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

4941. Subj: Reduction in US Assessment.

While support for US position seems to be gaining generally as we approach likely Nov. 28–29 Fifth Cmte vote,2 support among ASEAN nations remains uncertain. Those leaning in our favor (Malaysia and Thailand) apparently do not yet have firm instructions; those non-committal thus far (Indonesia and Singapore) show strong tendencies toward abstention; and, unhappiest of all, our firm commitment of support from the Philippines shows signs of erosion.
Our latest country-by-country information is as follows. Thai Amb Anand told DelOff Nov. 20 that they remain likely to support US but final RTG decision not yet taken; this indicates to us that favorable Thai UN del recommendation not yet acted upon in Bangkok. Indonesian Fifth Cmte rep (Gontha) recently told Canadians his del would abstain on issue. Malaysian Counsellor Kamil told MisOff Nov. 21 that GOM UN del inclined to favor voting for US proposal, but would not have firm position for two or three days. Canadians tell us that they have heard indirectly that Singapore will abstain, although Singapore continues to express “sympathy” for our proposal to US directly; we intend yet another approach here. Philippine Fifth Cmte rep told MisOff Nov. 22 that it now uncertain that GOP can support US despite firm assurance support given Amb Bush by General Romulo last month; needless to say we intend prompt Bush follow-up here. Finally, we have word that ASEAN dels met recently to discuss 25 percent and reportedly only Phils had firm instructions to support US at that time.
In this situation, we strongly recommend that one final top level approach be made in info addressee capitals unless there is overriding objection or unless, after careful consideration, it is thought that further approach would be counter-productive.
While approach will obviously have to be tailored carefully to country involved, info addressees may find it helpful to draw on following points in event approach is made: A) continuing high importance USG (and Congress) attaches to this issue; B) expectation of a roll [Page 373]call vote which will, of course, be matter of public record; C) increasing support for US proposal on worldwide basis (latest best case estimate shows 55 favorable with additional 10 leaning in favor); D) impressive support among Asian nations, including Australia, Fiji, Japan, Khmer Republic, Laos, New Zealand and Philippines (we trust); E) elaboration (to extent believed effective) of possible unhappy consequences of failure of US res to carry; F) possibility that later UNGA plenary consideration will require two-thirds majority making it essential that we have every possible favorable vote.
Indonesia is obviously a special case given fact that top leadership now in Europe. We recommend that approach be made in Europe if at all possible, but would of course defer to Dept’s final decision.
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, UN 10–4. Confidential; Priority. Repeated to Bangkok, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, and Singapore.
  2. The vote in the Fifth Committee was rescheduled, first to November 30 and then to December 1. (Telegram 5140 from USUN, November 29, and telegram 217720 to USUN, November 30; both ibid.)