392. Memorandum of Conversation1


  • SYG’s letter of Resignation


  • Ambassador Pedersen
  • William B. Buffum
Bunche is trying to reach the SYG in Panama this afternoon to discuss the latter’s letter of resignation.2
He will continue to try to get U Thant to write a shorter letter citing merely personal reasons for wanting to resign and making it less categorical. (The earlier draft was a six-page affair dictated by the SYG. It was poorly written and could damage the UN because it highlights the UN’s current ineffectiveness.) Viet-Nam is mentioned but not in a way to criticize the United States; he speaks, rather, of the inability of the UN to contribute to a solution.
To be certain that we are not caught flat-footed on a possible insertion by U Thant of an unhelpful reference on Viet-Nam, USUN will draft two contingency statements next Monday which might be used after the SYG’s letter is released. Buffum said we would wish to review these statements carefully in Washington, and Pedersen promised to send them down.
Goldberg must still talk to Federenko early next week and see if he would be agreeable to a quadripartite meeting with the SYG August 31 to try to dissuade him from resigning. Goldberg and Caradon already have individual appointments with U Thant on that date.
  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Agency File, United Nations, Vol. 4. Secret. Drafted in IO on August 27.
  2. Released September 1; for text, see UN doc. S/7481.