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

3747. Subj: UK Considering Withdrawal from Comite of 24.

UK PermRep Crowe mentioned possible UK withdrawal from Comite of 24 during discussion with MISOFF of other changes in Comite. Amb. Crowe said FCO was considering UKUN suggestion that he be authorized withdraw from Comite, primarily on grounds that UK would not wish to remain associated with decolonization “program of action” approved by GA.UK Amb. said timing would be principal problem for his mission since he would want to announce decision before Comite next met, probably during latter part of January 1971. At same time, Crowe said his rep on Comite, Counselor Shaw, hoped Comite Chairman Nicol (Sierra Leone) would be able successfully conclude his negotiations for elimination of Assoc. States of West Indies [Page 102]from list of dependent territories subject to reporting requirements of Art. 73(E) of Charter. Shaw reportedly believes addition of Trinidad and Tobago to Comite will help Nicol achieve UK objective. Crowe enquired about US thinking on continued membership.
MISOFF told UK Amb. Dept. was once more seriously considering question of withdrawal, and decision do so was distinct possibility. If such decision was reached, MISOFF added, UKUN would be consulted prior to notification of Chairman and public announcement. Program of Action was major new contributing factor in US decision. MISOFF expressed serious doubt that Nicol, with or without Trinidad’s help, could bring off removal of Associated States from dependent territories list. Soviet bloc members and African extremists effectively control Comite, and would strenuously oppose deletion. Crowe said UKUN would keep USUN informed of British plans.
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 19 UN. Confidential. Repeated to London.