323. Memorandum From Samuel Belk of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Bundy)1


  • Developments at the UN

Stevenson returned from Lebertyville this afternoon (I think at the Secretary’s insistence) in order to attend a meeting with Quaison-Sackey at 3:45. Quaison-Sackey had met with Fedorenko earlier.

At the 3:45 meeting, it appeared that the Russians had become more reasonable on several counts:

They now are willing to have Quaison-Sackey take informal soundings from the members in order to ascertain whether Mali or Jordan have a majority for a contested Security Council seat. Earlier it had seemed the Russians might be willing to risk a vote. (There is a widespread feeling among the members that new Council members should take their seats before the end of the year on a “no objection” procedure. Actually, the Charter does not require this.)
The Russians are willing for the SYG to make a simple appeal to the GA for funds, but they are attempting, at the same time, to get the SYG to say that, when the GA reconvenes, business will proceed normally. This we cannot buy and we have said so—firmly. We would have to know that the Russians had paid—not merely pledged—enough to accept such language in the SYG’s appeal.
The Russians also have agreed to allow the SYG to continue spending at the present level, on a “no objection” procedure, until the new budg-et can be voted on. They have said, however, that they will wish to record a reservation following the “no objection” procedure. This reservation presumably would have to do with expenditures for UNEF.

Quaison-Sackey now plans to convene the GA on Wednesday2 afternoon for the above activities and then adjourn until January 11. This, of course, could easily change.

If you fly down with the Secretary, and should this subject arise, you might express strong suspicions about accepting pledges instead of cash from the Russians. I mention this because no one has been able to find out just where the Secretary stands and we are afraid he might be a bit soft on this one point.

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In direct answer to your question about a head-count on the Article 19 matter, should it come to a vote within the next day or two, both the Department and New York believe we are still safe in getting an easy simple majority, but are increasingly less sure that we could get an easy 2/3 vote to support enforcement of Article 19. It is unclear just how much erosion there has been among the African states because of the Congo affair. The Department has asked New York today for a hard count and we should have their reply tomorrow.

  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, United Nations, Memos, Vol. 1. Confidential.
  2. December 30.