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

1012. Re SYG.

Mission should see Zorin Wednesday2 and inform him that US cannot accept either four or seven Under Secretaries but remains prepared accept five from principal geographic regions. Furthermore US prepared to see addition East European among present 14 Under Secretaries though not among inner five.
At same time, Mission should seek clarify following points:
Is Zorin definitely prepared drop “to decide in agreement, or in other words” (which unacceptable to us) and accept reference to “in spirit of mutual understanding” only?
As indicated in Deptel 9663 Dept has reservations about any statement by GA President. If any statement to be made there must be agreement on text. US cannot accept any formulation that would tend undermine independence SYG and would want assurances from Slim his normal remarks on appointment new SYG would not in any way be phrased to imply GA consensus or endorsement of SYG’s plans required.

US continues see difficulties from constitutional standpoint of any SC action in case appointment interim or acting SYG, since in our view this matter should be handled by GA exclusively. If USSR desires formal SC recommendation, US continues prefer he be named SYG. However if USSR considers interim nature of appointment overriding consideration, US prepared see SC members meet together informally without agenda and reach agreement on action in GA to present candidate.

We realize that such informal get together SC members may not fulfill what Soviets have in mind re SC meeting. If formal SC meeting is necessary then fuzzing formulation of agenda item, i.e., “to fill unexpired term of SYG caused by Hammarskjold’s death” may help blur whether SC has been seized of permanent as against interim appointment and at least avoid SC taking jurisdiction over question of term of appointment. You authorized to discuss this also with USSR if they insist on formal SC meeting.

With respect five Under Secretaries, US believes SYG could avoid naming both areas and individuals in his statement of intentions, and believes naming individuals concerned highly preferable. We understand from Pederson-Sisco telecon Soviets indicated one or other acceptable.
In view current Soviet campaign with LAs and others to build support for seven Under Secretaries, Dept believes USUN should undertake active “corridor” campaign behalf our position in favor five Under Secretaries.
Further contingency instructions now under review but would prefer await word from you on developments next day or two as you pursue above line.
  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1960–63, 310/10–2561. Confidential; Priority; Limit Distribution. Drafted by Virginia F. Hartley and Joseph J. Sisco, cleared by William H. Luers (SOV), and approved by Cleveland.
  2. November 1.
  3. Telegram 966 to USUN, October 19, reads in part: “Dept. considers Soviet proposal for statement by presiding officer SC or GA either approving statement intentions or expressing consensus of SC or GA to this effect has serious implications for independence SYG and should therefore be rejected.” (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1960–63, 310/10–1961)