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

744. Subj: Chirep Voting Estimates. Ref:USUN 681.2

We have further analyzed the likely voting breakdowns next fall on the various possible votes on Chirep. To estimate such votes, when numerous complex variables will influence the final position of many delegations, is difficult at best. To do so now, eight or nine months before the event, when the situation may be affected by the outcome of policy reviews in a number of countries including the United States, makes it a highly inexact science. With the possible exception of the voting estimate on an exact repetition of last year’s tactics: i.e., vote on a U.S. sponsored Important Question resolution followed by vote on Albanian type resolution, our estimates cannot be considered more than “educated” guesses (see reftel).
The credibility, hence the success or failure of any alternative to the old strategy, will depend on its not seeming just a gimmick to keep Peking out for another year or two. There is widespread view that the traditional I.Q. (Important Question) resolution is such a gimmick. Only alternative form of IQ that appears to us to stand much of a chance of passage is in a resolution that clearly differentiates between the specific question of representation of China, and the general question of the expulsion of a member state. Should this general expulsion I.Q. resolution be linked in any way to the member representing the people of China, or the China cited in the Charter, it would lose any chance of passage. A general expulsion resolution would have to be voted on first, and would have to be followed by a dual representation resolution of the Belgian type. It may be assumed that both of these resolutions would obtain the necessary simple majority and would be adopted against the votes of the supporters of the traditional Albanian-type resolution. The Albanian-type resolution would then be voted on last, but would fail of passage by not obtaining the required two-thirds majority. (There might be difficult procedural battles in order to set up above voting sequence.)
Our current voting estimate on traditional IQ is 51 for, 57 against, and 19 abstentions. This is the best we could expect, and approximately five votes (Canada, Ecuador, Maldives, Mauritius and Sierra Leone) could slip from support to abstention or abstention to opposition. Several others could do likewise as time to vote approaches if they realized that by continuing to vote for the IQ they were going to be on losing side. These include Jamaica, the only black Caribbean still listed as in favor of IQ. Albanian-type reolution would then be adopted with at least same two vote margin as last year, but almost certainly more.
A general “expulsion of a member” IQ would probably command a simple majority but not two-thirds, although much would depend on its exact wording and on the extent to which members saw it as an attempt to keep the PRC out and the GRC in. The hard-core Albanian res supporters (i.e., between 45 and 50) would oppose it. The remaining 75-80 votes would be cast in support of such a generalized IQ resolution or would represent abstentions. Our current rough tally, subject to revision, indicates 62 in favor, 50 against, and 15 abstentions.
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 300, Agency Files, USUN, January–May 1971, Vol. VI. Secret. The telegram bears the following marginal notes by Assistant Secretary Green: “HAK—Here is the vote count Amb. Bush promised to do. Marshall.” “You might want to call this to HAK’s attention before tomorrow’s NSC.” “A ‘general expulsion’ IQ which did not refer to the GRC might not work, because the issue is representation, not membership.”
  2. Document 338.