243. Telegram From the Mission to the United Nations to the Department of State1

5116. Subj: SYG.

Summary: Five Power meeting Dec 16 decided to send list of six names to private meeting of SC for secret balloting at 3:20 PM Friday, Dec 17. List consists of: Herrera, Jakobson, Jarring, Sadruddin, U Thant, Waldheim. Although US made clear our position on Herrera had not changed, PRC and USSR insisted that he be on list. PRC said its second choice was Jakobson. Both USSR and PRC objected to Sadruddin on grounds he is a prince. On Waldheim, Bush made it clear that, while no formal objections had been raised, he was not first choice of anyone. End summary.
Malik again announced Soviet support for Jarring and Waldheim. He pressed Chinese to react to latter name. Huang Hua eventually said that he had met Waldheim only yesterday. Chinese maintained their support for Herrera because he widely supported in LA. However, as second choice PRC could support Jakobson since he enjoyed support many African and Asian dels.
Kosciusko-Morizet said Chilean PermRep had advised him that if Herrera vetoed Chile would propose Valdes. K-M noted Valdes had reputation as excellent administrator.
Malik returned to his theme that no objection had been expressed concerning Waldheim by four dels at previous meeting and he pressed for PRC comment, Huang Hua asked for confirmation that four other participants had expressed no objection to Waldheim. Bush said Waldheim’s candidacy in UN had not aroused enthusiasm neither had it encountered significant objection. He believed it was necessary to include names of candidates about whom we had positive feelings.
K-M agreed saying it not enough to have a candidate against whom there no objection. A candidate for SYG should also have something in his favor. K-M thought Waldheim should be a reserve candidate. Crowe (UK) noted Waldheim was not first candidate of anyone around the table and objected to consensus on non-objectionable candidate.
Bush asked if there was any reaction to name of Sadruddin? Huang Hua said because he is a prince some dels don’t like him. In this respect he was not referring specifically to Soviets. Malik observed USSR and PRC had same attitude on this question.
Bush said US had tried to be frank on question of Herrera’s candidacy. However, if other dels felt strongly about him US would not try to keep his name from being included on the list of serious candidates.
It was finally agreed K-M should submit list of six names para 1 to SYG and to Pres SC with request for private meeting of SC afternoon Dec 17. Request would be made for secret ballot with different colored slips for perms and non-perms. Each name on list would be voted on separately but results would be announced only after voting had taken place on all names on the list to eliminate alphabetical advantage or disadvantage. Object of first ballot would be limited to seeing which candidate or candidates vetoed.
Next stage would permit non-perms to add any names they wished to the list. If names added, above procedure would be repeated. When list reduced to candidates certain not to be vetoed, balloting for election would begin with candidate receiving highest number of votes to be declared SC nominee. If there a tie, balloting on two names would be repeated.
Comment: We will need flexibility in voting. We and UK believe we should vote “yes” on Jakobson and Sadruddin in first round. Either US or UK vote “no” on U Thant if he appears likely to garner nine votes. Abstain on the remainder unless soundings show likelihood of nine votes coupled with no veto. In latter case either we or UK or both vote “no.”
If Soviets veto Jakobson, we will try to organize support for Sadruddin. However, if Sadruddin vetoed, we will have to decide on a further fallback. In any case, we will need instructions should Soviets or another del insist on inclusion of Valdes.2
Latest report is that U Thant will request his name not be on the list. Finns assure us Jarring will make similar request before the vote.
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 303, Agency Files, USUN, Vol. IX. Secret; Nodis.
  2. Later in the day, Rogers advised Bush to seek an agreement on a preferential first ballot. Rogers recommended voting for either Jakobson or Sadruddin, against Herrera, Thant, or Jarring, and abstaining on Waldheim. (Telegram 226945 to USUN, December 17; ibid.)