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

204953. Subject: Possible SC Meeting in Panama. Ref: Paris 21373, 21434.2

Appropriate agenda to justify SC meeting any place in LA at this time lacking, not just in case proposed Panama meeting. Therefore while meeting elsewhere in LA might be preferable from US standpoint in strictly bilateral context, from hemispheric standpoint and in UN context, it would present most of same hazards in present circumstances, and would not therefore obviate principal causes of US concern. Moreover, Dept has detected no enthusiasm among LAs generally for SC meeting in their region. While they may be prepared to go along with Panama’s desire as evidence hemispheric solidarity, from same standpoint in Dept’s view they would be most unlikely wish challenge Panama as site for meeting. Dept therefore does not believe Alphand’s suggestion offers practical “out”.
Alphand’s question seems to have been put in desire to find some way to transfer Schumann’s commitment to LA’s to vote for Panama to some other LA location that would still fulfill the spirit of Schumann’s commitment. Please point out to him that at this time we are not so much concerned about France’s eventual vote as we are about what France says to Panama. If, without reneging on what Schumann had said to the LA’s, France could point out to Panama (not in New York but preferably in Paris or Panama) that it has doubts about the wisdom of holding SC meeting in Panama, that would be helpful action at this time.3
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, UN 3 SC. Confidential; Routine. Drafted by Herz and Hartley; cleared by Armitage, Fessenden, and Hurwitch; and approved by Herz. Repeated to USUN.
  2. Document 142 and footnote 3 thereto.
  3. Chargé Kubisch reported that he had discussed the matter, and Alphand had agreed to raise the matter with Schumann. (Telegram 21607 from Paris, November 10; National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, UN 3 SC)