443. Telegram From the Department of State to the Mission at the United Nations1

156. Re US Initiative at 13th GA re Outer Space.

1. Dept has developed plan for US initiative re outer space at 13th GA. Plan involves:

(a) Announcement by the Department at the earliest practicable opportunity to obtain maximum impact for our initiative that US requesting inclusion of an important and urgent item on outer space entitled “Program for International Cooperation in the Field of Outer Space”;

(b) Submission by Ambassador Lodge of item for inclusion agenda as important and urgent matter together with usual explanatory memorandum;

(c) Subsequent initiation of consultations by USUN on basis draft resolution being sent next following telegram.2

2. Our objectives are:

(a) Reassert US leadership in this field and counter Soviet initiative in seizing 13th GA with outer space question;

(b) Ensure that GA consideration of outer space will be within framework US initiative rather than within scope of Soviet item.

3. US approach based upon firm conviction, made after careful consideration, that consideration of disarmament aspects and peaceful uses aspects of outer space can be separate. Under this item GA would consider peaceful uses aspect of outer space and not disarmament aspects which would be discussed within framework of usual disarmament [Page 864] item which is already on GA agenda. GA should not wait for conclusion disarmament agreement before preparing recommendation for separate international program for peaceful uses of outer space.

4. Re membership proposed Committee: (See following telegram) You undoubtedly will wish consult with Chairman LA caucus before finalizing LA membership on Committee. You will of course also wish consult prospective members of Committee to assure their willingness to participate. FYIDept considering possible Committee of twelve representative members including many most active in IGY outer space progam such as France, India, Japan, New Zealand, Poland, Sweden, UAR, UK, US, USSR and two LA’s such as Argentina and Mexico. End FYI.

5. In separate telegrams are suggested explanatory memorandum3 and draft resolution.

6. As soon as Dept decides on timing US initiative, you will be advised when to take steps outlined above.

7. Department considering other possible steps on outer space. You will be advised any decision to this effect.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 701.022/8–1858. Confidential; Limited Distribution. Drafted by Sisco and Marcus on August 14; cleared with Becker, Brode, Elbrick, Farley, and Smith (S/P); and initialed by Herter.
  2. Infra.
  3. Transmitted in telegram 155 to USUN, August 18. (Department of State, Central Files, 701.022/8–1858) For text of the memorandum, which was transmitted to the Secretary-General on September 2, see U.N. doc. A3902.