164. Editorial Note

At the 754th meeting of the United Nations Security Council, which began at 3 a.m. on November 4, Ambassador Lodge began his remarks by saying: “If ever there was a time when the action of the United Nations could literally be a matter of life and death for a whole nation, this is that time. If ever there was a question which clearly raised a threat to the peace, this is the question.” He concluded his statement by expressing his hope that the revised version (S/3730 and Rev.1) of the United States draft resolution would be adopted. In the operative paragraphs of the draft resolution, the Security Council:

  • “1. Calls upon the Government of the USSR to desist forthwith from any form of intervention, in particular armed intervention in the internal affairs of Hungary;
  • “2. Calls upon the USSR to cease the introduction of additional armed forces into Hungary and to withdraw all of its forces without delay from Hungarian territory;
  • “3. Affirms the right of the Hungarian people to a government responsive to its national aspirations and dedicated to its independence and well-being;
  • “4. Requests the SYG in consultation with the heads of appropriate Specialized Agencies to explore on an urgent basis the need of the Hungarian peoples for food, medicine and other similar supplies and to report to the Security Council as soon as possible;
  • “5. Requests all Members of the UN and invites national and international humanitarian organizations to cooperate in making available such supplies as may be required by the Hungarian people.”

Ambassador Sobolev responded that he had no official information as to new developments in Hungary and thus he asserted that the proper course would be to postpone the question until reliable information was at hand. However, he did not hesitate to castigate “counter-revolutionary elements” in Hungary partly instigated by the “subversive activities” of the Western Powers and most particularly the United States. He emphasized that Soviet forces were and would remain in Hungary “pursuant to the Warsaw Pact” and were engaged in suppressing “counter-revolutionary intervention and riots”. The Hungarian question, he maintained, did not rightly concern the United Nations and he went on to say:

“The representatives of the United States and, in particular, the United Kingdom and France, will not succeed by means of demagogic speeches in concealing the fact that the inclusion of the question of the situation in Hungary in the Security Council’s agenda is a provocative act intended to divert the attention of world public opinion from the aggression committed by the United Kingdom, France and Israel against Egypt.”

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Ambassador Lodge retorted that the Soviet Representative “would apparently have us believe that our American programme, which aims to fill people’s stomachs with food, is somehow inferior to a Soviet programme which fills their stomachs with lead”.

When given an opportunity to speak, Szabó revealed that he had not been able to make contact with Budapest and thus possessed no official information as to what had taken place. “Unofficially,” he reported, “we are informed that a new Government has been formed under the leadership of Mr. Janos Kadar, President of the Council of Ministers.”

The United States draft resolution was then voted on and failed of passage due to a Soviet veto. Nine nations voted in favor with Yugoslavia, in the absence of instructions, not participating. At the next session, however, Yugoslavia was recorded as having abstained. In response to this result, Ambassador Lodge spoke as follows:

“I therefore make the following motion to call an emergency special session of the General Assembly in accordance with rule 8 (b) of the rules of procedure of the General Assembly:

“The Security Council,

“‘Considering that a grave situation has been created by the use of Soviet military forces to suppress the efforts of the Hungarian people to reassert their rights,

“‘Taking into account that because of the lack of unanimity among its permanent members the Security Council has been unable to exercise its primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security,

“‘Decides to call an emergency special session of the General Assembly, as provided in General Assembly resolution 377A (V) of 3 November 1950, in order to make appropriate recommendations concerning the situation in Hungary.’”

Resolution S/3733 was shortly thereafter adopted by a vote of 10 to 1, with only the Soviet Union in opposition. This session of the Security Council was then adjourned at 5:25 a.m. For full text of the debate, see U.N. doc. S/PV.754.