132. Telegram From the Embassy in the United Kingdom to the Department of State 1

9489. Subj: Possible SC Meeting in Panama. Ref: State 1811942

I called on Sir Alec Douglas-Home today to enlist British help in blocking the Panamanian initiative to hold an SC meeting in Panama in March 1973, and to urge him to approach Schumann to discourage French support of this initiative. Sir Alec jestingly asked in effect “Why should I help you? I didn’t get any help in blocking the SC meeting at Addis Ababa and I warned Bill Rogers that something like the Panamanian move might be the result.”3 But he then quickly added “Of course we’ll help and do what we can.” Sir Alec observed that there was no telling where this kind of thing might end—next there might even be a move to hold SC meetings in Cuba or Ireland. There was every argument against holding SC meetings in trouble spots to suit members with grievances against other members.
Sir Alec said British would lobby the French, Australians and Austrians. He also indicated British might work on the Indians who he thought should be able to see undesirable implications of Panamanian initiative. At same time he expressed some doubt that he would be able to stop the Panamanians. The best and probably only course of action in Sir Alec’s opinion was to try to beat the Panamanians by lining up the necessary votes in the Security Council against their proposal.
Sir Alec indicated that he was puzzled by Schumann’s stand on the meeting. The British had supposed the French had reservations about SC meetings away from headquarters. He wondered whether Schumann might not have been carried away at the Latin American dinner.
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, UN 3 SC. Confidential; Priority; Exdis. Repeated to Moscow, Paris, Panama City, and USUN.
  2. In telegram 181194, October 4, the Department called on Ambassador Annenberg to remind Foreign Secretary Douglas-Home of his agreement with Secretary Rogers to consult about ways to resist proposals for Security Council meetings away from the UN Headquarters. (Ibid.)
  3. See Document 125 and footnote 2 thereto.