealth and Scandinavian countries, we should urge them to abstain rather than vote no and explain votes in order to secure the largest possible favorable vote for Puerto Rico. In this eventuality we should vote yes with explanation of vote because of grave implications not only for Puerto Rico politically but that cessation may be approved only in cases where full independence is achieved.

Tactics: Because of possibility plenary action mid-November and probably need refer matter to certain home governments, we should begin at once explore situation with administering members and other Commonwealth and Scandinavian delegates in order give Latin Americans assurance resolution as originally sponsored could receive two-thirds majority.

Under guise explanation of vote, Mrs. Bolton should urge plenary to eliminate preambular competence clause in order to permit large majority express true feelings re Puerto Rico.