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

1632. Subject: Article 19.

On basis of most recent developments, situation can now be summed up as follows:

Over past two weeks UN has been engaged in exercise to find formula under which Soviets could make early payment without loss of face and without sacrifice their publicly announced position of principle.

This effort has now broken down because Soviets apparently insist that whole Article 19 question be dismissed from consideration, and that Assembly decide to take up business as usual, before sufficient payments are made by delinquents to avoid application of Article 19. US and others, on other hand, have been unable to agree that Article 19 has no application, until sufficient payments have been made to bring about this result under terms of article itself.

In light of foregoing, Department believes we should defer any further US initiatives on planting shrubbery to serve as face-saving rationale for action by USSR and other delinquents. We should now concentrate on adopting US position most likely to produce necessary payments to avoid application of Article 19. In next few days mission should reiterate our fundamental view in corridor discussions: We wish GA to get on with normal business as soon as possible, but this can only be done—without Article 19 confrontation—if sufficient amounts forthcoming from delinquents to remove loss-of-vote issue. Perhaps Soviets could now be persuaded to concentrate [Page 706] on private commitments which might be given either to SYG or GA President.

We have no need at all for statement by GA President re contributions, so any further initiative on this score should come from USSR or others. But in all discussions we must make clear no statement will be acceptable to us which tends load scales in favor of conducting GA business by voting prior to satisfactory resolution of Article 19 problem. While we do not insist on statement by GA President affirming our position and indeed question need for any statement, we can not accept one which prejudices it. Accordingly, most realistic course would seem to have statement which is totally neutral on the point, if in fact Soviets wish any such statement at all.

Suggest you inform Quaison-Sackey we do not consider any statement necessary but if he believes otherwise, suggest you tell him that statement next Tuesday2 should be brief and comprise two simple elements: (1) an appeal for voluntary contributions, and (2) announcement of Assembly recess until January 11 (or 18). Following is what we have in mind for content of such statement.

“Since the opening of the 19th Session of the General Assembly on December 1, members of the Assembly have engaged in useful discussion of ways to meet the present financial difficulties of the United Nations.

As the Assembly now recesses the 1964 part of its 19th Session, I am addressing an appeal, as President of the General Assembly, to all member states to make voluntary contributions to the United Nations in a cooperative effort aimed at bringing the financial situation of the organization to solvency, with the clear understanding that such contributions would not be construed as changing the basic position of principle of any individual member.

Having made this appeal, which I commend to the most earnest consideration of all member states, I declare the 19th session of the General Assembly recessed until January 11 (or 18).”

As part of closing statement, we assume Quaison-Sackey would read to GA appropriate language of authorization of continuing expenditures by SYG.

While it is possible that another delegation (such as Sweden) might usefully discuss above course of action with Quaison-Sackey, we inclined to think it desirable for mission to take this matter up with him direct. In any event, it is most important to discuss on basis of precise text for presidential statement, our suggestion for this is given above.

  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964–66, UN 10–4. Confidential.
  2. December 29.