6. Telegram From the Mission at the United Nations to the Department of State 1

80. Re Charter review. USUN finds reaction here to holding of Charter review conference lukewarm even among those favoring conference, while many others have not yet adopted any policy, preferring to await further developments. There is growing tendency, stimulated in part by countries such as UK who oppose conference, to view it with skepticism. If unchecked, this trend could make it almost impossible to get support for our position when question comes up in Assembly.

USUN efforts to date have met with following criticisms:

US position is too vague with reference to nature of action conference should take. A large number of members have asked us what proposals we have to offer other than Ambassador Lodge’s suggestion re membership veto. This latter proposal is not considered sufficient justification in itself for a conference since Russian agreement to the amendment would constitute agreement to a majority vote on membership.
US position not sufficiently specific re timing of conference. Delegations ask whether we would support SYG’s proposal. Although [Page 8] we have stated that we are flexible as to time, other delegations have not been put at ease by these statements.

In view of fact that many UN members are not yet firm in their positions but are beginning to question advisability of conference, it would seem that the only way to counteract any tendency to oppose conference would be by US adoption of more definitive position. Therefore, I request that the Department consider taking such steps as an announcement of at least one or two specific proposals which have a chance of success, and the setting of a specific date for the conference. Department may question an early announcement on ground that it jeopardizes the position, but refraining from doing so may, under present circumstances, make it impossible for us to have a conference at all.

Re date of conference, we could set either a specific date or support SYG’s proposal in order to make clear to everyone that we are not pushing for an early conference.

USUN urges that some action along the lines indicated be taken promptly unless the Department has reservations about its position favoring a conference.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 310.1/8–355. Confidential.