423. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in the United Kingdom 1

192811. Subj: Chirep.

Please ask to see FonMin with view to seeking UK support in Chirep debate on at least one procedural issue. We are not seeking to re-open UK position on the several resolutions that will be put to the vote in the next few days. But we do believe UK need not oppose us on procedural aspects of the issue.

UK help would be beneficial to us, while not incompatible with the UK position on the resolutions themselves, in assuring that GA takes decision on the Important Question resolution before it proceeds to vote on the Albanian resolution. We will make a formal motion to this effect and expect that it will be put to the vote.

Priority for the Important Question resolution, while having psychological significance, is essentially a matter of proper parliamentary procedure. It is only reasonable that the General Assembly should decide whether the Albanian Resolution can or cannot be adopted by a simple majority before proceeding to the vote on the Albanian Resolution itself. That is how the issue has invariably been decided in the past, and issue would have to be decided before effect of vote on Albanian Res could be announced in any case. USG therefore hopes that when our motion is made, British delegation will be able to vote with us on this limited point. We would hope UK could so vote even if it felt it necessary to make clear that that vote was without prejudice to UK position on the resolutions themselves.

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Secty appreciative of the fact that Sir Alec has endeavored not to make our task in the UN on this issue more difficult (although knowledge of extreme firmness of UK and Canadian positions has been our most difficult obstacle in getting votes). But much as a British vote against inscription of our item would have created what would seem to be unnecessary difficulties for us, so would a vote against priority. Such a vote would signal British opposition to our position even down to procedural details.

Sentiment in the United States—both among the public and in Congress—about the preservation of the Republic of China’s seat has been growing. We have not artificially stimulated this sentiment; it is real, as UK Embassy undoubtedly has reported. We hope UK could take this factor into account in its decision also, for such sentiment could result in a considerable diminution of our ability to improve the UN and other international institutions.2

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, UN 6 CHICOM. Confidential; Priority. Drafted by Feldman and Pedersen; cleared by Herz, Scott George, and Curran; and approved by Pedersen. Repeated to USUN, Taipei, and Tokyo.
  2. On October 22 the Department informed the Embassy in London that Secretary Rogers had met with Lord Cromer on October 21, and Cromer assured him that the United Kingdom was not “lobbying” againt the U.S. position. (Telegram 194614 to London, October 22; ibid.)