28. Memorandum From Winston Lord of the National Security Council Staff to Marshall Wright, John Holdridge, Helmut Sonnenfeldt, and Richard Kennedy of the National Security Council Staff1


  • Study of UN Membership Question

Dr. Kissinger wants to launch a review of our policy toward membership in the United Nations. He specifically called for a study on the entire universality question rather than merely the China question.

He would like to launch both an inter-agency effort and an in house NSC study. On the former he asks that a NSSM be drafted, to be issued after the UN vote, and that this directive be phrased “neutrally.” He indicated that this study be assigned to the new China Policy Group (of which Holdridge and Kennedy are aware). However, this would seem to tilt the study toward the China question alone rather than the broader universality focus. Thus I suggest you give him the option of assigning the study to another body which would submit it to the Senior Review Group.

Dr. Kissinger also asked that Wright with Holdridge/Sonnenfeldt undertake a parallel in-house study of the UN membership question to insure a dispassionate look at these issues and to sharpen his own thinking as the bureaucracy study goes forward.

There are related questions which should be folded into the package for HAK such as suggestions on how to handle the public relations aspects of this review, how to deal with the academic community which has been flooding the Government with ideas, etc.

These studies are obviously very sensitive and, for now, should be known only to the addressees of this memorandum.

Please prepare a coordinated package consisting of the following for HAK’s approval:

  • —A NSSM on the membership question,
  • —A brief outline of what the NSC in-house study might address,
  • —Suggestions on how to handle the public relations aspects, dealings with the academic community, etc.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 299, Agency Files, USUN, Vol. V. Secret; Eyes Only.