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

3303. Article 19 and Future of U.N. Financing.

1.
Stevenson and Plimpton, together with Dean (U.K.), met with Fedorenko and Morozov (USSR) this morning to make our presentation on Article 19 and financing.
2.
Stevenson opened by referring to fact we had been in consultation with U.K. for several months. Said common views had now emerged and we wished express ideas which we thought would be of joint interest to USSR and ourselves. He then expressed U.S. position in close paraphrase talking paper pouched Department.2
3.
Dean followed with similar statement from U.K. talking paper (also pouched Department)./2/ Only difference in emphasis between two papers was that Dean’s paper stressed more that ideas were “tentative and far from final”. Fedorenko then replied that U.S. and U.K. were in favorable position in this meeting in that we had had opportunity be fully prepared, including talking papers. Stated Soviet position so simple it was not necessary make specific efforts to express it. Thanked Stevenson and Dean for their thoughts and ideas. Stated Stevenson had stressed our ideas dealt with “future” but actually had spoken mainly of present. Said he wished confirm present Soviet resolution re finance issue. This had been expounded at many conferences and meetings, including special General Assembly and Security Council. Soviet position was clear and it was not necessary repeat it in detail.
4.
Fedorenko said present financial situation not created by USSR. Financing of peace-keeping belonged to competence of Security Council. This was avoided not by USSR but by western powers. Full responsibility for present situation therefore rested with western powers. Said principal position of USSR “had not been changed” and “we do not see any reason to change”.
5.
Re application of Article 19, stated USSR knew procedure and order of its implementation, including competence of General Assembly. Stated USSR considered it was right and had acted in accordance with Charter. Western approach to financing had not been reasonable [Page 626]nor lawful. USSR could not accept it and was not afraid of any meeting, including General Assembly.
6.

Fedorenko stated this was the past. As to future, it was difficult to consider proposals just after hearing them and proper consideration was necessary. One matter was clear. Every step had to be taken in accordance with Charter. Security Council had privilege and right to decide problem of financing. USSR would bear in mind this simple procedure, that everything done must be in full accord with Charter. If you say you are interested in strengthening Security Council we would understand this to be in accordance with Charter. Said some elements of our proposal were not clear. Understood from what Stevenson said we had further elaboration in mind. Needed time to report to Moscow and receive their views and wondered if we had something in writing to give him. Stevenson and Dean said presentation had intended be oral. In response Fedorenko’s elaboration Stevenson recapitulated position as follows:

We wish keep U.N. peace-keeping operations going. We were prepared to consider new arrangements for future under which major peace-keeping operations would be authorized by Security Council only in first instance and would go to General Assembly only when Security Council could not act; there would be weighted peace-keeping committee to consider and make recommendations to General Assembly re financing; if other aspects agreeable we were prepared to consider means to take into account special position of permanent members, possibly to exempt from assessment, by recommendation of committee or some other device, permanent members who fundamentally politically opposed to operation. Stevenson said all this was premised on clearing up past, including arrears. Noted Fedorenko had said USSR would not change position on past, therefore we must be confronted by Article 19. Regretted to hear this reply before he had given careful consideration to our proposals. Whether it would be useful to consider future before there was reconsideration of past he did not know, but he hoped USSR would consider our whole proposal. He should understand that U.S. was clear on relationship of proposals to past.

7.

Fedorenko said he had expressed Soviet position just to avoid illusions. We must be realistic and we must be precise. Again expressed preference for piece of paper, with understanding it would be entirely informal. Stevenson and Dean said we would prepare one of these lines which would constitute “series of headings”.

Dean then stated he wished to associate U.K. with Stevenson’s position about importance past problem as well. Proposals must be considered as whole.

8.
Fedorenko then asked whether we had talked to French. Plimpton said we had given French general outline of views but had received no answer. Said we noted certain similarity of French and Soviet views but hoped they would both come around. Said we had also given general statement of our views and intention to talk to USSR to western group and LDCs in group of 21. Had asked them to keep it confidential. Stevenson added it was just as well not to have public discussion now. If our ideas offered possibility for solution we felt they should be pursued first among three delegations present. Fedorenko strongly endorsed importance conversations being kept confidential.
9.
At end of meeting it was agreed that if press found out about meeting we would all three say it was discussion of general U.N. issues without elaborating on any of the details. Also understood U.S. and U.K. agreed would give French paper similar to that we would give USSR but would not do so with anyone else.
Stevenson
  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, United Nations, Memoranda of Conversation, Vol. 1. Confidential; Priority; Limdis. Repeated to Moscow.
  2. Not found.