324. Memorandum of Conversation1

SUBJECT

  • Article 19

PARTICIPANTS

  • U.S.
    • The Secretary
    • Thomas M. Judd, EUR/BNA
  • UK
    • The Lord Harlech, British Ambassador
    • Michael Stewart, British Minister

Lord Harlech said he had had a call from London. The British Government would like to know before tomorrow’s discussion what the current attitude of the U.S. was on the Article 19 question. It seemed to HMG that if the Soviets maintained their present position of saying they would pay but not how much or when, this would be unsatisfactory from the British point of view. The problem would be holding the waverers in line.

The Secretary said that we had made major concessions to the Soviets. There had been some slight movement on their part as well. The major problem was how to get more time, perhaps two or three weeks, to try to get things settled. A plan was currently being discussed for an adjournment, perhaps combined with an appeal for voluntary contributions. The trouble was that a resolution was needed to provide [Page 709]funds for continuing operations, including UNEF. The Soviets might not let a “no-opposition” resolution go through. If not, we would have a nasty row on our hands.

Lord Harlech said he had the impression that the Soviets have been losing ground with the neutrals. Secretary Rusk replied that it did look that way but we would still prefer that Article 19 not come to a vote. However, we were not sure that the Nineteenth General Assembly could continue if the problem were not settled.

Lord Harlech asked if he was correct in assuming that the U.S. position was that ordinary business within the Assembly should not go on unless the Soviets made a payment of $17 million or more. The Secretary affirmed that this was our position. Lord Harlech then asked if the UN authorities were aware of how much the U.S. thought the Soviets should pay. The Secretary answered that neither Quaison-Sackey nor U Thant had mentioned to us any figure less than $17 million.

  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, United Nations, Memoranda of Conversation, Vol. 1. Confidential. Drafted by Judd. The memorandum is Part I of II. The meeting was held in the Secretary’s office.