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

1595. Subj: Successor to Bunche.

When seeing U Thant on another subject June 14 Bush took opportunity of reiterating US interest in making available suitably qualified American replacement. He sought SYG’s views on tenure.
U Thant confirmed that he agreed post should be filled by American. At present, all Under and Assistant Secretaries General had contracts terminating March 31, 1972 with exceptions of Guyer and Matthews. However, practice had been established that when new Secretary General inaugurated all senior staff submitted their resignations in order to give new incumbent maximum flexibility. (SYG indicated this was largely formality and that both he and Hammarskjold had requested almost all senior personnel to remain.)
U Thant said some people expect Sovs to reopen whole “troika” dispute. He made it clear that he would have nothing to do with any suggestion which would imply SYG should clear decisions with both a Sov and American Under Secretary General. On occasions when Sovs had criticized Bunche he had defended him as ideal of what international civil servant should be.
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 301, Agency Files, USUN, Vol. VII. Confidential; Exdis.