25. Memorandum of a Conversation, Department of State, Washington, August 28, 19581


  • General Assembly Slates; Hungary


  • Mr. M.R. Booker, Counselor, Embassy of Australia
  • Mr. T.A. Pyman, Counselor, Embassy of Australia
  • Mr. John W. Hanes, Jr., IO
  • Mrs. Virginia Hartley, UNP
  • Miss Elizabeth Brown, UNP

Messrs. Booker and Pyman came in at their request. At the outset they sought US support of the Australian candidacy for vice-president of the General Assembly. Mr. Hanes explained that we were not in a position to make any commitments prior to a clearer indication of the over-all General Committee slate but would certainly give the Australian candidacy our most sympathetic consideration. In response to a question, Mr. Hanes stated that the US remained committed to support Mr. Malik for President of the Assembly. Mr. Booker said Australia had made no commitment as yet.

Mr. Booker inquired what the prospects appeared to be for postponement of the Assembly.2 Mr. Hanes replied that the US was taking no initiative but would be prepared to acquiesce in a short postponement of the opening date provided the Assembly could complete its work before Christmas. Mr. Booker noted that Foreign Minister Casey was already en route to New York.

[Page 54]

Mr. Booker referred to the action of the Australian Delegation in placing the Hungarian item on the agenda of the 13th session and inquired whether there was any prospect that the US would join as a cosponsor, something Australia would definitely welcome. Mr. Hanes indicated we would give this matter our serious consideration and expressed our gratification at the Australian action in inscribing the Hungarian item, a subject which certainly merited further UN consideration. We had not yet reached any firm conclusions as to the position we would take in the Assembly on the Hungarian item, although one possibility which we had under study was the rejection of Hungarian credentials. Mr. Booker pointed out that his Government continued to be concerned about the wisdom of maintaining the Special Committee in existence, particularly because of the position of the new Ceylonese representative and the tendency of the Uruguayan to go too far. Australia therefore was inclined to believe the Committee should be terminated and other machinery substituted, such as resort to the Secretary General. He doubted whether continuing machinery was necessary. Mr. Hanes indicated we would not look favorably upon reintroduction of the Secretary General into the Hungarian situation and emphasize the demonstrated usefulness of the availability of the Special Committee during the summer when it pulled together its report on the recent reprisals and executions. This was another matter to which we would wish to give further attention.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 320/8–2858. Confidential. Drafted by Brown and cleared by Hanes.
  2. Wadsworth reported on August 27 that several U.N. delegations wished to postpone until October 1 the opening of the 13th session of the U.N. General Assembly. (Telegram 278 from USUN; ibid., 320/8–2758) The Department discussed the proposal with foreign government representatives in Washington and at the United Nations August 27–30; documentation on these consultations is ibid., 320. The proposal was also discussed at the Secretary of State’s August 28 Staff Meeting; the notes of this meeting are ibid., Secretary’s Staff Meetings: Lot 63 D 75.