20. Circular Instruction From the Department of State to Certain Diplomatic Missions 1



  • Thirteenth Regular Session of the United Nations General Assembly

[Here follow a Table of Contents and Summary of Action Requested.]



The thirteenth regular session of the General Assembly (GA) is scheduled to convene in New York on Tuesday, September 16, 1958. There are indications that this session may be among the most important in the history of the United Nations (UN). Aside from the situation in the Middle East, which is not at this moment on the agenda, and the outcome of a likely special meeting of the Security Council, the GA will consider or take action on many other vital questions, the answers to which will likely shape international relations and the role of the UN in years to come. In finding the best answers, the United States hopes that, together with other free nations, it will be able to contribute substantially to the success of the 13th GA.

A. Composition and Atmosphere

When the 13th GA convenes, it will comprise 81 members, which number takes account of the admission of Malaya at the 12th GA and the formation in February 1958 of the United Arab Republic as the successor to Egypt and Syria. The expanded membership of the UN has been a development of great significance in the attitude and work of the UN. Since 1955 the UN has increased its membership from 60 to 81 members with a concomitant shift in the geographical and political balance of the GA. The number of members from Asia and Africa increased from eighteen to twenty-nine, there now being three African, ten Arab, and sixteen Asian. The Soviet orbit increased its membership from five to nine. The non-communist Europeans expanded their number from ten to sixteen, while the old Commonwealth (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and South Africa) remains at four, the Latin Americans continue at twenty, and those otherwise classified for the purpose of this analysis (Israel, Yugoslavia, and the United States) [Page 29] remain at three. The effect has been to (1) change somewhat the political complexion of the GA; (2) make more difficult the attainment of two-thirds majorities on controversial issues; (3) increase the role and importance of smaller powers; (4) intensify the pressure for progress towards self-government or independence; (5) promote the long-held UN interest in economic and social progress; and (6) increase the difficulty of Free World Members to focus the attention of the GA on the threat posed by the Soviet system to the independence of free countries and the purposes and principles of the UN. (Also see CA-1171, Sec. A, of August 3, 1957,2 for further analysis of this problem.) The United States welcomed this expansion of membership and particularly the admittance of the new states because it believes the UN provides free governments a world organization that can influence order and progress among countries and peoples while guiding inevitable change constructively. The composition of the GA necessitates that members consult and accommodate themselves to one another if they wish GA approval for proposed UN programs or avoid what they consider undesirable. The United States for its part will offer leadership or cooperation whenever it may contribute successfully to the attainment of UN objectives.

The atmosphere at the 13th GA will undoubtedly be affected by developments in the Middle East and in the anticipated special meeting of the Security Council, but other important issues also will give this forthcoming GA a distinct tone. Action by the UN on the future use of outer space alone would make this a noteworthy Assembly. The situation in Hungary in the light of the executions of Nagy, Maleter and others, and the recent report of the Special Committee will, in the absence of earlier consideration, be discussed in the 13th GA. This discussion should serve the purpose of focusing world attention on the nature of the Soviet system and the continued suppression and terror in Eastern Europe. The GA will certainly show keen interest in the question of disarmament, including the testing of atomic weapons, and it may find some way to follow-up the experience gained by the United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF). Developments concerning Algeria will affect the atmosphere in which the GA considers that question. Whether the Cyprus question will again be submitted to this GA will likewise depend on events. The GA will again consider how to use its influence to promote the unification of Korea pursuant to UN principles. Progress will be evident in the inauguration of the Special Projects Fund which will augment the UN Technical Assistance Program. While these are not all the important issues, their successful handling would in itself make this GA historic. The United States hopes to take on these and other matters a forward-looking position.

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[Here follow Sections B, “Agenda;” C, “Consultations;” and D, “Specific Instructions.”]

E. United States Views

1. 13th GA Presidency

The Lebanese Ambassador was informed by the Department on July 12 that the United States would support Dr. Charles Malik for the Presidency of the 13th General Assembly. Dr. Malik is so far the only announced candidate.

It will be recalled that Dr. Malik withdrew his candidacy for President of the 12th Session in the interest of general agreement on Sir Leslie Munro (New Zealand). Following his withdrawal the Secretary stated on September 17, 1957:

“This organization is fortunate that it has among its members those who are well qualified to serve as President of the General Assembly. We have just heard one of them speak: Mr. Malik, a man of great eminence whom it has been my privilege to know even before the United Nations was formed. He has shown, I think, by his statesmanlike act today, his devotion and dedication to the principles and ideals of the United Nations. I know that we all rejoice that he will be able in the future to serve this Organization, the more so because of his act here today.”3

While Dr. Malik’s election should, particularly in view of his withdrawal last year in favor of Sir Leslie Munro, be uncontested, it may become complicated by the Lebanese situation. The Department would be most interested in any repercussion of this situation on Dr. Malik’s candidacy that may come to your attention. If questions are raised in this connection, it may be said that our support for Dr. Malik is based on our long-standing belief in his excellent qualifications for the Presidency, as expressed by the Secretary last year.

2. The Election of Other Officers Comprising the General Committee

The Assembly at its 12th Session increased the size of the General Committee from 16 to 21 by adding five Vice-Presidencies.4 It also provided in the same resolution [1192(XII)]5 for the geographical allocation of these seats, which has heretofore been a matter of accepted practice rather than written stipulation. FYI The increased size of the Committee and the geographical allocation approved by the Assembly will complicate the problem of obtaining a satisfactory Committee from the standpoint of United States interests. End FYI.

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The allocation in the enlarged Committee varies somewhat, the area from which the President comes losing a Vice-Presidency, but in general it is as follows: Vice-Presidents—Republic of China, France, United States, United Kingdom, USSR, four from Asia and Africa, one from Eastern Europe, two from Latin America, two from Western Europe and other States (i.e., Old Commonwealth and Israel); Committee chairman—two from Latin America, two from Asia and Africa, two from Western Europe and other States, and one from Eastern Europe. The “slate” for this Committee, which is developed by the Secretariat in consultation with the various UN delegations in New York, customarily is not finally determined until just before the Assembly convenes, and to date relatively few candidacies for these offices have been advanced.

3. The Representation of China

We anticipate that proponents of the seating of the Chinese Communists will make an especially strong effort to raise the question of Chinese representation. In accordance with our policy of strong support for the Government of the Republic of China in international organizations, we shall again take the position that the Assembly should decide “not to consider” any proposals to exclude the representatives of the Government of the Republic of China and/or to seat Chinese Communists. FYI By taking such procedural position and avoiding a vote on the substance, we expect to be able again to achieve our policy objective with maximum free-world support. Furthermore, we anticipate that the UK will support the moratorium formula for the entire session. End FYI.

At your discretion, you may point out that the Chinese Communists do not meet the standards for international behavior set by the Charter. They are unrepentant aggressors against the UN in Korea. They applauded the USSR’s actions in Hungary last year and just recently they endorsed the executions of Prime Minister Nagy and other Hungarian leaders.

For your background, the breakdown of the vote on the US-sponsored resolution “not to consider” Chinese representation at the 12th General Assembly, taken on September 24, 1957,6 when the UN membership stood at 82, was as follows:

48 states in favor: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, EL Salvador, Ethiopia, France, Greece, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Iceland, Iran, Iraq, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Luxembourg, Malaya, Mexico, Netherlands, [Page 32] New Zealand, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Spain, Thailand, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, and Venezuela.
27 states against: Afghanistan, Albania, Bulgaria, Burma, Byelorussia, Ceylon, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, Ghana, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Morocco, Nepal, Norway, Poland, Rumania, Sudan, Sweden, Syria, Ukraine, USSR, Yemen, and Yugoslavia.
6 states abstaining: Cambodia, Israel, Laos, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, and Tunisia.
1 state absent: Union of South Africa.

Posts in those countries which voted with the United States should express appreciation for support on this question, which the United States believes continues to be one of paramount importance to the entire Free World, and solicit continued support for a like United States position in the 13th GA. Posts in those countries which voted in the negative should, in their discretion, solicit support for the United States position, or possibly an abstention, instead of a negative vote, if it is believed that any useful purpose would be served thereby. Posts in those countries which abstained should, in their discretion, endeavor to obtain assurance for support of the United States position, and if this is not forthcoming, at least continued abstention in preference to a negative vote. Baghdad, Phnom Penh, Rabat, and Tunisia should bear in mind respective governments may have or have altered their attitude on Chinese representation from that reflected at the 12th GA. FYI Additional instructions may be sent later to missions in Austria, Finland, Ghana, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Laos, Libya, Malaya, Morocco, Portugal, Tunisia, and Sudan. Missions in such countries may wish to bear this possibility in mind when approaching governments concerned. End FYI.

4. Elections to U.N. Councils

At the 13th GA, elections will be held for three seats on the Security Council, six seats on the Economic and Social Council, and three seats on the Trusteeship Council. We have, with the exception of Italy’s candidacy for the Security Council, so far made no commitments with respect to any of these seats, and in this connection would be interested in the reactions of others. (For the present composition of these organs see US Participation in the UN , 1957, Appendix II.)

Security Council. The seats currently held by Colombia, Iraq, and Sweden become vacant at the end of 1958. Argentina is a candidate to succeed Colombia; Iran, a candidate to succeed Iraq; and Italy, a candidate to succeed Sweden. To date, no other candidacies have been announced, though future announcements cannot be precluded, particularly in the case of the seat currently held by Iraq.
have made known our support of Italy’s candidacy.7
Economic and Social Council. Brazil, Canada, Greece, Indonesia, the United States, and Yugoslavia retire from the Council at the end of this year. Venezuela and Uruguay are candidates to succeed Brazil; New Zealand, to succeed Canada; Spain, to succeed Greece; Afghanistan, the Philippines, and Thailand, to succeed Indonesia; and Bulgaria to succeed Yugoslavia. Ireland and Ceylon are also candidates, but for exactly which seats is not clear. Traditionally, the five permanent members of the Security Council are always represented on the Council, and the United States will be a candidate for re-election.
Trusteeship Council. The terms of Burma, Guatemala, and the United Arab Republic (successor to Syria) expire at the end of 1958. Burma is a candidate for re-election, and the Indonesian candidacy for this seat has been withdrawn. No candidacy has been announced for the seat currently held by Guatemala. There are four candidates to succeed the United Arab Republic (UAR): Ethiopia, Ghana, Liberia, and the UAR.

5. The Situation in Hungary

The 11th GA reconvened on September 10, 1957, and, on the basis of an exhaustive report issued by the Special Committee on the Problem of Hungary,8 adopted a resolution which noted the Committee’s conclusion that the 1956 revolution was a spontaneous national uprising; found, inter alia, that the Soviet Union had deprived Hungary of its liberty and political independence and that the present Hungarian regime was imposed on the Hungarian people by the armed intervention of the USSR; condemned the actions of the USSR and the Hungarian authorities; called upon the USSR and the Hungarian authorities to desist from repression; and requested Prince Wan of Thailand, the General Assembly’s Special Representative on Hungary, to take steps to achieve the objectives contained in previous GA resolutions.9

The above-mentioned resolution also placed the Hungarian item on the provisional agenda of the 12th GA. As at the 11th GA, the 12th GA took no action on the credentials of the Hungarian representatives, leaving them in a provisional status. Prince Wan reported to the Assembly on December 9, 1957, that the Soviet Government and the Hungarian authorities refused all cooperation with him but that he would continue his efforts to promote respect for human rights and [Page 34] fundamental freedoms in Hungary.10 Before the 12th GA adjourned, Ambassador Lodge referred to reports which indicated that repressive measures were continuing in Budapest in defiance of GA resolutions and announced that the United States would call for a special session of the GA to consider Hungary should later developments warrant such action.11

The Special Committee on Hungary met shortly after the secret trials and executions of Imre Nagy, Pal Maleter, and their associates, were announced on June 16, 1958, to prepare a further report.

The Committee’s latest report, approved unanimously by all five members (Australia, Ceylon, Denmark, Tunisia, Uruguay), was issued July 16.12 It contained, in addition to proof of gross duplicity on the part of the Soviet, Rumanian, and Hungarian Governments, evidence that the Kadar regime was continuing its reign of terror. The report cited 33 executions since the appearance of its previous report in June 1957 and called on the Hungarian regime to cease repression and to recognize human rights.

FYI The Department is actively considering ways to obtain maximum exploitation of the material contained in the Special Committee’s latest report with a view to discouraging the trials and executions now being rumored. As a result of recent developments in the Middle East, no decision has been made as to how the Department’s objectives would be best served. Possibilities include: action at a special GA session; inscribing the Hungarian item on the provisional agenda of the 13th GA; further meetings of the Special Committee should additional evidence of repression come to light. End FYI.

6. Disarmament

The 12th GA, by a vote of 57 to 9 with 15 abstentions, adopted a resolution which, in substance, endorsed the proposals submitted by the Western 4 (US, UK, France and Canada) to the UN Disarmament Commission’s Sub-Committee on August 29, 1957. The resolution further requested the Disarmament Commission to reconvene its Sub-Committee and to invite it to establish, as one of its first tasks, a group or groups of technical experts to study inspection systems for disarmament measures on which the Sub-Committee may reach agreement in principle and to report to the Disarmament Commission within a fixed period. [Res 1148(XII)].13

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During the course of the 12th GA the Soviet Union proposed the unrealistic enlargement of the Disarmament Commission to include all 82 members of the UN. Despite the adoption of a resolution, as a gesture of conciliation to the Soviet demands, which enlarged the Disarmament Commission from its former composition (i.e., the Security Council members plus Canada) to 25 member states,14 the Soviet Union announced it would boycott future Disarmament Commission meetings unless the Commission were enlarged to include a “balance” between nations allied with the United States and nations allied with the USSR or “uncommitted.”

In the succeeding months it became apparent through correspondence between the President and Premier Bulganin and Khrushchev that the Soviet Union wished to consider the question of disarmament within the context of a summit meeting. The United States during this period made extensive, quiet efforts to bring about a resumption of negotiations under UN auspices.

On March 31 the Soviet Union announced a unilateral suspension of all nuclear testing and called upon the United States and Great Britain to do likewise.15 On April 21 the Soviet Union introduced into the Security Council a complaint against the supposed provocative flights of US bombers equipped with atomic and hydrogen weapons in the direction of the Soviet Union over the Arctic area. This Soviet complaint was rejected by the Council and quickly followed up by a US initiative. This came in the form of a draft resolution introduced in the Council calling for the establishment of a zone of inspection in the Arctic area to provide against the possibility of great surprise attack. The United States resolution was strongly endorsed by all Council members except the Soviet Union who vetoed it.16

In his letter to Premier Khrushchev of April 28,17 President Eisenhower reiterated the United States proposal that technical talks be convened to discuss the means of detecting violations of any agreement to suspend nuclear weapons tests. These talks would be of a completely technical nature and not linked to any decision to suspend tests which would be a political consideration. After a series of exchanges it was finally agreed that such discussions should be held.

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They commenced on July 1 in Geneva and are currently in progress. At United States initiative these talks are under UN auspices, are utilizing UN facilities, and are attended by a representative of the UN Secretary-General.

On July 2 Premier Khrushchev, in an apparent response to the United States proposals regarding surprise attack protection, proposed that technical discussions be initiated on the type of inspection necessary to ensure against surprise attacks.18 The United States is presently considering its reply to this letter.

During the entire period since the 12th GA, the United States has been reviewing its substantive position on the question of disarmament. In this regard, the over-all relationship between the disarmament question, the role of the UN disarmament machinery and the possibility of an eventual summit conference discussion of disarmament must be borne in mind.

While it is assumed that disarmament will once again be a major issue, it is impossible at this point to determine exactly how the issue will take shape. Factors in this situation are (1) the possibility of a summit conference at which disarmament will be a major issue; and (2) the status of technical talks on nuclear testing and possibly on surprise attack protection. The question of nuclear testing is likely to be among the most important subjects for discussion. However, the factors cited above will be important in determining to what degree the Assembly will consider the question.

7. Outer Space

Man’s first activities in outer space have arisen from developments undertaken in connection with the international cooperative scientific program of the International Geophysical Year (IGY). The United States believes that this type of cooperation should be continued and expanded. We are considering also the problem of how to assure that outer space be used only for peaceful purposes. The United States has already proposed that technical discussions involving this problem be held among the parties concerned.

The United States believes that the disarmament aspects of outer space and the peaceful uses aspects of outer space should be considered separately and each on its own merits. Accordingly, the United States is in favor of resuming discussion of the disarmament aspects of outer space among the parties concerned in an appropriate forum. Meanwhile, we propose that governments begin now to plan for future international cooperation for the peaceful uses of outer space. Accordingly, we intend to propose that the GA establish a UN Committee [Page 37] on Outer Space to survey the needs, potentialities and resources in the field of the peaceful uses of outer space and to recommend to the GA the most appropriate steps the United Nations might take in this field. Meanwhile, certain proposals in non-governmental scientific organizations for the continuation of various aspects of the IGY program relating to outer-space cooperation will be supported by the United States.

8. Effects of Atomic Radiation

The Scientific Committee established by the 10th GA in 1955 will release its report about the middle of August for consideration by the 13th GA.19 The report will include information collected by the Committee from national reports submitted to it on (a) levels of ionizing radiation and (b) the effects of ionizing radiation on man. The report also will include recommendations as to subjects on which further research is desirable in this field. It is expected that the GA will pass a resolution continuing the Committee with approximately its present terms of reference and adding one or two new activities which the Committee might undertake. The United States will support the acceptance of the Committee’s report and the extension of its life.

In connection with the discussion of the Committee’s report, there will probably be efforts made by the Soviet Bloc and some other governments to claim that scientific data in the report justifies GA action to bring about the cessation of nuclear weapons testing. The delegations of the Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia, and the United Arab Republic attempted to include a recommendation in the Committee’s report to this effect. The large majority of the Committee, however, refused to adopt this position on the grounds that such a recommendation was beyond the terms of reference of the Committee. In the GA the United States will take the position that the report of the Committee is a thorough and scientific document.

9. Algeria

Twenty-four African and Asian countries on July 16 submitted a request that the Algerian problem be put before the 13th GA.20 Their request is based on the argument that since the last UN session there has been no progress toward a settlement of the Algerian question.

The 12th GA had debated the problem of Algeria at length, and a mildly worded compromise resolution was adopted on December 10, 1957, by 80 votes to 0, which expressed the concern of the GA over the situation in Algeria and expressed the wish that in a spirit of [Page 38] effective cooperation pourparlers will be entered into and other appropriate means utilized with a view to a solution in conformity with the purposes and principles of the UN Charter.21

Since that time, however, Algeria has continued to be a focal point of military and political activity. While engagements between the French and rebel bands have continued, they have been on a somewhat smaller scale during the past few months. Terrorist activity has continued at a high level. In the political arena, the brief seizure of authority by the Committees of Public Safety followed by appointment of De Gaulle as French Prime Minister opened a new phase. De Gaulle has perforce moved cautiously, first attempting to re-establish the authority of the French Government over the military commanders who attained power in May. His appointment of Soustelle, the spokesman of the extremists, to the Cabinet has been considered a sop to the colons, but gave no indication of the final direction Premier De Gaulle’s policies will take.

On July 13 De Gaulle depicted the inclusion of Algeria in a new federal system linking France and her overseas territories. The formula used was purposely vague, specifying primarily that “the place of Algeria will be a choice one.” A referendum on constitutional reform is fixed in principle for the end of September or the beginning of October. Assuming approval of the reforms, elections would probably be held in November for the French National Assembly.

De Gaulle hopes to secure the participation of the Algerian rebels in the referendum, but FLN leader Abbas stated to the press that his group would certainly not take part. The future of Algeria remains cloudy. It can be presumed France will continue to maintain that the UN is not competent to discuss Algeria since under French law it is an integral part of France, but it is not yet known what position the French Government will take on the inscription of the item.

Future developments will necessarily affect our views on the best manner of handling the question of Algeria during the 13th GA.

10. Cyprus

FYI The inscription of the Cyprus question in the agenda of the 13th GA has not yet been requested. The United States hopes that no such request will be made, since we are convinced that “quiet diplomacy,” including consideration in NATO, offers a better prospect for the development of a solution than GA debate. For this reason, the United States believes that every reasonable effort should be made to discourage submission to the 13th GA of the Cyprus issue. It would appear undesirable at this time to raise with other governments the [Page 39] possibility of action on the Cyprus issue at the 13th GA. If asked, you should limit yourself to expressing the view that: no request for inscription has been made and ‘quiet diplomacy’, including consideration in NATO, offers a better prospect for the development of a solution than GA debate.” The information in the following paragraphs is provided for your background only.

Greece requested the inscription of Cyprus on the provisional agenda of the 12th GA under the heading: “(a) application under the auspices of the United Nations of the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples in the case of the population of the island of Cyprus; (b) violations of human rights and atrocities by the British Colonial Administration against the Cyprians.” The General Committee referred the Greek item to the Political Committee under the heading, “the Cyprus question.”

During discussions in the Political Committee, the Greek representative called for direct negotiations between the British Government and the people of Cyprus based on the principle of self-determination. The Turkish representative objected to the Greek proposal on the ground that it did not provide for the partition of Cyprus that was necessary to protect the Turkish minority on the island from the Greek majority; he called for tripartite negotiations between Britain, Turkey, and Greece. The British representative stated that his Government wished to promote self-government on Cyprus but that any settlement must provide for: internal order and security; protection of the rights of all Cypriots; safeguards for British strategic interests. He said that Britain was willing to discuss sympathetically any proposals commending themselves to both Greece and Turkey. The United States representative reiterated our conviction that “those directly concerned must work out the eventual settlement” utilizing “quiet diplomacy” and that UN deliberations at that time would not contribute to a solution.

A resolution calling for negotiations “with a view to applying the right of self-determination in the case of the people of Cyprus” was adopted in the Political Committee by 33 votes to 20 with 25 abstentions (US), but in the plenary the resolution failed (as an important question) to receive the necessary two-thirds majority.22

On June 19, 1958, the UK publicly announced the outlines of a new plan which, among other things, would provide for a modified representative government on behalf of the Greek and Turkish communities and which would include representatives of the Greek and Turkish Governments on the Governor’s Council.23 Greece rejected [Page 40] the plan on the basis that it would give the Turkish Government a status on the island and lead to partition. After initially rejecting the plan on the grounds that it failed to provide for partition, the Turkish Government has since shown some receptivity to it and has announced it believes the proposals are compatible with the Turkish demand for partition. Cyprus was discussed in the North Atlantic Council prior to and subsequent to the announcement of the British plan with no immediate results. Informal conversations have since been begun by M. Spaak, the NATO Secretary-General, with the Greek, Turkish, and British NAC Permanent Representatives in Paris, but nothing has developed from these as yet. Violence and terrorism, including clashes between the Greek and Turkish Cypriots as well as activity directed against the British forces, erupted again this spring and summer. During June and July casualties reached a new high. The Greek and Turkish Governments and Archbishop Makarios now in Athens have been unwilling or unable to restrain the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities from further violence. End FYI.

11. Enlargement of UN Councils and the ICJ

Three items on the agenda of the 11th GA were postponed until the 12th session after inconclusive debate on the first—increasing the number of non-permanent seats on the Security Council. The other two items, which were never taken up, concerned enlargement of the Economic and Social Council and of the International Court of Justice (ICJ). All three items had originated with a varying number of Latin American members and Spain, and arose out of the new situation created by the greatly enlarged membership of the UN. The first two involved amendment of the Charter, and the third, amendment of the Statute of the Court. The United States was prepared to support the enlargement of the Security Council and of the Economic and Social Council by two and four, respectively, but in approaches to other governments opposed any increase in the size of the Court.

The debate at the 11th session made it appear unlikely that an increase of the Security Council by only two non-permanent seats would be acceptable to the majority of Members. At the same time, there was no consensus on a larger increase. Those pressing for a larger increase could not agree on exactly what they wanted. A resolution co-sponsored by a group of African and Asian states called for the establishment of a special committee to study the composition of the Security Council “in all its aspects,”24 thus obviously referring to the permanent as well as the non-permanent seats. The USSR made its [Page 41] agreement on any increase conditional (1) on a seat for Eastern Europe and (2) on the settlement in its favor of the Chinese representation issue.

The 12th GA, in turn, by unanimous decision postponed consideration of these three items until its 13th session.25 A spokesman for those who had originally proposed the inclusion of these items on the agenda explained that it was “clear that political conditions were not favorable to the establishment of a general agreement or the proposals in question for the time being” and expressed the hope that the “atmosphere would be more favorable” at the 13th session.

The Department is currently reviewing its position on these three items, and in this connection would be much interested in any indications of the views of others on them.

12. UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA)

Report of the Director. The UNRWA Director’s annual report on the operation of the Agency26 will be presented to the 13th GA. Until the contents of the report are available, the United States will not be in a position to formulate its position. However, our reaction undoubtedly will be conditioned by the fact that the mandate of the Agency is due to expire on June 30, 1960, when it is presumed the Agency will cease to exist.
Voluntary Pledging of Contributions. UNRWA has been able to carry out satisfactory, if modest, programs for the relief and rehabilitation of Palestine refugees. However, if these are to continue, generous support for the Agency must be forthcoming.

The United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and France have accounted for over 90 percent of contributions to UNRWA (with the US alone contributing approximately 70 percent). We earnestly hope that broader and more extensive support for UNRWA will be forthcoming during the pledging meeting of the ad hoc committee of the whole Assembly, which is expected to meet early during the 13th GA.

13. Antarctica

The United States on May 2 [3] proposed that a conference be held among the countries carrying on scientific activities in Antarctica during the International Geophysical Year.27 The purpose of the conference would be to draft a treaty which would assure freedom of scientific investigation throughout Antarctica and guarantee that the [Page 42] area would be used for peaceful purposes only. The countries invited to participate with the United States (Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Chile, France, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Union of South Africa, USSR, and United Kingdom) all accepted the US invitation and preliminary informal discussions preparatory to a conference are now being held.

India in 1956 indicated an intention to have the subject of Antarctica placed on the GA agenda but was dissuaded at that time. India at first requested that the question of Antarctica be put on the provisional agenda of the 13th GA but then withdrew its request shortly thereafter. The Indian initiative was no doubt in part prompted by a desire to participate in any arrangement made in regard to Antarctica. It is possible that India or some other member might re-introduce the item later, especially if the present 12-nation discussions do not result in agreement.

The United States does not think that Antarctica should be included in the GA agenda. Moreover, certain claimant countries, particularly Chile, have indicated serious objection to discussion of the subject in the GA.

FYI The position the United States would take regarding inclusion of the question of Antarctica in the agenda if another request were made, or in discussing the matter in that forum in the event it were included, has not yet been formulated and would depend largely on the progress of the present negotiations. For this reason general consultation with foreign governments regarding this matter is not considered desirable at this time. (See CA-8100, March 19, 1958, and CA-11231, June 20, 1958.)28 End FYI.

14. Soviet Political Propaganda Item

Czechoslovakia has requested the inscription of an item entitled “Measures Aimed at Implementation and Promotion of Principles of Peaceful Co-existence Among States.” This item would appear to be brought forward to serve as a vehicle for customary Soviet propaganda attacks against the West, following up the Soviet proposal at the 12th GA for a “Declaration concerning the peaceful co-existence of States” (See pp. 100–103, President’s Report on the United Nations: 1957).

The United States stands ready to cooperate with the USSR and all Governments in any measures which would help to promote a greater degree of harmony among nations and to encourage, as well, greater understanding among peoples by direct contacts and by removing present barriers to communications between them. We would [Page 43] be particularly interested in seeing the removal of the official obstacles placed by the Soviet Union to the free flow of thought and information and the free movement of people. Measures of censorship, secrecy, and other controls, notably government regulation of opinion, impede human understanding and contacts, and make it the more difficult for countries to compose, or adjust to, their difficulties. We feel, therefore, that in addition to earnest efforts for solutions to the political and military problems which disturb relations between States, much can also be done in other fields to promote peaceful and neighborly relations.

15. Report of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)

The 13th GA will have before it the second annual report of the IAEA to the UN on its activities.29 This report will include information on the size and composition of the Agency’s staff and the program and budget for 1959. It will also summarize actual projects in which the Agency is already or soon will be engaged. These include such projects as the fellowship program, technical assistance, holding of conferences and seminars, etc.

The GA probably will not take any specific action with regard to this report, but a general discussion of IAEA’s activities will likely take place.

16. Special Projects Fund

The 12th GA adopted a United States inspired resolution approving the establishment of a Special Projects Fund designed to extend systematic and sustained technical assistance in certain basic fields essential to integrated technical, economic and social development, and designating a Preparatory Committee to negotiate preliminary agreements on the functions, operations and organizational structure of the Fund.30

The Preparatory Committee met in April 1958. The decisions of this meeting are being discussed by the Economic and Social Council currently meeting at Geneva.

The Special Projects Fund should not be confused with the United Nations Expanded Technical Assistance Program (ETAP). The Fund is an extension of the ETAP and, as the United States has consistently emphasized, should not be implemented at the expense of the ETAP. [Page 44] Specifically, the United States would hope that countries will not reduce their contributions to ETAP in order to make larger contributions to the Special Projects Fund.

Governments will be expected to announce their contributions to the Special Projects Funds, which is scheduled to begin operations in January 1959, at a pledging conference which is to take place during the 13th GA.

Congressional action on the United States contribution has not been completed. Authorizing legislation, however, has been approved by the Congress which would permit the United States to contribute 40 percent of the total contributions to the ETAP and the Special Projects Fund. Action on the appropriation, however, is still pending in the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Two specific items which generated controversial discussion at the Preparatory Committee Meeting were: (1) the kind of currency in contributions and (2) the election of the Governing Council of the Fund. On the first item, the United States took the position that contributions should be in convertible currency; however, because of substantial opposition to the United States position, the United States finally agreed that the contributions should be made in “useable funds.” So far as the second item is concerned, the United States strongly favors the election of the Governing Council by the 18 members of ECOSOC rather than by the 81 members of the General Assembly.

17. Soviet Economic Propaganda Item

The Soviet Union is expected to launch a propaganda drive pretending concern for the world expansion of trade and progress in economic development. As in the past, the Soviets no doubt will (1) call for the removal of security controls on strategic items that other nations regulate in the interest of their collective security and (2) demand some sort of world economic conference in which the Soviets could appear to be a champion for economic development and prosperity. In light of the propaganda nature of this offensive, the Free World ought to cooperate, not only in rebuffing the Soviet line, but in taking positive measures to provide a real and healthy expansion of trade and further progress towards economic development.

In consonance with the UN Charter, the United States, in cooperation with other states, is taking and will continue to take concrete steps to promote economic progress and well being through the UN, the appropriate specialized and other international agencies, and bilateral arrangements. In connection with the expansion of trade, the United States is a contracting party and a strong supporter of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and believes that this system provides the best means towards future progress in world [Page 45] trade. The United States is particularly interested in programs that will facilitate most wisely the economic development of less developed countries, for which reason it supports the UN Expanded Technical Assistance Program, the Special Projects Fund and the World Bank. The United States Government itself has contributed to economic development through financial support by the Export-Import Bank, the Development Loan Fund, and other bilateral programs, and through its system of guarantees of private investment abroad. In addition, of course, there is the considerable assistance rendered through the flow of private United States capital. The United States is cooperating with primary producers and consumers concerning problems arising in connection with commodity trade. As further proof of its willingness to discuss commodity problems, the United States has indicated that it would accept membership in the UN Commission on International Commodity Trade, provided its terms of reference were amended satisfactorily.

You may recall the USSR contributes little to the several UN economic and social institutions and programs, such as UN technical assistance programs and even that is so restricted, because of its non-convertibility, that it may be spent only in the Soviet Union.

18. UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

a. Report of the High Commissioner. The Report of the High Commissioner will include a statement on measures taken under resolution 1166(XII) of the General Assembly. (See UN, “Resolutions … Twelfth Session,” enclosed in CA-643 of July 18, 1958.)31 This report will be delayed to accommodate a Working Group established by the UN Refugee Fund (UNREF) Executive Committee to consider the question of programming for 1959 which will not meet until late in August. It is not appropriate, at this time, therefore to attempt to consider the measures which the High Commissioner will have taken to implement GA resolution 1166(XII). However, it might be pointed out that the intention of the resolution was to give the High Commissioner a more flexible and more inclusive program than that envisaged under the UN Refugee Fund (UNREF) and hence it should be of great interest to all governments rather than only those immediately concerned with the integration or resettlement of political refugees of Eastern European or Chinese origin.

[Page 46]

It appears likely that the USSR or one of the satellites will attempt to interject at some point in the discussion of refugee questions a resolution or an amendment to a resolution requiring the High Commissioner to give special emphasis to “repatriation” as a solution to refugee problems. The United States position is that repatriation is an appropriate solution only if it is voluntary in the purest sense of the word and devoid of any compulsion or pressure either explicit or implied. It is particularly important that the High Commissioner not be required to engage in activities designed to encourage or stimulate repatriation as a solution, since any activities involving a modification of his present procedures, which are impeccable on this issue, would imply a change in the Free World attitude detrimental to the morale of refugees.

It is hoped that the Government to which you are accredited will concur with the United States position and instruct its delegation to work in consultation with the United States Delegation on refugee matters.

b. Voluntary Pledging of Contributions. The UNHCR Program will succeed the United Nations Refugee Fund (UNREF) which terminates on December 31, 1958. The United States is interested in obtaining maximum financial support for this new program from as many governments as possible. Even small pledges from governments that have not previously contributed to UNREF will have significance in indicating support for the program. If funds requested by the Administration are appropriated by Congress, the United States plans to announce a pledge of 1.2 million to the UNHCR Program for calendar year 1959, subject to the condition that its contribution is not to exceed 33–1/3 percent of total government contributions.

19. Election of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

The present UNHCR for Refugees, Mr. Auguste R. Lindt, is expected to be a candidate to succeed himself in office after December 31, 1958. In view of his excellent record as High Commissioner, the United States will support him, and hopes that other friendly governments might do so also. If Mr. Lindt should not become a candidate to succeed himself, the United States would wish to consult with other friendly governments as to his possible successor.

20. Draft Convention on Freedom of Information

The draft text for a proposed Convention on Freedom of Information has been under consideration in the United Nations since 1948. The United States, the United Kingdom, Sweden, and other Western European and Old Commonwealth nations have opposed it because it includes provisions that would permit objectionable exceptions and limitations on freedom of information inconsistent with principles expressed [Page 47] in the UN Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The fact that no way has been found to avoid such provisions indicates the difficulty inherent in attempting to embody principles of freedom of speech and freedom of the press in a legally binding document. However, thus far the GA has been unwilling to agree to put the draft convention aside and take no further action on it. The Department believes that some Delegates who supported this draft convention in the GA last year may have feared a vote against the draft convention would be interpreted as a vote against freedom of information. The Mission is therefore requested to undertake advance exploration looking toward agreement in the GA to take no further action on the convention with the result it would be dropped from the agenda of future General Assemblies. (The draft text of the preamble and substantive articles are attached as Annex A.)32

In discussing the draft convention, the Mission should emphasize: (1) Our belief that this convention represents a step backward rather than forward. This problem is immediately apparent in Article 2, which would permit various limitations on freedom of expression. While some of these may not appear objectionable in principle, governments so inclined might readily abuse them in practice. The fact that no satisfactory way to avoid this danger has been found, even though this proposed convention has been under consideration for ten years, indicates the inherent difficulties in attempting to define legal and binding obligations regarding freedom of information and the press on an international basis. (2) The greater advantage of using UN time and resources to promote freedom of information along more practical lines, such as by UN technical assistance, seminars, advisory services, promotion of mass media, etc.

21. Self-Determination

The consideration of the item on “International Respect for the Right of Peoples and Nations to Self-Determination” was postponed at the 10th and 11th GA’s. The 12th session adopted a resolution reaffirming the importance of due respect being given to self-determination and deciding to consider the item further at the 13th session.33

The United States will continue to support the principle of equal rights and self-determination of people. The United States Delegation will be instructed to oppose the first two of the three draft resolutions submitted by the twentieth (1955) session of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) to the GA. The United States Delegation will support the approval of a resolution along the lines of the third [Page 48] draft resolution submitted by ECOSOC. This proposal, initiated by the United States Delegation in ECOSOC, proposes the establishment of an ad hoc commission on self-determination, consisting of five persons to be appointed by the Secretary General, to conduct a thorough study of the concept of self-determination. The United States is prepared to agree to appropriate revisions of this draft resolution as may be necessary to obtain wide support for it in the GA. The United States Delegation will favor the adoption of such a resolution if it is likely that the GA will take some substantive action on the self-determination item.

For the three draft resolutions forwarded by ECOSOC to the GA in 1955, see CA-2630, September 21, 1956,34 and subsequent communications.

22. The United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF)

a. Cost Estimates. Presumably, the treatment of UNEF will be similar to that accorded this item at the last GA, i.e., no specific term will be placed on the unit’s duration, but a financial resolution will be passed authorizing enough funds to carry on the operation for another year.

With regard to estimated expenses for the continued functioning of UNEF in 1959, it is believed that these will be substantially reduced from the amount of $25 million authorized for the period since December 31, 1957. In line with the views of the Secretary General, we hope that the cost for 1959 will be covered by assessment on the membership as a whole, calculated on the scale approved for 1959.

b. Study of Experience. The Secretary General plans to submit a summary study of the experience derived from the establishment and operation of UNEF.35 It is expected that the Secretariat will formulate some principles based on this experience which may provide guidance for the future. We hope this discussion will lead to the consideration of a permanent UN staff and contingent forces system.

The United States would welcome a UN initiative to develop some sort of stand-by plans which would make it possible to expedite the raising and deployment of UN patrol-type forces to meet various future contingencies. The Department visualizes the possibility of a permanent planning staff to develop the necessary plans for such a force as well as the concepts for operation and training of truce observation and patrol type functions. We believe that the principle of consent on the part of the country concerned must be maintained with respect to such a force functioning in connection with Chapter VI of [Page 49] the Charter, i.e., peaceful settlement, and that contingents should desirably compromise personnel from countries other than the permanent members of the Security Council.

23. Law of the Sea: Outstanding Questions

The UN Conference on the Law of the Sea, which met in Geneva from February to April, 1958, adopted two resolutions requesting the GA (1) to arrange for the study of the problem of historic waters, including historic bays, and (2) to study the advisability of convoking a conference for further consideration of the problem of the breadth of the territorial sea and other matters raised in connection with this problem.36 These questions no doubt will be considered in the Sixth Committee (Legal). Instructions are being prepared on these questions. The Department has these questions under study and will communicate its views later.

[Here follow section F, “United States Delegation,” and two enclosures: Annex A and Check List of Agenda Items, a reproduction of U.N. document SD/A458, July 23.]

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 320/7–2858. Confidential. Drafted by IO/UNP; cleared with Monsma, Nunley, Ludlow, Bacon, Kerley, Westfall, S/AE, OES, and ODA; and initialed for the Secretary by Adams. Sent to 73 posts; and repeated to 11 diplomatic posts and 4 consular posts.
  2. For text, see Foreign Relations, 1955–1957, vol. xi, p. 205.
  3. See U.N. doc. APV.678.
  4. Reference, is to U.N. General Assembly Resolution 1192 (XII), adopted December 12, 1957. For text, see U.N. doc. A3805.
  5. Brackets in the source text.
  6. Reference is to U.N. General Assembly Resolution 1135 (XII). Text is ibid.
  7. Walmsley informed the Counselor of the Italian Embassy of the U.S. decision to support Italy’s candidacy on July 12. A memorandum of their telephone conversation is in Department of State, IO Files: Lot 60 D 216, Security Council, 1958.
  8. For text of the Report of the Special Committee on the Problem of Hungary, submitted to the U.N. General Assembly on September 10, 1957, see U.N. doc. A3592.
  9. Reference is to U.N. General Assembly Resolution 1133 (XI), adopted September 14, 1957. For text, see U.N. doc. A3572/Add.l.
  10. For text of the Report of the General Assembly’s Special Representative on the Hungarian Problem, submitted to the U.N. General Assembly on December 9, 1957, see U.N. doc. A3774.
  11. Regarding Lodge’s December 14, 1957, statement, see footnote 6, Document 16.
  12. For text of the Special Report of the Special Committee on the Problem of Hungary, see U.N. doc. A3849.
  13. Brackets in the source text. For text, see U.N. doc. A3805.
  14. Reference is to U.N. General Assembly Resolution 1150 (XII), adopted November 19, 1957. Text is ibid.
  15. For text of the decree adopted by the Supreme Soviet regarding the cessation of atomic and hydrogen weapons tests, see Department of State Bulletin, April 21, 1958, pp. 647–648.
  16. The U.N. Security Council considered the Soviet complaint against the United States at its 813th meeting, April 21; its 814th and 815th meetings, April 29; and its 816th and 817th meetings, May 2. For a record of these proceedings, see U.N. docs. S/PV.813–817. For text of the U.S. draft resolution introduced at the 814th meetings, see U.N. doc. S/3995.
  17. For text, see Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Dwight D. Eisenhower , 1958, pp. 350–351.
  18. For text of Khrushchev’s letter to Eisenhower, see Department of State Bulletin, August 18, 1958, pp. 279–281.
  19. For text of the Report of the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation, see U.N. doc. A3838.
  20. For texts of the request and the explanatory memorandum sent with it, see U.N. doc. A3853.
  21. Reference is to U.N. General Assembly Resolution 1184 (XII). For text, see U.N. doc. A3805.
  22. For text of the draft resolution on Cyprus, see U.N. doc. A3794. For a record of the debate and vote on the draft resolution, see U.N. doc. APV.731
  23. For text, see Documents on International Affairs, 1958, pp. 376–378.
  24. For text, see U.N. doc. A3468/Rev. 1.
  25. Reference is to U.N. General Assembly Resolution 1190 (XII), adopted December 12, 1957. For text, see U.N. doc. A3805.
  26. For text of the Annual Report of the Director of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (1 July 1957–30 June 1958), see U.N. doc. A3931.
  27. Regarding this announcement, see Document 274.
  28. CA–8100, March 19, transmitted memoranda on U.N. administration in Antarctica and possible USSR participation in the Antarctica Conference and Administrative Organization. (Department of State, Central Files, 702.022/3–1958) CA-11231 is printed as Document 275.
  29. For text of the Report of the International Atomic Energy Agency to the General Assembly of the United Nations (1 November 1957–30 June 1958) (Vienna, October 1958), see U.N. doc. A3950.
  30. Under reference is U.N. General Assembly Resolution 1219 (XII), adopted December 14, 1957. For text, see U.N. doc. A3805.
  31. Ellipsis in the source text. For text of the Report of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees and its addendum, see U.N. docs. A3828/Rev.l and A3828/Rev.l/Add.1. For text of U.N. General Assembly Resolution 1166 (XII), adopted November 26, 1957, see U.N. doc. A3805. A copy of CA–643 is in Department of State, Central Files, 315.91/7–1858.
  32. Not printed.
  33. Reference is to U.N. General Assembly Resolution 1188 (XII), adopted December 11, 1957. For text, see U.N. doc. A3805.
  34. Not found.
  35. For text, see U.N. doc. A3899.
  36. For text of these resolutions, both adopted April 27, see U.N. doc. ACONE.13/L.56.