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

SUBJECT

  • UN Miscellany

Article 19: As you probably know from the press, the Committee of 12 (Afro-Asians) have called on the U.S. and the USSR to get together and solve the problem bilaterally. This is typical of this group who seem to become more and more uninformed on what is going on. U.S.-USSR bilaterals have been going on for the past ten months and are continuing still.

When Stevenson met with the Secretary on Tuesday,2 the latter was very bearish about pursuing the bilateral angle in New York until we get a response from Moscow either as a result of Dobrynin’s dinner3 or a meeting between Kohler and Gromyko.

Both in New York and in a circular to all posts, we already are making a strong effort to knock down the Pazhwak Plan (the Afro-Asian formula for side-stepping Article 19). Another circular is being prepared instructing Ambassadors to make another démarche to foreign ministers emphasizing our determination to apply Article 19 if adequate payments have not been made.

The Secretary apparently had a very easy time with the Foreign Relations Committee on this problem.4 He told Stevenson that the Committee was quite satisfied as long as it was understood that those countries in arrears would either pay enough money or lose their vote. The Committee members apparently alluded on several occasions to the joint resolution on the matter. The Secretary seemed unworried about getting the necessary funds from the Congress for UN activities as long as we held firm on Article 19.

There is no further word from the French.

Stevenson: Those who know him well were worried about what they described as his “rather bad performance” in the Department. In a [Page 712]word, he does not want to face up to a confrontation. The short time I saw him he certainly did not look at all well. As you know, he saw the President for about forty-five minutes at the end of the day.5 The short press statement from the Star (attached)6 is the extent of my information on that meeting. Thank the Lord it didn’t get any greater play than it did. Actually, his remarks to the press were very much in the same mood of his pitch in the Department.

Stevenson is still determined to give a speech during the remaining part-about one week-of the general debate. The Department quite correctly is holding him off for now. This is a statement we will wish to examine closely if and when it is made.

SEB
  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, United Nations, Article 19, Vol. 2. Confidential.
  2. January 5; no record of the meeting was found.
  3. See Document 325.
  4. For text of the briefing, see Executive Session of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Together with Joint Sessions with the Senate Armed Services Committee (Historical Series), vol. XVII, Eighty-ninth Congress, First Session, 1965. (Washington, GPO, 1990), pp. 1–34. According to The New York Times, January 7, Senator Fulbright, upon exiting the meeting, told reporters that Rusk had not been hopeful of resolving the Article 19 impasse.
  5. January 5; Stevenson’s notes of the meeting are in Papers of Adlai E. Stevenson, vol. 8, pp. 667–668.
  6. Not attached. Replying to reporters questions following his meeting with the President, Stevenson commented that he intended to stay on at the United Nations through the end of the current General Assembly session and had not discussed his future with Johnson. On the Article 19 issue, he commented: “I think it would be well to avoid a confrontation on this, win or lose,” adding that the U.S. position would win the support needed to prevail but its victory might not be as conclusive or unanimous as the United States would like. (Washington Star, January 6, 1965)