240. Telegram From the Mission to the United Nations to the Department of State 1
4929. Subj: Manescu Candidacy for SYG. Summary: Bogdan (Romania) informed De Palma Manescu candidacy not yet official pending reaction Five powers. PRC was non-committal while Sovs had evaded direct reply. He personally doubted time had yet arrived when Manescu could be viewed as realistic candidate but asked for official US reaction. End summary.
- At lunch Dec 10 Amb Bogdan (Romania) informed De Palma that Manescu candidacy is not yet official and that his govt is engaged in active consultations to ascertain prospects before deciding whether to make it official. He said that very informal soundings undertaken some weeks ago had revealed certain interest in a Manescu bid but that his govt is now confining its approaches to five permanent members. PRC has commented favorably but without any commitment and Sovs evaded reaction by saying they still hoped U Thant might stay on. He did not know if UK and French had yet been approached.
- When asked if he personally felt international situation had evolved sufficiently to make Manescu candidacy realistic, Bogdan replied he doubted it, but the very fact that candidacy could be given objective consideration was significant. He said Sovs probably not inclined “reward” Manescu just now, but that socialist countries as a whole would avoid appearing to blackball him.
- Bogdan added that, in his personal view, Sovs would have to regard possibility of Manescu in SYG office as advantageous to them, citing as example fact that “such a SYG could not have spoken out as much as U Thant did on Czech affair.” But, he added, Sovs may weigh other factors as well.
- After citing qualities US thinks important for any SYG, De Palma said US is not actually committed to any candidate although we have naturally formed certain impressions about qualities of previously known candidates. Bogdan interjected he knew US could not support Herrera and was favorably disposed toward Jakobson. De Palma added that he personally felt that mere floating of a Manescu candidacy was an indication of favorable trend in international affairs even if it should develop that time had not yet come when it could be pressed to successful result.
- In conclusion, De Palma said that, given value US attaches to its good relations with Romania, we would want to give careful consideration to Romanian approach. He asked if in fact Romania wished to have official US reply now or preferred to take further soundings first. After some hesitation, Bogdan replied he thought official US reaction would be appreciated even if it went no further than De Palma’s personal remarks. De Palma undertook to provide reaction as soon as possible.
- Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 303, Agency Files, USUN, Vol. IX. Secret; Exdis. Repeated to Bucharest.↩