306. Memorandum of Conversation1


  • Article 19


  • Ambassador Anatoliy F. DobryninUSSR
  • The Secretary
  • Ambassador Adlai Stevenson, USUN

The Secretary stated that the United States was intrigued by comments coming from the new leadership in Moscow calling for an improvement of relations. He felt that we should explore all avenues toward this end. In this connection, the Secretary stated that it was important that Moscow should understand fully our concern over the Article 19 issue and the matter of payment of arrearages.

One aspect of the matter was payment for the Congo operation. The Secretary noted that the USSR had, in the Security Council, voted for four of the five resolutions authorizing the Congo operation. Therefore, we felt the USSR had committed itself to pay for this operation. Ambassador Dobrynin replied that the USSR had never intended to pay for UNOC, and could not understand why the U.S. was under a different impression. Ambassador Stevenson pointed out that this was definitely not our understanding of the Soviet action in voting for the Congo resolutions.

Little mention was made of UNEF.

The Secretary stressed that the principle of Article 19 and collective financial responsibility were of the gravest concern to the U.S. Government, both from the standpoint of the development of the United Nations as an effective international institution and also with respect to U.S. public opinion. He added that the USSR could not hope to win on this issue, and suggested that it might make a voluntary payment in some form as a way of avoiding a confrontation The Secretary pointed out that the United States does not look on this as a cold war issue, and added that there were so many important issues between us that we should not let this one interfere with or cloud them.

[Page 659]

Ambassador Dobrynin was generally non-committal and indicated no change in the Soviet position on Article 19. He stated that he was certain Moscow fully understood our position on this matter, and would report back fully to his Government the substance of the discussion.

  1. Source: Department of State, Conference Files: Lot 79 D 246, United Nations. Secret. Drafted by Polansky. A note on the memorandum reads: “uncleared. never distributed.” The memorandum is “Part 2 of 4.” The meeting took place in Rusk’s office.