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

Delga 706. Reference: Outer Space.

1. Following Zorin remark today in Hungary statement to effect that USDel lacked time for serious negotiations while having time make propaganda on Hungary, I sent word that I always had time for serious negotiations and a meeting with Zorin this evening re composition outer space committee ensued.

[Page 879]

2. After claiming US broke off previous negots (which I immediately denied) Zorin suggested we start on basis not of 18 but of 14 which represënted his “compromise” on original Soviet proposal of 12 and our proposal of 13. Zorin said it would be impractical to talk on basis 18 since this would require large addition in order to reach “balanced” composition. 18 itself was not proper basis since it onesided with 12 in our favor, and had been “imposed”. Later he specified that 6 more states would have to be added to 18 to reach “balance” and since these 6 would all have to be “on our side” (USSR’s side) this would be “artificial”.

3. He insisted we speak in terms of 3 groups: Great Powers; ASAF’s, and LAS. In addition Zorin said if US agreed on EE’s he would agree on members from Commonwealth; but they should be Ceylon and Canada.

4. I stated I could not act as though proposal of committee of 18 did not exist and asked why he unable to consider increase.

5. Zorin rejected increase on basis 12 members still committed to US by military alliances. He returned to 14 and asked why I could not accept this. I said I could not ask any members of 18 to leave and asked which ones he would propose to delete.

6. I then offered to add Austria and Roumania, which he rejected. He then elaborated his 14 proposal: Argentina, Czechoslovakia, France, India, Mexico, Poland, UK, USSR, UAR, US, Sweden, Roumania, Ceylon, Canada. He called this “balanced” slate; Sobolev said it did not give USSR voting control. I stated I unable accept reduction from 18 and pointed out his proposal was less favorable to US than Soviet proposal on DC last year. I urged he consider increase which, I pointed out, gave him one more Soviet bloc and one neutral. We parted with understanding we would meet tomorrow after each had considered the other’s position.

7. Immediately following this, I talked with nearly complete group of outer space res co-sponsors and informed them in detail of this conversation while pointing out that Zorin’s proposal had effect of removing from 18 Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Iran, Italy and Japan. Group agreed generally that reduction from 18 inadmissible, that Soviet two-sides approach unacceptable, but that exercise of one last negot with Zorin was worthwhile in demonstrating our flexibility and desire for Soviet participation.

8. I plan to see Zorin briefly tomorrow to see whether he has changed his mind and then go ahead with the present slate.2

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 320.11/12–1258. Confidential; Priority.
  2. Zorin concluded a meeting on December 13 by saying that his country would not participate in the committee. (Delga 713 from USUN, December 13; ibid., 320.5701/12–1358) On the same day, the U.S. (20–power) resolution was adopted by a vote of 53 to 9 with 19 abstentions. For text, see American Foreign Policy: Current Documents, 1958, pp. 1431–1432.