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

2940. Subj: Reduction of US Assessment Percentage to 25 Per Cent.

1.
During conversation yesterday with Phillips re US proposal to reduce its assessment percentage to 25 per cent, Crowe (UK) raised fol matter with respect to which we require Dept’s guidance.
2.
In discussing with Phillips potential support of US proposal, Crowe asked what US position would be if developing countries paying floor percentage of .04 per cent or paying percentage which reflected reductions based on low per capita income, offered to support US proposal if, in turn US supported lowering of floor percentage and/or granting of greater reductions for low per capita income. Impact of such a lowering of floor percentage or granting of greater reductions for low [Page 341]per capita income would fall entirely upon developed countries such as UK, which were already paying at a rate higher than that called for by their relative capacity to pay. Accordingly, those countries could not be expected to understand any US agreement to such actions.
3.
Phillips avoided answering Crowe’s question directly, saying we had no indication that issues referred to by Crowe were likely to arise and that we would try to avoid this occuring.
4.
Crowe, who was accompanied by Whalley (UK national on UN Contributions Comite), said that they considered it not at all unlikely that these issues would arise, pointing out that there had already been a determined attempt in Comite on Contributions and in GA to secure greater reductions for low per capita income countries and that there had been mention from time to time of possibly lowering the floor percentage. However, Crowe did not press Phillips further on matter.
5.
Dept will recall that fears expressed by Crowe are same as those mentioned to US several years ago by French and Russians in GA when they said they would make an all-out fight against US ceiling if we went along with developing countries on greater reductions for low per capita income or on reducing the floor percentage.
6.
Dept is aware that, at last session of Comite on Contributions in May of this year, Comite agreed that changes in low per capita income formula would be justified but deferred action on changing formula until next Comite session.
7.
Would appreciate Dept’s advice as to how to respond to questions raised by Crowe if these are repeated by him or others.
Phillips
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, UN 10–4. Confidential.