370. Memorandum From Gordon Chase of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Special Assistant for National Security Affairs (Bundy)1


  • U.S. Payments to the UN
Because we had a “no vote” 19th General Assembly, the UN has been operating during calendar year 1965 on a regular budget which has not yet been approved by the General Assembly. To get money for this budget, the Assembly, in February, asked members to make advance payments toward the 1965 budget to the tune of 80% of their 1964 assessments.
So far, 43 governments have made some sort of advance contribution to the 1965 budget, including the Russians who have so far kicked in an advance of roughly 30% of their assessments in 1964; the Russians are expected to pay the bulk of the balance of their regular budget assessments in 1965 as they have in the past (but not peacekeeping-related expenses). Up to now, we have made no advance contribution.

This afternoon Goldberg is going to make an advance payment of $24 million towards our 1965 assessments; this represents 80% of our 1964 assessments, plus $4.5 million for UNEF, less $3.9 million owed to us for bond repayment. We are doing this now because (a) the UN needs the money and (b) we want our name to appear on a financial statement which the Secretary General is putting out in the very near future.

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State feels that our skirts are relatively clean with regard to Congress. We have notified Congress about what we are doing. Moreover, State points out that when Congress appropriated money for the regular UN budget and UNEF, they knew that the UN budget had not yet been approved and that the General Assembly had asked for advance contributions. Nevertheless, they made no stipulations about advance payments and were aware that they might occur.

State wanted us informed on this issue on the very slight chance that Goldberg’s delivery of the money (which will be low key) causes any adverse reaction in Congress or in the press. If it does, we will take the line (a) that our payment, in line with a General Assembly resolution, merely represents an advance payment on assessments which we are going to have to pay this year anyway, (b) that the UN needs the advance money, and (c) that 43 other countries, including the Russians, have joined us in this effort.
  1. Source: Johnson Library, White House Central Files, Confidential File, IT 47 UN. Confidential.