536. Telegram From the Department of State to the Mission to the United Nations1

71934. Subj: Middle East: Reaction to Goldberg-Kuznetsov conversation, November 19. Ref: USUN 2408.2

Based on our impression of tone and content of Soviet demarche here yesterday, plus your report on Kuznetsov conversation, we would speculate that Goldberg’s view as set out in para 19 of reftel—i.e., spoiling operation—is probably closer to the mark than alternative hypotheses laid out in paras 20 and 21.3 We have no doubt that the tabling of the Soviet text will impair the prospects for the UK Res, unhooking one or more of the more doubtful affirmative votes particularly if the UAR feels impelled to backtrack upon presentation of USSR draft.
However, we see no alternative to proceeding as planned today and thereafter. Obviously, we would not want to force a vote in which UK Res would fail, but we do not believe, subject to your tactical judgment, that it is possible to bargain usefully with the Soviets over word changes at this juncture. In short, whatever the Soviet motivation turns out to be, we believe you ought to proceed as far as possible along lines already contemplated.
  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 27 ARAB–ISR/UN. Secret; Immediate; Exdis. Drafted and approved by Popper and cleared by Battle and Kohler. Repeated to Moscow.
  2. Telegram 2408 from USUN, November 20, reported a meeting between Goldberg and Kuznetsov on November 19 in which Kuznetsov gave Goldberg a copy of the Soviet draft resolution, which he said he would table the next day. (Ibid., POL 27 ARAB–ISR/UN)
  3. Paragraph 20 stated Buffum’s view that although the Soviets might hope to prevent adoption of the UK draft, they might also be prepared to let the Security Council adopt it with the minimal non-substantive changes required to get Latin American cosponsorship. Paragraph 21 stated Pedersen’s view that the Soviet text was a platform from which the Soviets would seek to force changes in the UK text and that it might be capable of compelling change in the withdrawal paragraph; for example, the addition of the word “the” before “territories”.