180. Editorial Note

A number of resolutions dealing with Hungary were introduced and adopted at the 571st meeting of the United Nations General Assembly, which convened between 3 and 8:10 p.m. on November 9. Austrian Ambassador Franz Matsch introduced a draft resolution (A/3324) dealing with relief aid to eliminate the suffering of the Hungarian people. Then, in an effort to moderate the “alleged” harshness of some of the language in the United States-sponsored draft resolution (A/3319), Ceylon, India, and Indonesia introduced several amendments (A/3325), which deleted some specific references to the Soviet Union. Ambassador Lodge, however, indicated that the changes were unacceptable.

The first vote to be taken was on the five-power draft resolution (A/3316), introduced on November 8. Ambassador Leonardo Vitetti of Italy agreed to the deletion of the words “and of the Convention on Genocide” prior to the vote. As amended, Resolution 1005 (ES–II) was passed by a vote of 48 to 11, with 16 abstentions. Hungary and Poland joined the Soviet Union in opposition to the resolution.

The amendments to the United States resolution were then collectively voted on and were defeated by 45 votes to 18, with 12 abstentions. In this instance, Poland and Hungary voted in the affirmative while the rest of the Soviet bloc abstained. Thereafter, the United States won approval of Resolution 1006 (ES–II) by a vote of 53 to 9, with Hungary, Poland, and the Soviet Union casting negative ballots, while 13 nations abstained. The Austrian Representative deleted the pharase “by the fighting which is still continuing” from the first paragraph of the preamble to his draft resolution prior to its adoption (Resolution 1007 (ES–II)) by a vote of 67 to 0, with 8 abstentions. Poland and Hungary voted in favor; the Soviet Union abstained. The resolution reads:

“The General Assembly,

Considering the extreme suffering to which the Hungarian people are subjected,

Urgently wishing effectively to eliminate this suffering,

Convinced that humanitarian duties can be fulfilled most effectively through the international co-operation stipulated in Article 1, paragraph 3, of the Charter of the United Nations,

  • “1. Resolves to undertake on a large scale immediate aid for the affected territories by furnishing medical supplies, foodstuffs and clothes;
  • “2. Calls upon all Member States to participate to the greatest extent possible in this relief action;
  • “3. Requests the Secretary-General to undertake immediately the necessary measures;
  • “4. Urgently appeals to all countries concerned to give full assistance to the Secretary-General in the implementation of this task.”

Ambassador James J. Wadsworth then announced that the United States was making $1 million available at once to the Secretary-General to be used to assist Hungarian refugees. (U.N. doc. A/PV.571)

At the closing meeting of the Second Emergency Special Session of the General Assembly on November 10, Ambassador Lodge introduced a draft resolution (A/3330) “to place on the provisional agenda of its [the General Assembly] eleventh regular session, as a matter of priority, the question on the agenda of its second emergency special session”. Despite Hungarian and Soviet opposition, this was agreed to by a vote of 53 to 9, with 8 abstentions. (Resolution 1008 (ES–II))

Also on November 10, Secretary-General Hammarskjöld addressed another aide-mémoire to the Government of Hungary, which had not yet replied to his previous communication, asking whether it would permit the entry of observers he designated. He noted that if he did not hear something shortly that he would have “to submit the situation to the General Assembly for consideration and the steps it may wish to take.” Hungary’s initial response was to say that it was studying the contents of the aide-mémoire. (U.N. doc. A/3335) Hammarskjöld also addressed an aide-mémoire to the Soviet Union asking it to support his demand to Hungary so that he might be enabled to fulfill his mandate. (U.N. doc. A/3326) Pursuant to Resolutions 1006 and 1007 (ES–II), the Secretary-General sent a note verbale to the Hungarian Foreign Minister on November 10 requesting information “concerning the needs of the Hungarian people for medical supplies, foodstuffs and clothes from abroad”. Once he had this information, Hammarskjöld stated his desire to discuss the best way of providing the required assistance. (U.N. doc. A/3337) On November 11, the Hungarian Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs informed the Secretary-General that “for technical reasons” the official text of Resolution 1004 (ES–II) was not yet available to him and it would have to be secured before Hammarskjöld’s aide-mémoire (A/3335) could be given detailed consideration. (A/3340)