364. Telegram From the Mission to the United Nations to the Department of State1

354. Article 19. Goldberg, Sisco, Plimpton and Yost saw Morosov (USSR) to explore Art 19 situation.

1. Goldberg said US was considering its position as to whole problem, and wld like an idea of Sov frame of mind toward common object of getting the UN back into business. He mentioned we have domestic political problems, and fact that indication of Sov attitude wld be helpful to President in making final decision.

2. Morosov recalled para 11 of the report of the Comite of 33 (A/5915, 15 June 1965) reading as follows:

“11. The members of the Special Committee agreed that the UN should be strengthened through a co-operative effort and that the GA when it reconvenes must conduct its work according to the normal procedure established by its rules of procedures.”

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3. He said that this agreement was not bad as a starter, and that it was very important that the provision as to the GA’s conducting its ordinary business be implemented. US knew Sov position on substantive matters involved, and there was no point in his repeating it.

4. He recalled the Afro-Asian proposal of December 3, 19642 and said it was necessary that the Sovs receive a “guarantee” that the illegal attempt to impose Art 19 be eliminated. There wld be no voluntary contributions without a guarantee that Art 19 wld not be raised in future. Sovs had accepted Afro-Asian proposal, and if US had joined, it wld be a basis for settlement. However, that was history and the past, and not the future.

5. Morosov continued that there shld be no variation from Afro-Asian proposal as basis for settlement. The res introduced by Ethiopia in Comite of 33 deviated and therefore had been criticized by Sovs. They wld not accept a substitute or an improper interpretation.

6. Morosov repeated that there had been no change in fundamental Sov position. Any contribution must be voluntary since there is no Sov obligation. They wld not pay for UNEF or UNOC. It is not only a matter of principle but a problem of commercial importance since they prefer to use their money for other purposes.

7. Goldberg said that the important thing was to get the GA in business without prejudice to either viewpoint. However, to get UN back into business, it must have the necessary finances. What was Sov attitude of mind as to this necessity? The organization cld not function unless it cld meet its obligations. No one shld be regarded as having prevailed or retreated. The issue shld be viewed as one facet of over-all US-Sov relations, although an important one.

8. Goldberg continued by asking whether Sovs and US cld unite on (a) putting GA back into business, and (b) making the UN financially able to carry on its business, since UN cannot function unless it meets its obligations.

9. Morosow misunderstood (?) Goldberg’s reference to UN obligations and reiterated that Sovs did not admit there were any obligations. They agreed that GA shld resume its normal business. There was a good beginning in para 11 of Comite of 33’s report. Afro-Asians and LAs were impatient as to the impotence of the 19th GA, and US shld not destroy para 11.

10. Goldberg said US will do its best to solve whole problem.

Comments: 11. Morsov continued to refer to Afro-Asian proposal, which only provided for not raising Art 19 during “present session,” but talked about necessity of “guarantee” that Art 19 not be applied ever.

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12. Morosov ducked Goldberg question as to Sov frame of mind or spirit regarding amending UN finances.

13. There was no threat, overt or implied, that Sovs were withdrawing their “acceptance” of the Afro-Asian proposal. During Comite of 33 mtgs and in corridors, Fedorenko had occasionally hinted that it might be withdrawn.

14. There was no mention of regular budget or bond issue.

15. There can be no guarantee that, if US were in effect to agree not to raise Art 19, Sovs wld make really substantial voluntary contribution. However, chances certainly are that they wld make a contribution, and certainly Afro-Asians pressure on them wld be considerable. Opinions vary as to what amount wld be; perhaps $10 million or more, but small likelihood of any amount exceeding Art 19 benchmark.

  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Agency File, United Nations, Vol. 1. Secret; Limdis. Repeated to Moscow.
  2. See footnote 3, Document 321.