320. Memorandum of Conversation1

SUBJECT

  • Charter Amendment

PARTICIPANTS

  • Mr. Michael N.F. Stewart, Minister, British Embassy
  • Mr. John K.E. Broadley, Second Secretary, British Embassy
  • Mr. Joseph J. Sisco, Deputy Assistant Secretary
  • Mrs. V.F. Hartley

The Minister called at his request to discuss ratification of the pending Charter amendments. He referred to an earlier conversation last May when we had indicated that we had no intention of proceeding [Page 701]with ratification at this time since this was likely to trigger an across-the-board review of the UN and all its works. The UK had accepted this position. However, the UK now saw no advantage in further delay and its UN delegation saw certain positive advantages in an early announcement of the UK’s intention to ratify, particularly before the USSR had acted. The inclusion of such an announcement in the British general debate speech at the General Assembly was therefore being considered. However, the British wished to know the US view before making a final decision. The Minister noted that if the general debate speech is in January, it will probably be made by the Prime Minister and will be a major foreign policy statement. He also recalled that the new Government has repeatedly indicated that it considers the UN of primary importance.

Mr. Sisco pointed out that the situation is still unclear with respect to the Article 19 problem and that while the Rescue Fund idea would probably be pushed ahead, details with respect to it were likely to remain unclear for some time. If the Article 19 problem has been resolved when the British make their general debate speech, then an announcement of their intention to ratify would create no problems. If the situation is still uncertain, however, such an announcement would create certain difficulties for us. We simply cannot proceed toward ratification so long as the Article 19 problem is with us and British ratification is almost certain to increase pressure on us to act. Moreover, it is likely to create the impression that there is a split between the US and the UK over Article 19.

  1. Source: Johnson Library, Administrative Histories, Department of State During the Presidency of Lyndon B. Johnson, Vol. 2, Part 5. Confidential. Drafted by Hartley (IO/UNP).