56. Airgram From the Mission to the United Nations to the Department of State 1



  • Committee of 24 and Colonial Issues

Under Secretary Djermakoye reported to Finger today that Ambassador German Nava Carillo of Venezuela would become the next Chairman of the Committee of 24. As a counterpart for African agreement to his chairmanship, Djermakoye expects the Latin Americans to support allocation of the seat vacated by Australia to Algeria. Previously, Barbados had been interested in replacing Australia but Djermakoye did not believe the Latin Americans would now contest the Algerian candidacy. For himself, he did not think Algerian membership in the Committee of 24 would be a bad thing. He thought he could moderate the Algerian viewpoint if they joined the Committee and believed they would be more dangerous outside the Committee than inside. Comment: Djermakoye may be overly sanguine about this ability to exercise influence on the Algerians. In fact, Algerian membership is likely to stir the Committee out of the apathy which has characterized it during 1969.

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Djermakoye expressed great satisfaction at the adoption of a resolution on Papua and New Guinea with the affirmative votes of Australia and the US. On the key amendment by Liberia (leaving the decision on membership of the Visiting Mission to the Trust Territory of New Guinea in the hands of the Trusteeship Council), Djermakoye said he had spent two hours persuading Abdel-Wahab (UAR) to accept the substance of the Liberian amendment. Abdel-Wahab had finally told him it was the Soviets who kept insisting on getting the Committee of 24 into the act of choosing a mission. Djermakoye was finally able, he said, to persuade the Africans not to go along with the Soviets. He argued strongly that Australia had a relatively good record compared to the administering authorities for the Southern African territories. Failure to acknowledge Australia’s better performance, he argued, would be a mistake.

Djermakoye stated that the Africans were completely disillusioned with Spain. The Africans had noticed the abrupt change in Spanish voting patterns on colonial issues when Spain decided not to press the Gibraltar issue in the UN General Assembly. Consequently, they considered Spain cynical and hypocritical, and this would have an impact on their attitude on other issues in which Spain is involved.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 19 UN. Confidential. Drafted by Finger, cleared by Sacksteder, and approved by Michael H. Newlin. Repeated to Canberra and Madrid.