468. Telegram From the Mission at the United Nations to the Department of State1

Delga 544. Re: Outer Space.

Pursuant to Gadel 1462Lodge made appointment for noon today with Kuznetsov. Lodge told Kuznetsov US could accept comite of 24 on basis 12–6–6 and was prepared, as indicated in Khrushchev statement,3 to discuss individual members of 24–member comite. Lodge gave him proposed membership.
Kuznetsov immediately expressed surprise that our position had changed since last meeting when it seemed to USSR we were only one state apart since USSR proposed 12–9–3 and Lodge had mentioned 12–9–2. Total of 24 was all right. He asked why we willing accept only six Eastern European countries, which he described as “step backward”. Lodge replied it seemed to US from UN standpoint this represented approximately right proportion. We pointed out in fact this was far more favorable proportion than total of nine in comparison with 82 UN members and that US had gone considerable distance in accepting 24.
Kuznetsov asked whether we could add Hungary, Ukraine and Byelorussia and drop three neutrals. Lodge said immediately Hungary not acceptable and that its inclusion would not make good impression in US. Kuznetsov noted US had diplomatic relations with Hungary [Page 904] and Hungarians would welcome visit from Lodge. Lodge repeated we certainly could not take Hungary now. Kuznetsov argued whether we liked particular countries was not right way approach membership problem. There were countries among present 12 which Soviet Union did not particularly like.
Kuznetsov turned to neutrals. After indicating India, UAR and Sweden were acceptable, he rejected Tunisia and Malaya as not “very neutral”. Better countries, he said, would be Iraq, Indonesia, Finland or Afghanistan. Lodge emphasized we were flexible on choice of neutrals and thought possibly we could agree to substitute Finland and Iraq for Tunisia and Malaya, respectively. Both Kuznetsov and Sobolev said inclusion of six neutrals would not work because it meant too large a proportion of neutrals. Kuznetsov went on to say we should recognize only two countries, US and USSR, actually making contributions to progress in outer space, and there should be parity recognizing this fact. He also observed Byelorussia and Ukraine were doing comprehensive work in outer space.
When Sobolev began to press 12–9–3 again, Lodge said we had made our proposal on basis Khrushchev statement that composition of 24 was to be worked out by mutual agreement. Kuznetsov consulted his own papers and confirmed our interpretation.
Continuing discussion about neutrals, Kuznetsov said while neutrals meant countries not committed to any military bloc, plain fact was on majority of problems, many of these countries were on Western side. When Lodge pointed out that many abstained, Kuznetsov retorted this did not help Soviet Union either.
Kuznetsov said they would think over our proposal and consult Moscow. Meantime he wondered about our thoughts on reses, particularly res on international conference. Lodge said we agreed in principle on idea of conference but could not accept comite constituted as Soviet res proposed. We thought outer space comite should have this task. Kuznetsov said it was acceptable to him but he would have to take it up with Moscow. Lodge suggested conference might be included as second part of basic res and Kuznetsov seemed favorably disposed toward this idea.
Kuznetsov said two of ad hoc comite’s recommendations, consultative comite for SYG and small unit in Secretariat, were not acceptable. At this stage both were premature, as well as question of setting up particular subcomites. All work should be concentrated in comite which could consider all subjects and make recommendations. He emphasized, however, Soviet opposition to these ideas now did not mean Soviet Union would necessarily be against such proposals in future; comite should work these ideas out. He asked whether US wanted separate res on ad hoc comite. Lodge said we would not insist upon it but other members might.
Kuznetsov asked whether we could not jointly work on perfecting texts of reses while we were still engaged in discussions of composition. We agreed do this.
Before meeting Kuznetsov Lodge told Dixon (UK) what we planned do. Dixon thought proposal all right, but after hearing list commented UK did not like Albania but would go along.
  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 320.5701/11–2659. Confidential.
  2. See footnote 3, supra.
  3. At the meeting on November 19, Kuznetsov read a statement by Khrushchev agreeing to a 24–member committee and leaving its composition to be the subject of mutual agreement. (Delga 487 from USUN, November 19; Department of State, Central Files, 320.5701/11–1959)