711.5611/7–954: Telegram

The Deputy United States Representative on the Security Council (Ross) to the Department of State

official use only

26. Re TC–Marshallese Petition. In TC today Menon (India) after long though fairly moderate statement on general advancement in TTPI discussed at length Marshallese petition. He declined support USSR draft resolution. He challenged right of US to use area for nuclear proving ground and introduced amendment completely revising Belgian, French, UK draft resolution. Major operative paragraph would refer question of US right utilize TTPI for nuclear tests to ICJ and would recommend that pending a decision we desist from [Page 1509] further tests in territory.1 Menon forecast that if defeated he would put item on agenda of ninth GA under Article 96 of Charter.

Menon’s arguments focused on question whether it is legitimate to use TT for nuclear tests. Emphasized injury to inhabitants and “annihilation” of land and assets. Maintained that Articles 1, 5 and 13 of agreement do not provide authority for such tests which are “not strategic exercises”. Emphasized US obligations under Article 76(b) of Charter, Article 6 of agreement and challenged anyone to prove that tests are in any way beneficial to people of territory and claimed they were not consonant with Charter and agreement. Stated repeatedly that he was not requesting here US cease such tests—that was not appropriate question for TC.2 But was only asking that US cease using TTPI for such tests pending determination by ICJ of our legal right to continue them in territory. Matter will be taken up in petitions committee at 10 a.m. Monday, July 12.

TC delegation urgently requests detailed statement of US legal position, including coverage above ICJ proposal, for use in committee Monday morning. Also considers it essential that representative Legal Adviser’s office be present in committee Monday to advise on legal aspects of problem.3

  1. The Indian proposal was circulated on July 10 in UN Doc. T/C.2/L.103, as an Amendment to the revised draft resolution submitted by Belgium, France, and the United Kingdom. In a memorandum of July 12 it was described by the Director of the Office of Dependent Area Affairs as “clever and subtly vicious.…” (Gerig to Christopher Phillips, Special Assistant to Assistant Secretary Key, July 12, 1954, ODA files, lot 62 D 225, “Trust Territory of Pacific Islands”).
  2. The Indian Government had earlier taken separate action on this question in the Disarmament Commission; for documentation on this matter, see volume ii.
  3. In response the Department of State assigned Leonard C. Meeker, Assistant Legal Adviser for UN Affairs, to the U.S. Delegation to the Trusteeship Council (telegrams 26 and 27, to New York, July 13, 1954, 12: 02 p.m., 350/7–1054).