128. Memorandum of a Conversation, Department of State, Washington, October 3, 19551


  • UN Membership


  • The Secretary
  • M. Maurice Couve de Murville, French Ambassador
  • M. Charles Lucet, Minister-Counselor, French Embassy
  • Mr. Francis O. Wilcox, Asst. Secretary for International Organization Aff.
  • Mr. John Wesley Jones,WE

When the French Ambassador called on the Secretary yesterday to explain French withdrawal from the General Assembly, the conversation turned to the future composition of the United Nations should a formula be found for the admission of new members. The Secretary speculated on the feasibility of a formula whereby neither the Soviets nor the other four permanent members of the Security Council would use the veto. Mr. Wilcox suggested that in such an event an abstention rather than a negative vote would better meet the legal requirements. The Soviet satellites were discussed as examples and the French Ambassador expressed the view that even though the U.S.,U.K., France and China should abstain the Soviets and the other six Security Council members voting affirmatively would give the required seven votes for membership. He added, however, that it would be difficult for countries like New Zealand [Page 309] and Belgium to vote with the U.S.S.R. and not follow the example of their Allies in the case of the satellites. The Secretary agreed that it was likely that the Soviet delegation would insist on some prearranged understanding to assure that their protégés would not be excluded under the formula by either the Council or the Assembly.2 At the end of his call the Ambassador asked the Secretary about the plans of the Disarmament Subcommittee. The latter replied that the Canadian objection to the early recess of the Subcommittee had been overcome and there now seemed to be no obstacle to its adjournment some time next week.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 310.2/10–455. Confidential. Drafted by Jones on October 4.
  2. Secretary Dulles was asked about the United Nations membership question at his press conference on October 4 and replied, in part, as follows: “I think that our position on all United Nations memberships is substantially the same as it has been in the past. We have never believed that the Security Council should operate as an agency for the vetoing of members… . We believe that candidates should be considered on their merits; they should not be arbitrarily vetoed in the Security Council… . There are some nations which, it seems to me, have made clear that they are not either peace-loving, or able or willing to carry out their obligations under the charter, and we doubt that they should be allowed to come into the United Nations in violation of the charter, or merely in order to get other eligible nations in.” For a complete text, see Department of State Bulletin, October 17, 1955, pp. 604–608.