142. Telegram From the Embassy in France to the Department of State 1

21373. Subj: Possible Security Council Meeting in Panama. Ref: State 198256.2

While meeting with Quai SecGen Alphand this afternoon on other subjects (septels), I took occasion to discuss a possible Security Council meeting in Panama. Alphand told me that GOF was in a real bind on this matter, since FonMin Schumann did in fact say “yes” when he was in New York to a request that France support such a meeting.
Drawing on reftel, particularly para 4 and its sub-paragraphs, I made case why a meeting in Panama would be undesirable. I explained that we were not lobbying for votes and said what we were hoping for was that France and other Security Council members would recommend that Panama avoid bringing matter to head—or as a minimum express serious misgivings to Panama.
During ensuing discussion Alphand wondered aloud whether USG would agree to holding an SC meeting in some other Latin American country besides Panama. He allowed that many of the points I had made would apply elsewhere in L.A. as well but, on other hand, he was seeking some solution that would be accommodating to US and still give Schumann a way out with the L.A.’s. He said he did not know whether Schumann would buy idea, but he thought it was worth exploring if we were amenable. He said France might be able to take a position of supporting such a meeting as a recognition of importance of L.A. with site being elsewhere than Panama. He indicated such a meeting would probably best be held in South American country (he mentioned only Brazil) and that if Panama were not chosen, an SC meeting in Central America, Caribbean or Mexico would probably not be ideal alternate.
I explained that Panama initiative was not analogous to earlier SC meeting in Africa and said I did not know whether US would be receptive to his thought about another L.A. location. I promised to sound Department out on this and let him know our reaction.3
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, UN 3 SC. Confidential. Repeated to USUN.
  2. Document 141.
  3. The next day, the Embassy reported that Schumann would not oppose a Security Council meeting elsewhere in Latin America, but felt that he could not advocate another site or reverse France’s commitment to support a meeting in Panama. (Telegram 21434 from Paris, November 9; National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, UN 3 SC)