111. Memorandum From the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs (Sebald) to the Secretary of State 1


  • Admission of New Members to the United Nations

I am unable to concur in Mr. Key’s memorandum of June 7 which, as I understand it, recommends that we prepare to consider a blanket deal on United Nations membership in the Four-Power negotiations and that we take no initiative for the time being toward implementing the Bandung proposal on membership.

The question of blanket deal negotiations with the USSR on membership must be weighed in connection with the Chinese representation problem. The issues of United Nations membership and Chinese representation, while technically separable, are in fact closely related, as you pointed out in a press conference last year (July 8, 1954). Pressures to seat the Chinese Communists have been increasing, especially since the Bandung Conference. Our willingness to accept the Soviet satellites will afford a pretext for other United Nations members to change their positions on Chinese representation, with probable serious consequences for our position at the next General Assembly.

The close linkage which is known to exist in Communist minds between membership and Chinese representation is currently evidenced by the Soviet-Yugoslav Declaration of June 2.2 This situation raises the question whether we can safely assume that we can resist “firmly” Soviet efforts to link these two issues and yet count upon obtaining a satisfactory membership arrangement with the USSR. Once, however, we have indicated a willingness to negotiate for a blanket deal, the present basis for our membership position will have been lost.

The issue thus becomes: Is the need for general flexibility so great and the chance of success in negotiations with the USSR on membership so encouraging as to be worth endangering our position on Chinese representation and forfeiting the moral and Charter basis of our membership position? In my view if we are to stand firm on the Chinese representation issue, we cannot afford the risks involved in the IO proposal.

[Page 283]

I believe, however, that an initiative toward implementation of the Bandung suggestion would offer advantages with no apparent disadvantages. If, as anticipated, the USSR vetoes the proposal in the Security Council, the free world will have gained by showing an initiative in support of a Bandung suggestion and the USSR will have lost prestige. If unexpectedly the USSR approves the proposal, we shall have obtained the admission of seven states, none of which belongs to the Soviet bloc. Such an initiative might assist Japan in its current negotiations with the USSR, and would not prejudice any membership proposals which may later develop. Moreover, it would be desirable to have taken an initiative involving Japan in case the USSR, as a result of the current negotiations with Japan, undertakes to support or even propose Japanese membership.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 310.2/6–755. Confidential. Drafted by Bacon.
  2. For text, see Documents (R.I.I.A.) for 1955, pp. 267–271.