340.1 AG/4–853: Telegram
The Consul General at Geneva (Ward) to the Department of State
605. From Mrs. Lord. President’s excellent message Deptel 638 most helpful and included in statement this morning.
In light reactions and speeches after our statement urgently advise international-minded reporters be given background story by Secretary explaining that forthright statement in commission was needed at this time re covenants to meet arguments proponents Bricker Amendment. Representatives indicated would have preferred less frankness now and statement our position at conclusion drafting work. Some implied statement timed to sabotage work on covenants.
Also urge consideration further explanation for domestic and international opinion that without forthright statement at this time serious risk restriction on treaty-making which might have crippled American participation in UN in areas of collective security in which treaties essential while in human rights area objective can be attained without treaties. Thus demonstrate step taken in interest continuing American participation in UN areas dependent upon treaties.
Advise soonest whether suggestions acceptable and whether similar statements here authorized.
Indian response emotional. USSR seized opportunity associate itself with India. Impression created US alone in rejecting covenants despite statements by UK and USSR that they not committed to ratify but deferring decision to completion of covenant. (IPS has text US rebuttal statement.)
Point also raised privately by Sweden and implied by Chile, India and Uruguay that change attributable change in administration. Explanation re American constitutional background suggested would help dissipate this. Also helpful if shown that skepticism re usefulness covenants present state world affairs brewing several years. Statement by former delegation members like Ben Cohen who indicated similar views privately might be helpful. [Mrs. Lord.]