1. Memorandum of a Conversation Between the Secretary-General of the United Nations (Hammarskjöld) and the Representative at the United Nations (Lodge), New York, May 17, 19551


  • Charter Review

In his discussion on other subjects with the Secretary General this morning, Amb. Lodge referred to Mr. Hammarskjold’s proposed preface to the repertory of U.N. practice. He recalled that the Secretary General proposed to say that in view of all the circumstances, he found valid arguments for a decision at the 10th Session of the General Assembly in favor of a Charter Review Conference but leaving open for the time being the question of when the conference should be convened.

Amb. Lodge indicated that he thought it was undesirable for the Secretary General to take any stand at the present on the question of charter review which might be regarded as negative. We were in favor of a Charter Review Conference and we did not wish to see developing a negative attitude.

Mr. Hammarskjold said that he did not feel his reference to the Charter Review Conference in his proposed preface3 would be taken as negative. Its purpose was simply to get the idea abroad that the time for the conference was still an open question. He feared that there was a certain amount of sentiment developing which took for granted that a conference would be called immediately. He was [Page 2] aware that the United States did not favor an immediate conference and thought that his remarks fitted into our viewpoint. He had real doubts about what a Charter Review Conference could accomplish and feared that issues would be raised which would be highly controversial and unprofitable to discuss. It was clear that his general feeling was negative to the idea of a conference.

Amb. Lodge again expressed his view that it was desirable to stimulate interest in a conference and that a report by the Secretary General now favoring even in general terms deferment would not have the desired effect.

  1. Source: USUN Files, IO, Charter. Confidential. Drafted by Barco.
  2. Telegram 779 from New York, May 13, reported that Hammarskjold supplied the Mission with a draft text “of preface to repertory of practice of United Nations” designed to defer a Charter review meeting by at least 1 year. Hammarskjöld argued that deferral would “fit into US election schedule” and might also avoid “all-out Soviet opposition Charter review.” The text of this preface was transmitted in telegram 780 from New York, May 13. (Both Department of State, Central Files, 310.1/5–1355)