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

50. Chirep in SC—Wrap-up Jan 10. Ref: USUN 86692 and 08.3

Changed composition of SC in 1969 is unfavorable from US viewpoint on a wide range of issues including Chirep, ME, and African problems. If challenge on Chirep issue is to be raised, it should logically be done at first meeting of Council in 1969 to avoid adverse precedent of continuation of past practice. Therefore, we have initiated consultations with new SC members and will touch base again with old members on strategy and tactics designed to avoid a confrontation on this issue.
In addition to five perm members (China, France, USSR, UK, US), there are 10 non-perm seats held in 1969 by following (new members indicated by country replaced in parenthesis): Algeria, Colombia (Brazil); Finland (Denmark); Hungary; Nepal (India); Pakistan; Paraguay; Senegal; Spain (Canada); Zambia (Ethiopia). At 23rd UNGA, only 5 of above countries voted against so-called Albanian res which would have expelled GRC and seated PRC (China, Colombia, Paraguay, Spain, US). Senegal abstained and other 9 voted in favor.
Our policy premise is that GA, as plenary body of UN in which all members are represented, should be venue for discussions involving change of representation of a member state. Thus, a 15-nation body not representative of full membership, SC, should not take a decision on such a far-reaching matter affecting representation in UN of a founding member. This is particularly true when subject has regularly been debated extensively in GA. In our view, such an important issue as Chirep should not be approached through technical subterfuge of seeking to reject credentials of a member of SC.
Since 1948, SC has followed a procedure whereby SYG, when a rep on Council is replaced, simply circulates a report stating that credentials have been issued by proper authorities and are in order. Traditionally [Page 479]there has been no formal action by Council and credentials are thus tacitly approved. (Present GRC Rep has sat in SC since 1962.) In Jan 1968 Algerian Rep raised question of whether approval of credentials reports was tacit or explicit and stated that his del believed approval should be explicit in event objections were raised. At suggestion of Pres, SC went on to consider its agenda but requested SYG to prepare a report on how credentials were handled. Above practice was described by SYG in doc S/8365 and Algeria did not raise matter again in 1968.
If Algeria or some other member raises Chirep in SC, our first line of defense will be to argue that there should be no change in Council’s long established practice on credentials and we would hope that Pres would rule any attempt to take up matter of handling credentials out of order. Obviously, we would not be able to count on such a ruling when France, Hungary and USSR are Pres in Feb, Mar and Sept respectively.
In order to give effect to our position in para 3 above, we have developed fol res which can be supported widely in SC without doing violence to position of friendly states (such as UK) which recognize Peking:

“The Security Council,

“Noting with approval the report by the Secretary General on ‘practice of the Security Council regarding the credentials of its members’ of 26 January 1968 (S/8365),

“Decides to take no further action at this time to consider the credentials of any of its members.”

Such a res is not vetoable and would require 9 affirmative votes. Based on our consultations during 1968 and on past votes, we are reasonably confident that we can count on 8 firm votes: China, Colombia, Finland, Paraguay, Senegal, Spain, UK, US. Thus we will need either Nepal or Zambia if we are to be successful. Our initial approaches to these two members are reported USUN 8669 and 08 and we will be following up here early next week. A summary of our consultation follows:
UK. UK, in consultations last year, approved text of above res. Support of UK essential but, since it recognizes PRC, cannot support us on some alternative ways of dealing with problem. Therefore, above text was worked out in consultation with UK and Danes.
Finland. During 23rd GA, Amb Jakobson told Pedersen that GOF supported basic US approach. We intend to check with him exact wording of text of our procedural res as well as to discuss various tactical contingencies which might arise while he is Pres. (Denmark, in agreeing to text last year, showed it to Nordic countries including Finland, but we still have to get formal Finnish approval.)
Nepal. See USUN 8669. (We still awaiting reply to State’s 294243.4 Hope Emb can provide answer soon since Nepal vote critical.)
Zambia. See USUN 08.
Colombia. Based on Colombia’s past votes on Chirep, we do not anticipate difficulty but we will discuss matter with Amb Turbay soon.
Paraguay. Based on our discussions with Amb Lopez in 1968, we believe Paraguay supports our position.
Spain. De Pinies told Buffum he expected GOS would support US position.
Senegal. GOS supports basic US position matter should be handled by GA. We will discuss text of res with Amb Boye in near future.
Pakistan. Although our discussions with Shahi on this matter were not very encouraging last year, we believe it would be worthwhile to have another round with him possibly followed by an approach in Rawalpindi.
France. Berard told Buffum Jan 9 that he would be bound by firm instructions and that he “would not be able to be helpful”. Berard also said on personal basis that he would prefer not to face this issue when he is Pres (Feb). Buffum said best insurance would be for France to use its influence to discourage Algeria from raising it. Berard said he would also consult on this matter while he is back in Paris next week.
China. We have been in touch with Amb Liu and we will compare notes with Chinese in near future.
It is not yet clear what further approaches if any will be necessary in capitals but we thought it advisable to send foregoing as background against possibility approaches might eventually be required.
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, UN 6 CHICOM. Secret. Repeated to Taipei, Paris, Moscow, London, Algiers, Bogota, Helsinki, Budapest, Kathmandu, Rawalpindi, Dakar, Madrid, Lusaka, and Asuncion.
  2. Dated December 31, 1968. (Ibid.)
  3. Dated January 2, 1969. (Ibid.)
  4. Dated January 4. (Ibid.)