453. Telegram From the Department of State to the Mission at the United Nations 1

Gadel 185. Re: Delga 683 and Delga 690.2 Re: Outer Space.

1. Dept not inclined to view latest USSR approach via Swedes as meaningful indication (Gadel 1513) that they are in fact prepared to agree to anything less than parity in the composition of the outer space committee. While recognizing difficult to estimate ultimate USSR position, [Page 878] based on tenor of Soviet views as reported by GADel (particularly Delga 482 and 6364) evidence so far available to Dept insufficient to modify its conclusion that USSR not prepared to accept anything less than parity in committee.

2. View foregoing Dept believes other nation negotiations re composition although designed to insure USSR committee participation, may prove counter-productive unless evidence develops that USSR is prepared in fact to abandon parity concept.

3. Accordingly, Dept reiterates previous view that at this juncture we should neither encourage nor discourage other nation initiatives in negotiating new committee composition.

4. However, as fall back position and only after assurance that USSR will meaningfully participate in work of committee, GADel authorized to accept following changes in committee composition:

a) Committee to be enlarged by addition of Rumania, Austria, and Western European who supports US on Chi rep issue and provided such augmentation does not open entirely question of composition;

b) If foregoing insufficient, we would agree to addition of Rumania and Austria or Rumania alone;

c) Dept will not agree to USSR desire to eliminate Australia or otherwise to reduce size of Committee.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 320.11/12–1058. Confidential; Priority. Drafted by Grand on December 10; cleared by Bacon, Kohler, Breithut, Farinholt, and Becker; and approved by Walmsley who signed for Herter.
  2. Dated December 9 and 10, respectively, they reported on activities by the British Delegation to resolve the question of the composition of the ad hoc committee. (Ibid., 320.11/12–958 and 320.11/12–1058)
  3. Gadel 151, November 23, advised the Mission that in the absence of any meaningful Soviet indication on the parity issue, the United States should not compromise on the composition question. (Ibid., 320.11/11–2658)
  4. Dated November 20 and December 5, respectively, they reported on efforts by other delegations to resolve the composition question. (Ibid., 320.11/11–2058 and 320.11/12–558)