ODA files, lot 62 D 225, “Trust Territory of Pacific Islands”

Memorandum by the Director of the Office of Dependent Area Affairs (Gerig)1

official use only
  • Subject:
  • Draft Press Release in response to Marshallese Petition

At the Director’s meeting yesterday with Assistant Secretary Key it was agreed that an adequate response to the Marshallese petition re the effects of the thermonuclear tests should be prepared for the use of USUN when the petition is circulated by the Secretariat to the Members of the United Nations.

The attached draft2 is being circulated to the above persons simultaneously in order to lose no time. Mr. Bunche told me he might be able to delay the circulation of the petition for a day or two, but a draft response should be agreed upon in the course of today.

If necessary, we might have a meeting late this afternoon to revise this draft. It should be examined from the standpoint of facts, promises, and public relations effects.

  1. Addressed to the Deputy Director of the Office of UN Political and Security Affairs (Popper), the Officer in Charge, International Security Affairs (Bechhoefer), the Special Assistant to the Secretary of State for Atomic Energy Affairs (Arneson), the UN Adviser, Bureau of Far Eastern Affairs (Bacon), Herbert A. Fierst, Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of State for UN Affairs (Key), and William L. Yeomans, Office of Territories, Department of the Interior.
  2. Not printed; see telegram 543, to New York, May 6, infra.