119. 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 the policy proposed in IO’s memorandum of August 24.

It will create confusion concerning the actual basis and strength of US opposition to international Communism and its practices.
It will undermine our position on Chinese representation in the UN. Our willingness to overlook moral and Charter qualifications for the satellites will set a precedent for others to apply to Chinese representation issues. The proposed explanatory statement contributes to, rather than obviates, this danger. If we are to hold the line, we cannot afford the risks of the IO proposal.
It leaves the USSR free to veto any candidate which does not come to terms with the Communists. It thus calls for a sacrifice of the US moral and Charter position and bargaining power for an unknown return. It may also increase pressures on candidates (e.g., Japan) to come to terms with the USSR.
It apparently involves abandonment of Korea and Viet-Nam to indefinite exclusion from the UN.
It involves nearly doubling the Soviet bloc (from 5 to 9)—to which will be added the votes of some of the proposed “neutral” candidates in all probability, on some crucial issues.
The argument based on the “under-representation” of Europe overlooks the “under-representation” of other areas, which is of similar and even larger proportions.
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If the proposal were to be made subject to the acceptance of similar conditions by the USSR objection 3 above would be met, but the other objections based on principle and on Chinese representation would remain.

As an alternative I suggest that in your address you announce support for the Bandung recommendation on membership and express the hope and confidence that in the prevailing atmosphere it will be possible to admit not only these states but also certain other states, notably in Europe. It may develop that states such as Italy and Austria will prove acceptable to both sides in the new circumstances. If the USSR insists upon all or nothing, the responsibility for the impasse will rest there. A piecemeal approach of this sort offers a reasonable effort toward breaking the deadlock without the risks and sacrifices involved in the IO proposal.

Additional comments are attached.

Additional Comments on IO’s Memorandum of August 24 on UN Membership

The proposal involves our acquiescing in the admission of the European satellites. Three of the four satellites stand condemned by the General Assembly for “wilful refusal” to fulfill a Peace Treaty obligation and all four have been condemned year by year by the US and other delegations for violating human rights and accepted codes of conduct. The President has just felt it necessary to emphasize that relaxation of tensions does not involve relaxation of principles on our part.
The proposal involves an undertaking that the US “will not use its vote” to prevent or “will no longer oppose” the admission of any state which receives seven or more votes in the Security Council. The implications for the Chinese representation issue of the announcement of this change in US policy toward the satellites will be immediately evident to UN members. At your press conference on July 8 last year you said that “…2 if you look at the substance of the matter rather than the form, the question of the eligibility of a new government should be subject to the same voting tests as the admission of a new state.” IO proposes that you explain that our willingness to acquiesce in the seating of the satellites despite our views as to their eligibility does not mean that we are prepared to consider the seating of “any regime which has been convicted of aggression by the United Nations and which has yet to purge itself of that aggression”, and specifically that we continue to oppose any change in Chinese representation. This explanation serves to make clear to all that we realize the dilemma which our [Page 299] change in policy creates with respect to Chinese representation. It also strips our opposition to the Chinese Communists of all objections except the sole issue of aggression. Objections based on violations of human rights and treaty obligations, mistreatment of American and other foreign nationals, etc. are discarded. It carries the unmistakable suggestion that once the finding of aggression is lifted we can be expected to acquiesce in their seating. This statement would be made at the very time when we shall need all possible strength to maintain our position in favor of the seating of the Chinese Nationalists and against the seating of the Chinese Communists.
The recommendations on Korea and Viet-Nam are not entirely clear. Under recommendation 1, we would apparently be willing to drop both if the Commonwealth and France objected to their inclusion, while recommendation 2b apparently contemplates our including both in our proposal. Both would in any case be subject to a Soviet veto, for our self-denying policy would not be contingent on the acceptance of a similar policy by the USSR.
  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 310.2/8–2955. Secret. Drafted by Bacon.
  2. Ellipsis in the source text.