348. Memorandum of Conversation1


  • Chinese Representation at the United Nations


  • Australia
    • Hon. Leslie H. E. Bury, Minister for Foreign Affairs
    • Sir James Plimsoll, Australian Ambassador
  • United States
    • William P. Rogers, Secretary of State
    • Marshall Green, Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs
    • Emil Mosbacher, Chief of Protocol
    • James V. Martin, Jr., Director for Australia, New Zealand Affairs

Minister Bury said he would like to raise the question of Chinese representation.

Secretary Rogers told him we were going through a careful process of reviewing our policy and the possible alternatives for change. What was the Australian position?

Bury replied that the Australian Government would not like to see Taiwan ejected from the United Nations. On the other hand, to continue with the pretense that Taiwan was China, he said “won’t wash.” In Australia the view was becoming strong that China should not be excluded from the U.N. This was especially evident after the Canadian recognition of Peking and the Australian failure to sell wheat this year. China had bought from Canada, not from Australia. However, the Australian Government believed that the motivation in Peking was commercial, not political.

Mr. Green commented that the CPR bought wheat from Canada every year. It sold rice, bought wheat, which was cheaper, and saved money.

The Secretary repeated that our policy had not yet been decided. We had been considering dual representation as an alternative to the present policy and had been considering various rationales for such a policy. We had asked ourselves whether dual representation might be based on universality. A very real consideration was whether such a policy would succeed. If it would not, why try it.

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Ambassador Plimsoll noted that the rationale of universality would get us into admitting two Koreas, two Vietnams and two Germanies. Australians could not go that far.

Secretary Rogers thought we could adopt the principle of universality but still exclude, for example, North Korea because there was no peace in Korea yet, only an armistice. As opposed to that the two Germanies had a treaty with each other. We could tie admission to the ratification of a treaty between the two entities concerned. Why, then, would Australia have trouble with universality as the rationale?

Ambassador Plimsoll felt it would be too difficult at this stage.

Mr. Green suggested that the obvious other course would be to hold to the old policy of the Important Question. We knew, however, that this would fail. There might be a good deal of support this year for the Albanian Resolution if there were no good alternative that would keep the GRC in the United Nations.

The Secretary observed that under the present difficult circumstances people were becoming more realistic.

When Mr. Green referred to Korean attitudes in this connection, Ambassador Plimsoll said he did not think that the Koreans would be able to do anything before their elections took place. Green noted that the elections were just a few days away.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, UN 6 CHICOM. Secret; Exdis. Drafted by Martin and approved by Assistant Secretary Green and in S as amended on May 12. The memorandum of conversation is identified as part three of seven parts.