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

2408. Sub: Chirep—Credentials Committee. Refs: USUN 22672 and 2320 (latter NOTAL)3 State 151262.4

USUN Legal Adviser called on Stavropoulos to explain our difficulties with his proposal for 4–4–1 Credentials Committee. Noted that traditional 5–3–1 formula originated in East-West issues across-the-board, not merely in context of numbers of member states recognizing Taipei or Peking, and that moving to 4–4–1 would produce so volatile a situation within GA and specialized agencies that credentials issues involving, for example, Cambodia, Germany, Korea and Vietnam might no longer be handled on technical-procedural-apolitical basis, as called for by GA rules, but would be subject to every current of national unpopularity and personal “initiative”. While we understood concern that first day of 26th GA not be marred by violent challenge to a Stavropoulos/Hambro 5–3–1 recommendation, we thought Albanian proponents were more likely to complain than go so far as formally to challenge 5–3–1, in large part because they couldn’t be sure of winning at outset of GA and would not wish to jeopardize entirety of Chirep on possible defeat on this issue. Also noted possibility UN membership at large would go along with 5–3–1 recommendation in view of widespread feeling Chirep should be subject of everyone’s views, not merely those of (unrepresentative) 9-member Credentials Committee.
Stavropoulos said he appreciated even if he did not share fully our viewpoint. Difficulty would be with acting Pres Hambro, not him. Stavropoulos thought we would have very considerable difficulty convincing Hambro of rectitude of 5–3–1 and suggested we undertake this task without delay.
Stavropoulos asked what we are telling other Missions with regard to optimum timing Chirep debate. MISOFF replied only the extremes seem clear; we do not think that Foreign Ministers would appreciate delaying the general debate in order that Chirep be taken up, and resolved, at very beginning of the Assembly; on other hand, we are not seeking to delay Chirep until Dec. We think Albanians unlikely [Page 791]to want to push Chirep to a vote before the general debate draws to a close, both because of attendance Foreign Minister problem and because they will need opportunity to gauge measure of support that 1971 GA is likely to accord Albanian Res. Stavropoulos said he is considering advising that Mon 18 Oct—which will mark conclusion of 3week general debate—would be as appropriate a time for plenary Chirep discussion as any other. MISOFF said we would like opportunity to reflect; it was still early to have answers to these questions.
Stavropoulos said he assumes that, having looked at probable General Committee composition, we are bearing in mind the likelihood that the GC will recommend combining the 2 Chirep items. He thought it awkward to have an item beginning (A) “Restoration of the lawful rights …” and (B) “The representation of China in the UN”, and that, by reasons of practice and tradition, it would be better to have a chapeau followed by (A) and (B). He asked that we consider for this purpose “the question of China”. While others would say there is no “question” but merely a denial of lawful rights, “the question of China” would be neutral and thus serve non-prejudicially.
Stavropoulos said a 4–4–1 Credentials Committee could be formed without endangering South African credentials. Might not Pakistan be recommended as one of the “PRC four” and agree to abstain on any [vote?] in the Credentials Committee to decline South African credentials? MISOFF reiterated importance we attach to Credentials Committee treating South African credentials no differently than those of anyone else; 4–4–1 seemed a particularly tricky business.
Stavropoulos also said USSR Mission is pessimistic and appears to fear PRC will be in UNGA this year. Sov Mission is sending Rybakov (Counselor level) to review with Stavropoulos possible effect on handling and outcome of agenda items of active PRC participation in 26th GA (sic).
MISOFF thanked Stavropoulos and said we would need to reflect on questions raised and might require some time to do so.
Request info addressees protect Stavropoulos in any discussion foregoing problems. Relationship could be jeopardized by citation Stavropoulos in capitals.
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, UN 6 CHICOM. Secret. Repeated to Taipei, Tokyo, and Pretoria.
  2. Document 396.
  3. Dated August 19. (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 301, Agency Files, USUN, Vol. VII)
  4. See footnote 2, Document 396.