426. Telegram From the Department of State to the Mission to the United Nations1
Washington, January 25, 1968, 1430Z.
104302. Subj: Committee of 24.
- Dept appreciates careful analysis with respect to closely balanced issue of how we handle continued representation in Committee of 24.2 We are impressed with fact that all of those we consulted strongly urged US to continue its membership and, to greater or less degree, indicated there was possibility that with change in Chairmanship and understanding of US attitude some improvement might follow, at least in Committee handling of procedural problems. We also note British are unable, just as we are, to gear themselves up to definitive break with Committee now.
- In circumstances, we think question boils down to how we can best continue to exercise our leverage to produce more satisfactory conduct in Committee. While argument can be made either way, we believe it is better for us to stay with Committee, while making it plain that we reserve right to withdraw if unsatisfactory practices continue, than to absent ourselves from opening meeting. Latter course puts wrong foot forward at outset. It is not clear what Committee could or would do to meet our needs that could not be done by our representations from the [Page 920] floor of the Committee and privately. In short, unless or until we actually decide to withdraw, we think it preferable that we continue to participate.
- Accordingly we propose that US Del attend opening meeting and at
suitable opportunity make statement along following lines:
USG welcomes Chairmanship of Makkonen (or Mesteri). As Committee members know, at last session of Committee and more recently in private consultations US expressed serious concern about some aspects of Committee’s work. US looks forward to working with new Chairman in the hope that these problems can be worked out in course of current year.
- Promptly thereafter USUN should privately inform Committee members as well as others previously consulted that consultations had produced expression of understanding and statements that efforts would be made to adopt more satisfactory approach to work of Committee. Members had expressed hope that the United States would remain on Committee. On this basis US will defer its decision as to its future course, reserving the right to review the situation at any time.