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34. Editorial Note

U.S. Representative at the United Nations Adlai Stevenson met with President Kennedy and Secretary of State Rusk on June 26, 1961. A memorandum of June 27 from Stevenson to Rusk enclosed brief memoranda of subjects discussed by Stevenson and Kennedy after Rusk’s departure. The memorandum of discussion of Chinese representation in the United Nations reads as follows:

“The President wants a fresh count on the moratorium together with explanations about Ireland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Upper Volta and Laos. He instructed me to say to the Senate Committee this morning if and when asked that policy of the Administration was to keep the People’s Republic of China out, but that we had grave misgivings about whether the moratorium could prevail again.

“He instructed me to talk with Cabot Lodge and Mr. Donovan of Harry Luce’s office to try to enlist their understanding for a change, if necessary. He has also asked me to see Roy Howard for the same purpose; the approach being to get his advice because he is so friendly with Chiang. He also asked me to have a similar talk with Jerry Wadsworth.

“I am to let the President know the results following my meetings with Lodge, Donovan and Howard.

“He is instructing Drumright to return at once preparatory to taking a firm position with Chiang Kai-shek.

“The President seemed astonished that we could possibly lose on a credentials vote by a simple majority. The President requests a simple memorandum explaining the ‘successor state’ approach to be used as a [Page 82]talking paper. I understand IO will prepare such a memorandum for him.” (Department of State, Central Files, 304.11/6-2761)

A July 3 letter from Stevenson to the President reported on several matters that they had discussed on June 26. Stevenson enclosed a memorandum explaining the “successor states” approach and another with the latest USUN estimate of a vote on the moratorium. He reported that he had talked with former Representative at the United Nations and 1960 Vice-Presidential candidate Henry Cabot Lodge, editorial director of Time, Incorporated, Hedley W. Donovan, and former president of Scripps-Howard newspapers Roy W. Howard; he stated that Howard had been very cooperative and would try to use his influence on Chiang not to veto the admission of Mongolia.

He also enclosed a memorandum summarizing Lodge’s view that the United States should press for the moratorium again and, if it failed, should introduce a resolution stating that the General Assembly would be willing in the future to consider representation for Communist China when it changed its ways. The memorandum also stated the USUN view that an effort to extend the moratorium for another year would fail, undermining U.S. ability to win support for other important issues, and that following such a defeat, the United States would not be able to obtain a two-thirds majority for a resolution such as Lodge (and, according to Stevenson, Henry Luce) proposed. Stevenson concluded the memorandum with an argument for the successor states approach and enclosed a draft resolution. (Ibid., 320/7-361)

A memorandum of June 30 from Battle to Bundy responded to Kennedy’s request for a brief explanation of the “successor state” approach. (Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Countries Series, China) A July 9 memorandum from Rusk to Kennedy responding to Kennedy’s request for another estimate of the possibility of sustaining the moratorium resolution stated that while it might be possible, there was very great risk in attempting to sustain it. (Ibid.)