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

2309. Subj: 10th Anniversary Program of Action of Decolonization. Ref:USUN 2207 and 2276.2

WEO Group of Comite 4, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Finland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Sweden, US, UK, held informal meeting on 10th anniversary draft program of action prepared by Comite 24. In general, reaction among WEOs was unfavorable. None of dels present liked sweeping generalizations and found certain paras particularly objectionable. The general feeling was also that text represented culmination of Sov attempt force wedge between West and Africans.
Most dels stated they had no instructions, but New Zealand and UK stated that, as long as text remained unchanged, they had instructions vote against draft program of action. US del stated it too [Page 97]would vote against if text remained unchanged. Australia expected vote against text and has so recommended to Canberra. France, in arguing that text contained many paras which it could not support, thought it might vote against text, but had no instructions. Belgium Rep said he had not had time study text, but his personal reaction was to vote against. He was awaiting instructions. Austria, Canada, Ireland, Luxembourg, and Netherlands, while pointing out general unacceptability of draft program of action, thought they might be instructed abstain. Canada and Netherlands in particular said there was general reluctance of their governments to vote against res. Spanish Del said he had no instructions and would prefer not to comment.
Scandinavian Dels did not make any comment on text, but prior to meeting Muller (Finland) told MISOFF that at first consultations among Scan Dels it generally agreed they would probably abstain on draft program of action. Italy announced it had instructions abstain.
During course of day, Oct 6, MISOFF learned that Sovs were very concerned re possibility modifying draft program of action and have urged certain AF dels to ensure that program adopted as submitted to GA by Comite 24.
In evening, Oct 6, MISOFF had occasion discuss 10th anniversary program of action with Tanzanian PermRep Salim and Chairman Tanzanian Del, Minister Babu.MISOFF argued it necessary obtain program of action which would receive general acquiescence of GA and no negative votes. When asked what specific points US objected to, MISOFF replied US could not agree that colonialism constituted a crime nor could it accept constitutionality of GA dictating to SC measures it should take concerning different territories. MISOFF also said US could not accept sweeping generalizations made in program of action, particularly with respect to foreign economic interests. No distinction was made between the Southern Africa territories and other territories, and this was not acceptable to US. MISOFF further stated purpose of US amendments had been to cooperate with ASAFs in effort secure general agreement and we regretted fact ASAFs did not adopt one of our amendments. MISOFF said these same points had been made to Chairman Comite 24 when he consulted with us. Salim alleged points had not been transmitted to ASAF group and that, therefore, there had been a failure of communication between two groups.MISOFF acknowledged this may have been the case, but urged Salim and Babu to see whether at this late hour it possible get generally acceptable text. Neither committed themselves, but did reply that there were several days before plenary would discuss program of action.
During WEO group mtg Oct 7, there had been no discussion of tactics to be followed in plenary.
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 19 UN. Confidential.
  2. Telegram 2207, October 2, described meetings of the Committee of 24 that were held September 25, 28, and 30 to discuss the Draft Program of Action to commemorate the Committee’s 10th anniversary. The draft proved unacceptable to the United States and many WEOs, which submitted an extensive list of amendments on September 30. The United States tabled its amendments informally after meeting that afternoon. (Ibid.) In telegram 2276, October 6, Yost reported that the President of the General Assembly and the chairmen of the Committee of 24 and the 25th Anniversary Committee had met on October 6 and agreed to discuss the 10th anniversary program on October 12. (Ibid.)