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

5267. Subject: Legal Aspects of 25 Percent.

Fifth Comite chairman and Japanese DepPermRep Ogiso told Sen McGee recently US should not, without further action, assume that Japan would follow US lead in plenary to effect that resolution reducing assessment to 25 percent requires simple majority. Subsequently Japanese MisOff Yamada explained that Japanese del here could go along with US view on simple majority so long as no question is raised in plenary. If, however, GA President or some delegation raises question, he is unsure Japanese would be able to support because they wish to “make the most of the 2/3 requirement.” Since admission of two Germanies would entitle Japan to a reduction in its assessment were it not for the US resolution, they would consider our text as a “budgetary [Page 375]question” within the meaning of Art 18(2). Yamada said he thought the relinquishment of prospective reductions was as “important” a matter as UN appropriation actions of the sort traditionally considered to involve “budgetary questions.”
USUN MisOff had private dinner conversation with Polish Legal Adviser Wyzner 29 Nov; Wyzner is serving as Trepczynski’s Parliamentary adviser. Wyzner raised question of majority required for adoption of US proposal and said he thought “the better legal argument” would be that US text requires a 2/3 vote in plenary and he was certain the President would be asked so to rule. He thought Trepczynski would not want to make a ruling that would seriously antagonize position of one side or another, however.
At 5th Committee meeting 30 Nov, Barbados PermRep Waldron-Ramsey asserted that 2/3 would be required. No further discussion at that meeting.
Sloan, Stavropoulos’ Deputy, says he thinks Stavropoulos remains of the view that US resolutions, requires 2/3 vote.
On 30 Nov Legal Adviser Stevenson indicated to Stavropoulos importance US attributes to 25 percent effort. Stavropoulos said that Trepczynski could be expected, were the question raised in plenary, to turn to Stavropoulos for advice. He said that he continued to think that the better legal argument was to require 2/3. He said that if the US were in a different position, we might well be arguing that 2/3 was necessary. Nevertheless, he had not yet conclusively made up his mind.
Australian Fifth Comite rep (Butler) just advised MisOff of receipt instructions from Canberra re requirement for two-thirds vote in plenary.
Mission plans to convene meeting of friendly dels to discuss this question, seek views, and solicit support for our res in plenary.
Appreciate Dept comments soonest.
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, UN 10–4. Confidential; Limdis; Priority.