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

424. Subject: Comite of 24 Statements on US–UK Withdrawal.

Comite of 24 held its first meeting for 1971 and elected as Chairman Nava Carrillo (Venezuela) and as Vice Chairmen Jouejati (Syria) and Grinberg (Bulgaria) and as rapporteur Tadesse (Ethiopia).
In opening 1971 session, SYG expressed regret over departure of US and UK “which had served on Comite since it was first established and which had played a particularly useful role in the Comite owing to their position as administering powers”. He further stated US–UK departure especially regretted because it meant Comite would be deprived of full-time participation of two administering powers which together were responsible for administration of majority of remaining dependent territories. SYG took due note of assurances given by USG re its continued adherence to its obligations under Charter and its readiness to attend meetings of Comite when latter discusses territories under its administration. He expressed hope UK would provide similar cooperation and expressed confidence that both countries would continue to cooperate fully in UN efforts bring speedy end to colonialism in all of its forms and manifestations.
Chairman Nava Carrillo in his thank-you speech expressed sorrow over US–UK withdrawal but took pleasure in noting US offer to participate in work of Comite when US territories under discussion. He expressed view, however, it would have been preferable for US–UK remain members. Vice Chairman Grinberg stated US–UK withdrawal should be interpreted as making work of Comite difficult and that there hardening of attitudes by administering powers. Other members of Comite expressed similar regrets over US–UK withdrawal.
Statements of first meeting on US–UK withdrawals from Comite tended to be relatively mild except for perhaps Grinberg’s statement. Soviets, however, have not yet spoken and it can be presumed their comments may be much harsher.

Interesting to note that US willingness cooperate with Comite was emphasized in contrast with absence of UK statement of intentions. Indication of US willingness cooperate with Comite on its territories may have been reason for generally mild statements at opening meeting.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 19 UN. Limited Official Use.