176. Editorial Note

Hungary remained a subject of concern at the United Nations throughout November 8. The Secretary-General addressed an aide-mémoire to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Hungary (U.N. doc. A/3315) in which he referred to the fact that Resolution 1004 (ES–II) had called upon him to observe the Hungarian situation through representatives designated by him and to report back to the General Assembly “at the earliest moment”. He asked the Hungarian Government if it would admit observers for the purposes specified in the resolution. Until the investigation was completed, he indicated that he would be unable to conclude the other matters assigned to him by the resolution.

At the start of the 568th meeting of the General Assembly, János Szabó objected to its consideration of Hungarian internal affairs as exceeding its jurisdiction, especially since the new Káadár government had declared the earlier Nagy appeals invalid. The Danish Representative commented that inasmuch as Szabó had previously spoken for another government he thought it appropriate to ask the Secretary-General to furnish information concerning his credentials. (U.N. doc. A/PV.568, pages 21 and 23) The Credentials Committee deferred a decision on this subject by a vote of 6 to 3. (Delga 38 from USUN, November 8; Department of State, Central Files, 310.5/11–856. As Lodge was informed the following day, the Department was disposed not to accept the credentials of any Hungarian United Nations Representatives as a means of exerting pressure to gain the admission of the observers. (Telegram 258 to USUN, November 9; ibid., 320.5780/11–956)

The United States did not believe that it could permit the Hungarian case to be dismissed without further international action. Increasingly the tendency was to focus on humanitarian concerns because that avoided “possible undesirable repercussions in Middle Eastern case and minimizes ‘Cold War’ aspects Hungary.” In that manner the United States hoped to gain the initiative and not find itself confronted by proposals from nations such as Italy and Pakistan, which while neither “constructive” nor “responsive” to the problem would nevertheless be difficult to oppose. (Gadel 1 to USUN, November 8; ibid., 764.00/11–856) Together with Cuba, Ireland, and Peru, Italy and Pakistan submitted a resolution on November 8 again calling for Soviet withdrawal from Hungary, free elections, and an investigation by the Secretary-General. (U.N. doc. A/3316)

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The United States hoped to persuade Italy to defer a vote on this proposal for a day or two in favor of the United States proposal, which was scheduled to be tabled the next morning. (Gadel 2 to USUN, November 8; Department of State, Central Files, 764.00/11–856)