109. Memorandum From the Director of the Office of United Nations Political and Security Affairs (Popper) to the Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs (Key)1


  • Admission of New Members to the United Nations
At the meeting which you recommended Mr. Murphy should convene on the above subject, widely differing views may be expected:
FE and NEA desire to seek prompt SC action on Cambodia, Ceylon, Japan, Jordan, Laos, Libya and Nepal on the basis of the Bandung declaration.
EUR believes events have overtaken the utility of this approach, but there is some indication that it might favor for consideration in the prospective Four-Power negotiations a comprehensive settlement involving admission of all pending applicants (possibly excluding Outer Mongolia), and some provision for Spain. (EUR’s opposition to action based on Bandung results from the view that it could prejudice the possibility of an overall settlement and from its judgment of the adverse effects on voting strength in colonial and East-West issues of the admission of these seven states.)
Other points that should be taken into consideration include:
Ambassador Lodge and others have suggested the possibility of a new move on Austria alone in light of the conclusion of the Austrian Peace Treaty.
The UN Good Offices Committee on membership is trying to peddle to the permanent SC members a “short package” (Austria, Finland, Italy, Libya, or only the first three) presumably selected because, except for Italy, they are not firmly committed either to East or West.
Japan is now initiating negotiations with the USSR looking toward conclusion of a peace treaty and intends to seek Soviet support for its admission to the UN.
All pending applications (list attached) are to be reviewed by the SC before the 10th GA.
In the event of a continued impasse, we will presumably wish to proceed with our non-member participation plan, on which advance consultations will be necessary.
We believe that IO should take a position on the membership issue designed to bring the maximum number of states into the Organization. The Secretary has repeatedly made clear his own [Page 278] position that the success of the UN ultimately depends on the extent to which it becomes universal. On the basis of this criterion, the application of which must take due account of relevant political considerations, it is recommended that you take the following position at the meeting:

Preferred Position

Since a virtual stalemate on the membership issue has existed in the UN for more than five years and because Members are so deeply and publicly committed to their present positions, there is little hope for real progress in the UN forum. One promising prospect for moving this issue off dead-center is its discussion in new forum which now exists in the prospective Four-Power negotiations.2 However, unless we intend to make a comprehensive agreement taking account of all pending applicants and possibly providing for Spain, there is no particular advantage in raising the subject at all in these negotiations.
If it is agreed that we should seek an overall settlement in Big Four discussions, our initial proposal should be either admission of all applicants except Outer Mongolia or, alternatively, all nineteen pending applicants. The decision on Outer Mongolia should be taken on the basis of our judgment whether its exclusion would constitute the sole obstacle to agreement on admission of all other applicants. If, as is likely, exploratory discussions disclose that the USSR will oppose admission of Viet-Nam and the Republic of Korea, we should not include Outer Mongolia. We could accept deferment of action on Viet-Nam and the ROK pending achievement of unification; and a similar arrangement for Germany might also be made. We should make clear that we are not prepared to discuss the question of Chinese representation. We should seek Soviet agreement on the admission of Spain, assuming it has been induced to apply for membership before the negotiations begin.
It should eventually become apparent whether a comprehensive solution can be achieved in Big Four discussions. Failing progress, we should not initiate proposals for admission of fewer applicants but should consider on their merits any alternative proposals that the USSR may advance. It is assumed, however, that the USSR is unlikely to propose admission of any smaller group of applicants that does not include all the Soviet satellite candidates. We could not accept any such proposal, and in the event the situation develops in this way, the matter should be returned to UN channels for consideration.
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Alternative Position (if agreement cannot be reached on proceeding in Big Four negotiations)

A real effort should be made in the SC to follow up alternatives that might lead to admission of some qualified applicants. These would include support for a proposal (which could be initiated by Turkey as the only SC member present at Bandung) for admission of the seven Asian-African applicants; support for any satisfactory proposals which may be devised by the UN Good Offices Committee on membership for the admission of a limited number of states; and support for new moves, taking account of recent negotiations, to admit Japan and Austria. In all these cases, each applicant would be voted on separately. (Provided such proposals are not initiated by the US which could not discriminate among qualified applicants, we could support admission of any of the Asian-African candidates except Outer Mongolia and all other applicants except Albania, Bulgaria, Hungary and Rumania, to whose admission we should agree only as part of an overall settlement that completes action on all pending applicants and covers Spain.)
If it becomes apparent that no sizable group of applicants is likely to be admitted, we should seek positive action on our non-member participation plan.
We should concur in the approach now under consideration by the Good Offices Committee whereby the Security Council would review all pending applications in the order of their submission and vote formally only on those on which advance consultation or discussion in the Council indicates agreement of the five permanent members.
  1. Source: Department of State, UNP Files: Lot 59 D 237, Membership. Confidential. Drafted by Brown. Attached to the source text is a list identical to Tab A, supra .
  2. Reference is presumably to the Geneva Summit Conference, July 18–23, 1955.