115. Memorandum From the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs (Phillips) to the Secretary of State1


  • Reply to Ambassador Lodge on Non-Member Participation


In his letter to you of July 29 (Tab B)2 Ambassador Lodge suggests the possibility of getting British support for your proposal on non-member participation if we in return join the UK in a move to postpone a Charter review conference. He suggests that you seek Macmillan’s agreement to this “deal”.

We agree that it might at some stage be desirable to revive the non-member participation idea if this is the only alternative to a continuance of the present membership deadlock. If it is to be revived, however, we believe we must be able to demonstrate to the qualified applicants that there is in fact no serious prospect of a break in the membership deadlock, and that non-member participation [Page 290] represents, for the foreseeable future, the only feasible mechanism for their participation in the work of the UN. Having in mind their negative reaction to the non-member participation proposal when it was broached to them last year and the increased expectation of a break in the membership impasse aroused by the present atmosphere of relaxing tensions, this would appear to be difficult if not impossible to do until after we have once more tested Soviet intentions on the membership question. We do not believe that the attitude of the qualified applicants is apt to be substantially affected one way or another by the position of the UK on the non-member participation idea.

A number of recent reports that the USSR may not use its veto on the admission of various states (e.g. Austria, the Bandung group) have contributed to optimistic speculation concerning the possibility of a solution to the membership question. Although our information does not conclusively substantiate these reports, it is reasonable to anticipate some new Soviet move on membership at this time. The Indian delegation has indicated that it may propose the admission of the Bandung group and that they believe the USSR will neither oppose this group nor add to it any unacceptable applicant. So long as there is a real possibility that the Soviet Union will agree to the admission of any of the qualified applicants, we would be playing into Soviet hands if in the meantime we should revive the non-member participation idea, which the USSR could claim was an attempt on our part to sidetrack a settlement of the membership question. Other governments too might conclude that we had ruled out any real solution to the membership problem.

To date the US has managed with increasing difficulty to keep the onus on the USSR for the impasse on membership. If the USSR now adopts a more flexible position, it will be even more difficult to combat the view that it is the US rather than the Soviet Union which is blocking a solution.

We believe, therefore, that action on the non-member participation idea should be deferred at least until the membership question has been reviewed by the Security Council and there has been an opportunity to assess the situation in the General Assembly. In any event, we question the advisability of linking non-member participation with Charter review as Ambassador Lodge suggests. We see no bargaining advantage in this combination.

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That you sign the attached draft reply to Ambassador Lodge (Tab A) informing him that, for the above reasons, you wish to defer consultations on non-member participation.3

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 310.2/8–555. Confidential. Cleared by FE, ARA, and NEA.
  2. Supra.
  3. Tab A, not found with source text, was a draft letter of August 4, prepared by Bond and De Palma, along the lines of this memorandum. (Department of State, IOUNP Files: Lot 59 D 237, Membership) For Dulles’ reply, see infra.