181. Telegram From the Mission to the United Nations to the Department of State 1

2341. Subj: UN Financial Situation—Role of US.

In private 30-minute conversation with SYG Jun 24 before SC mtg began, SYG passed along his “great concern” about US role in UN financing. Referring to New York Times ltr (Jun 24 edition) by A.R. Arasteh, former UNITAR consultant, SYG pointed out that he was trying and was succeeding in making improvements in organization. He cited Davidson, Jackson, and Morse appointments as evidence of bringing able, strong men to Secretariat. He wondered if critics realized how hard he was trying to improve the UN.
SYG mentioned next year’s budget increase would be held to 5 percent.
SYG wondered about deficit. He has gone to Malik (USSR) in last 24 hours and urged more forthcoming attitude in Moscow on deficit. Malik, while objecting to US desire to limit budget contribution to 25 percent, said USSR would be ready to pay the same amount to the deficit as the US. USSR unwilling to go first lest this be interpreted as guilt in causing deficit in first place.
SYG asked me if any way we could give him ltr before his Moscow trip about US Govt willingness to solve deficit by matching USSR contribution.
I told SYG this not possible because of immediate battle we were waging to get satisfactory Congressional action re current UN appropriation. I stressed that we must face appropriations problem which will be disposed of soon before raising specifics on deficit. What we don’t need now is to get UN deficit problem stirred into Congressional debate on UN operating budget.
SYG is clearly disturbed, citing numbers of Democrats normally UN supporters who voted against Hruska amendment.2 I told him all these votes should not be considered anti-UN.
I emphasized that mood in US re UN is to streamline, eliminate waste, increase efficiency, but to continue support. I further emphasized great difficulty in supporting increases in UN budget while USG’s own budget in significant deficit position.
If we do not get Senate version of appropriation bill adopted by conference, there will be an anguished wail of considerable duration emanating from 38th floor at UN.
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, UN 10–4. Confidential.
  2. On June 15 the Senate approved an amendment sponsored by Senator Roman L. Hruska (R–Nebraska) to the Department of State Appropriation Bill for Fiscal Year 1973. The amendment, which was approved by a vote of 39 to 28, stated that the U.S. share of the UN budget would be limited to 25 percent as of December 31, 1973. (Congressional Record, 92nd Congress, Second Session, p. 21086)