422. Memorandum From the President’s Deputy Assistant for National Security Affairs (Haig) to President Nixon 1


  • UN Chirep Situation

This issue is still very much in doubt. There will be four crucial votes:

Our so-called “priority motion” (to get our Important Question voted before the Albanian Resolution): We expect to win this one. State’s current forecast is 63 yes, 54 no, and 13 abstentions.
The Important Question Resolution itself: We’re still slightly behind. State’s latest headcount shows 58 yes, 55 no, and 18 abstentions. This is the vote upon which all else will depend.
The Albanian Resolution: The opposition will certainly get a big majority. But if we can pass the I.Q., they will be well short of the required two thirds. State’s forecast is 71 yes, 45 no, and 14 abstentions.
The Dual Representation Resolution: State’s current headcount is 55 yes, 56 no, and 19 abstentions. If the I.Q. passes, however, thus blocking the Albanian Resolution, we expect to pick up the votes of some who will then see Dual Representation as the only effective way to admit the PRC.

So, our whole effort turns on passing the Important Question Resolution. We are still working on the following countries, some of whom we are trying to switch from an abstention to a yes vote, and some from a no vote to an abstention.

Special Category

Ireland—Abstaining and we want a yes. The Foreign Minister is against us, and the President is angry because of the air route dispute. [Page 839]We have sent a Presidential interest message, got Speaker McCormack and Majority Whip O’Neill to send a cable, and asked the Vatican to help. Still the Irish vote is uncertain. A message indicating a willingness to be flexible on the upcoming air route negotiations might give President Lynch what he needs to switch the Irish vote. Peter Flanigan has agreed that this minimum commitment is acceptable.2

Israel—Incredible as it seems, the Israelis have adamantly and ostentatiously refused to commit themselves. That fact, plus the open opposition of such close friends as the UK and Canada, continue to hurt us badly, for it leads many to suspect that we are not really serious after all. We could, assumedly, get Israeli supporters on the Hill to make a useful intervention, but Joe Sisco has vetoed that idea.3

Latin American States

Argentina—Now abstaining and we want a yes vote. We have sent a message attesting to your personal interest. We are also trying to get Brazilian President Medici to intervene with President Lanusse.

Ecuador—Abstaining and we want a yes vote.

Mexico—Abstaining and we want a yes. We have sent a Presidential interest message to Echeverria, with the results not yet clear.

Peru—Peru is voting no and we would like an abstention.

Trinidad—They are abstaining and we want a yes vote.

NATO Allies

Italy—Now abstaining and we want a yes vote. Graham Martin is putting the big heat on. Your conversation with Moro helped. If we can get Italy in time, we can use it to help turn others such as Argentina, Turkey, and the Netherlands.4

Netherlands—They are abstaining and we want a yes. We have sent a Presidential interest message but the result is not yet clear.

Portugal—Now an abstention, we want a yes. Their problem, of course, is Macao on the Chinese mainland.

Turkey—Now abstaining and we want a yes vote. We have sent a Presidential interest message.

Norway, Denmark, Iceland—All voting no, and we want abstentions. The Nordic countries—NATO and otherwise—are voting as a bloc, and are voting against us. We have pushed Norway, Denmark, and Iceland hard, but so far to no avail. The Nordics are voting against us even on priority for the I.Q., which seems excessive by any standards. They are [Page 840]supporting Max Jakobson of Finland to succeed Secretary General U Thant, and Jakobson has been rock hard on the Chirep issue. (His candidacy is reputed to have Peking’s support.) The Nordics have agreed to let Finland determine their vote on priority. It would be playing the game hard, but it seems to me that the time has come discreetly to let the Nordics and Jakobson know that the solid Nordic opposition to us is not going to help Jakobson’s candidacy. Such a move might get their support on priority and get one or two Nordic votes for the I.Q., while they save their virginity with Peking by all voting for the Albanian Resolution. George Bush will know best whether this approach is worth trying.


Botswana—Abstaining and we want a yes. Botswana is a country for which we have done much recently and we applied great pressure to get their vote. President Seretse Khama has, however, turned us down flatly.5

Burundi—Voting no and we want an abstention. The Foreign Minister seems to be over-ruling the President on the Chirep issue and it is a country for which we do nothing and therefore have little leverage except good will.

Cameroon—Voting no and we want an abstention. No apparent leverage here, and the chances for a switch seem bleak.

Ghana—Abstaining and we want a yes. We have a good chance here. President Busia is coming to the United States in several weeks and badly wants to call on you. A message giving him the meeting and expressing your personal interest in this issue would probably turn the trick. We have been trying to get approval of an office call for the last week.6

Kenya—Voting no and we want a yes vote or an abstention.

Morocco—Abstaining and we want a yes vote. We have sent a Presidential interest message to King Hassan.

Togo—Abstaining but still considering a yes vote.

Uganda—Voting no and we want an abstention. We lost ground in Uganda when we refused President Amin’s request for an office call on you. The circumstances are not promising for a Presidential message or for a switch in the Uganda position.


Austria—Now abstaining and we want a yes vote. We have sent a Presidential interest message.

[Page 841]

Laos—Now abstaining. Presidential message should do it, however.7

Malta—You are receiving the new Maltese Ambassador Thursday. If you could press him for support on the I.Q. vote, it might work.8

[1 paragraph (1½ lines of source text) not declassified]

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 302, Agency Files, USUN October–November 1971, Vol. VIII, Part 4. Secret. Sent for information. This memorandum is stamped: “The President has seen.” A covering memorandum from Wright to Haig is dated October 20.
  2. Nixon’s handwritten comment in the margin reads: “Flanigan, give them routes.”
  3. Nixon wrote “OK” in the margin.
  4. Nixon wrote “Italy US should not be against” in the margin.
  5. Nixon wrote “No more aid” in the margin.
  6. Nixon wrote “No, unless a vote” in the margin.
  7. Nixon wrote “Cold Turkey” in the margin.
  8. Nixon wrote “Done” in the margin.