541. Editorial Note

On November 22, 1967, the United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted the British draft resolution as Resolution 242 (Document 542). Before the vote the Indian representative made a statement declaring that the sponsors of the three-power draft resolution (see footnote 2, Document 511) understood the British draft to commit the Security Council to the principle of total withdrawal of Israeli forces from all the territories occupied by Israel as a result of the June conflict, and that on the basis of that understanding, they would not press their resolution to a vote. Lord Caradon replied that the British draft resolution was a balanced whole and that to add to it or subtract from it would destroy that balance. All delegations might have their own views and interpretations and understandings, but only the resolution would be binding. The text of Caradon’s statement was transmitted in [Page 1062] telegram 2497 from USUN, November 23. (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 27 ARAB–ISR/UN) Excerpts from other statements made in the Security Council were transmitted in telegram 2518 from USUN, November 23. (Ibid.) The text of the statement made by Ambassador Goldberg after the vote is in Department of State Bulletin, December 18, 1967, pages 842–843.

Telegram 2496 from USUN, November 23, states that the U.S. delegation learned late on November 21 that the Indians planned to make a statement interpreting the British draft resolution to mean withdrawal of all Israeli forces from all Arab territories, to be specified by name, including Sharm El Sheikh, and that U.S. efforts on November 22 were directed primarily at preventing an unchallenged Indian statement of interpretation before the vote which might have upset the balance enough to prevent action. It states that in the early afternoon, the Romanians started passing the word that the Soviets would vote against the resolution unless the Indian interpretation went unchallenged, and that the U.S. delegation was not certain how the Soviets would vote until Soviet representative Kuznetsov finally raised his hand with all the other members in favor of the resolution. (National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 27 ARAB–ISR/UN)