511. Memorandum From Nathaniel Davis of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Special Assistant (Rostow)1


  • The Situation in New York, November 7–11:00 A.M.

The following table may help explain the tactical situation in New York:

On our Side Swing Group Pro-Indian Resolution 2
U.S. Ethiopia USSR
Canada Argentina Bulgaria
Denmark Japan India
China Mali
U.K. France
Brazil Nigeria
[Page 1008]

The last three on our side have varying problems. Last weekend the British—who are hurting economically from the closing of Suez and have their oil interests much on their minds—were in a mood to go along with the Indian resolution. USUN tells me they are now firmer, but there is still a danger of their becoming unstuck. China is acutely unhappy about alienating the Afro-Asians because of the Chirep issue, but USUN says she is with us if she must be. Brazil, like Argentina, is uneasy because the Indian resolution has virtually the same withdrawal language as the Latin Americans’ own resolution last summer. Apparently she is also with us in a pinch.

Of the six on the Russian-Arab-Indian side, Nigeria is the least firm. Although Nigeria has agreed to co-sponsor the Indian resolution, they are generally anxious to seek consensus rather than ram the Indian resolution down the throats of the Israelis and ourselves.

The swing countries, Ethiopia, Argentina and Japan, could give the Soviets their nine-vote majority. Ruda, the Argentine representative, has personally been very active in favor of the Indians. Part of the problem is that he is a little out in the front of his government—although his government would obviously prefer to support the Indian resolution (with its similarities to the Latin American draft last summer). The Ethiopians will probably support the Indians if the matter is pressed to a vote. We are not sure about the Japanese. Several countries would like to support both drafts. If they did, the Indian draft would get at least nine votes.

One can explain the hardening Soviet and UAR position by the fact that they may well think they have the nine votes. It would put us into quite a box to have to veto. Going for us is the fact that quite a few countries are very anxious to work out some formula that will enable us to come along. Therefore, the pressures to seek an accommodation—even after the Security Council is convened—will be very considerable.

Even now, we are not likely to have things come to a head right away. When the Security Council meets there will be many speeches and much maneuvering—probably lasting several days. We shall have time to put more pressure on home governments if needed.

My personal opinion is that our new draft3 will not float. It is too explicit in calling for “a state of just and lasting peace in the Middle East [Page 1009]embracing (sic) withdrawal.” Rather than take this draft, the other side would probably prefer to accept the Danish-Canadian draft with a somewhat modified withdrawal formula.4

  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Agency File, United Nations, Vol. 7. Secret. A copy was sent to Saunders.
  2. Telegram 2027 from USUN, November 7, transmitted the text of the Indian draft resolution as most recently revised. (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 27 ARAB–ISR/UN) The draft resolution, with additional revisions, was submitted on November 7 by India, Mali, and Nigeria. (Telegram 2034 from USUN, November 7; ibid.) For text, see UN document S/8227.
  3. The U.S. draft resolution was submitted on November 7. The text is identical to that in Document 504, except that “territories” was substituted for “territory” in the first operational paragraph. (Telegram 2035 from USUN, November 8; National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 27 ARAB–ISR/UN) For text, see UN document S/8229.
  4. Telegram 2027 from USUN, November 7, cited in footnote 2 above, also transmitted the text of the revised Danish-Canadian draft.