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

571. Re (Delga 7182) Outer Space. Department concurs fully with Mission view that Ad Hoc Outer Space Committee should become operative as soon as feasible. US deeply committed politically to demonstrate UN Ad Hoc Committee can make useful study with or without Soviet participation. It clear that Soviet political tactic is to repeat with Ad Hoc Committee their tactic with former DC boycott of which influenced other members to be cool to idea of convening group. Secretary has felt that Soviets thereby achieved effective veto over UN machinery to consider disarmament. It essential this not be repeated in Outer Space Committee. Not only would it have significance in terms of US leadership in outer space field, but also would solidly establish principle that no UN committee could be constituted and do good job unless Soviets agree to committee and are participants, directly or indirectly. Moreover, drive for “parity” by Soviets in UN would have been given substantial boost.

Our overall objective will be for Committee to make constructive survey on basis present terms of reference so that it will provide basis for further positive initiative by US and at same time constitute added pressure on USSR to cooperate in UN with Ad Hoc Committee and participate in UN activities this field. In view of foregoing, Department believes important that: US maintain leadership and initiative in this important field; insure success of Committee operations; and negate Soviet efforts to impose veto on General Assembly actions in this field. At same time, Department policies and instructions will also seek to protect important interests of US scientific community.

Department tentatively is considering possibility of Committee organizational meeting about middle of January. However, pending resolution of many problems which Mission aware exist in formulation of well-coordinated and integrated program of action, for time being Mission should not initiate discussions with SYG or other members of Committee re organizational or substantive aspects future Committee [Page 881] operations. Department would appreciate, however, USUN views re level of political representation on committee, slates, and other organizational aspects.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 320.5701/12–1458. Confidential; Priority. Drafted by Grand; cleared by Breithut, Farinholt, Meeker, Wilcox, and Nunley; and approved by Murphy who signed for Herter.
  2. Dated December 14. (Ibid., 320.11/12–1458)