416. Telegram From the Department of State to the Mission to the United Nations1

185661. Subject: Committee of 24 Travel. Ref: USUN’s 4983.2

Although we have great difficulty in determining balance of arguments for and against participation in this year’s Committee of 24 trip to Africa and Near East, we are particularly interested in the opportunity which non-participation would provide for us to underscore our dissatisfaction with Committee’s behavior.
We are especially reluctant to pass up this opportunity for a mild remonstrance since we doubt next 6–12 months will prove suitable time for us to register our objection in a more forthright way. As you know we have been reconsidering more fundamental question of our continued membership on Committee of 24 in context our growing doubt that membership is net benefit to our influence in UN. In fact we are by now reasonably certain that any advantage in terms of our status as an anti-colonial power is offset by our evident inability to moderate Committee behavior from within. Nevertheless, possible convergence over the next few months of crises over Rhodesia, South West Africa and various problems of apartheid may make it a particularly difficult time for us to [Page 900] extract ourselves from Committee membership. This probability increases our interest in lesser step which could be taken now.
Would appreciate USUN’s further comment.3
  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 19 UN. Confidential. Drafted by William Gleysteen (UNP); cleared in AFI, EA, ARA, UNP, and EUR; and approved by Sisco.
  2. Dated April 24; it reported the British decision not to participate in the Committee of 24’s African trip. (Ibid.)
  3. In telegram USUN 5150 from New York, May 4, the Mission to the United Nations expressed doubt that non-participation in travel would produce the effect desired by the Department of State. (Ibid.) In telegram 191658, May 10, the Department of State replied that it accepted the Mission’s judgment. (Ibid.)