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

986. Subj: Successor to SYG.

Finnish PermRep Jakobson called on Bush April 19 to fill us in on his campaign to succeed U Thant.
Jakobson reported on his extensive trip to Asia. He had been well received everywhere and Indonesian FonMin Malik agreed that there was little prospect Asians could unite behind Asian candidate. Amerasinghe of Ceylon did not have strong backing.
Same situation obtained with Africans. Jakobson estimated there virtually no chance AFs could unite behind Makonnen.
LA’s seemed bereft of candidates as well. He admitted that if LA’s could unite behind a strong candidate that such a challenge would be formidable.
When asked about Waldheim, Jakobson noted he currently running for President of Austria. If, as anticipated, he not elected then he would maintain his candidacy.
Bush asked about attitude of Soviets. Jakobson said as long as there chance U Thant could be drafted then Soviets will not endorse another candidate since he probably their preferred choice.
When asked about attitude of Arabs, Jakobson said there had been no Arab group position. He noted Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco had rejected any religious criteria and he thought this helpful. GOF had denied press reports Mrs. Jakobson was Zionist.
To above we would add recent conversation Pol Couns had with Swiss Chargé. Latter estimated Max Jakobson’s chances of succeeding U Thant were dead. Both Arabs and Soviets were opposed. When Swiss questioned Arabs they were told Soviets were against Jakobson. Soviets, in turn, said Arabs opposed. Swiss concluded Arabs did not wish to state real reason—objection on religious grounds—neither did Soviets—Jakobson’s views on Finnish neutrality—so each cited the other. Swiss Chargé’s canvass of other groups tallied with Jakobson’s above. He concluded, “U Thant was not the first candidate but he will be the final one.”
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 300, Agency Files, USUN, Vol. VI. Secret; Exdis. Repeated to Djakarta, Helsinki, London, and Moscow.