160. Memorandum of Conversation1 2


  • Martin Pollner’s Impressions of the INCB


  • Mr. Martin Pollner, U.S. National Member, International Narcotics Control Board (INCB)
  • Mr. John T. Cusack, Chief, International Operations Division, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
  • Mr. Guy Wiggins, Economic and Social Affairs Section, USUN New York
  • Mr. Edward P. Nozigilia, Agency Director for Health and Drug Control, Bureau of International Organization Affairs

We met with Mr. Pollner in his law office from 10:30 A.M. to 12:00 noon on Monday, June 24. It was manifest from our conversation that Mr. Pollner is interested in the INCB and intends to be a very active member. It appears that he and Mr. Cusack have a long-standing relationship and as Mr. Pollner put it, he has confidence in Mr. Cusack’s judgment. Thus he is arranging for Mr. Cusack to brief the President of the Board, Professor Reuter, and the Secretary of the Board, Joseph Dittert, on illicit traffic sometime during the fall when Mr. Cusack will be in Europe. Pollner also informed us that he has been assigned by the Board to draft the section on illicit traffic and he has requested Cusack to have his people in DEA draw up a first draft for him by the end of July. In addition, we covered the following topics at our meeting.

Turkish Situation

Pollner indicated that he has begun the groundwork so that if the Turks were to resume production prior to the Board’s fall meeting, he believes that the Board could move to recommend sanctions. Mr. Cusack thought that June 30 was a crucial date by which the Turks would have [Page 2] to make a decision on whether or not to renew cultivation. If they waited any longer, they would not have time to notify the farmers and begin the paperwork required by a control system before the planting season begins in October. Mr. Pollner commented that if the Turks did not institute an effective control system, he was prepared to recommend sanctions to the INCB. Mr. Wiggins pointed out that it was his understanding that the USG position was to continue to urge at every level that the Turks not resume, that we are not anticipating that they will resume, and that we should do nothing to detract from the gravest consequences for our relationships were they to resume. I reinforced Mr. Wiggins’ statement, which seemed to be thoroughly understood by Pollner. Nevertheless he did ask me to ask our legal people to look into Turkey’s obligations under the 1953 Convention and the relationship of those to the 1961 Convention. He also asked for a legal opinion on the powers of the INCB. He was specifically interested in the provisions of Article 14 of the Single Convention which deals with the authority of the INCB to recommend the imposition of an embargo.

Mexican Heroin

Pollner said that he was concerned about the traffic from Mexico but that he was also pleased to receive the Department’s guidance on this subject, and that he had of course followed it at the recent INCB. He hoped, however that we would keep thin situation under review with the possibility that the Board might be called upon to take some appropriate action in the future. He considered that Mexico’s enforcement effort was gravely handicapped by the fact that, while army troops were temporarily assigned to the Attorney General’s office for enforcement activities, these activities were not part of their regular military duties and they had little incentive to do a good job.


Pollner also expressed about the increases in cocaine traffic about which the Peruvian Government was doing nothing, and referred to Reuter’s visit to Peru last year. The INCB is writing to the GOP requesting it to send a representative to appear before the Board at its fall session. Pollner asked for a briefing paper on the Peruvian traffic which might be useful to him in preparing for the fall meeting. Mr. Cusack was said that the general briefing paper on illicit trafficking that that he was going to send to Mr. Pollner would include a section on Peru, but Pollner asked for a briefing paper that would include recommendations for remedial action to be taken by the Peruvian Government. In connection with these requests the general issue of an INCB member requesting information from the Government of the United States was discussed briefly and the participants agreed that would certainly [Page 3] be in order for an INCB member to inform himself both by requesting information the government of which he is a national and from any other governments which would be willing to supply it.

INCB Administrative Problems

Pollner remarked that the idea of rotating INCB Presidents had surfaced at the last meeting and could become a problem. The Indian expert (Anan?) and Attiso of Togo, of whom he had a very low opinion, would both be disastrous, and unfortunately Anan appeared to be bucking for the job. He hoped that by electing Chapman of Canada to be Vice President so that he would be next in line for the Presidency, Anan’s designs might be thwarted.

Apparently reacting against Sir Harry Greenfield’s Presidency, Attiso has sought to limit the President’s power to appoint missions and because Reuters is still feeling his way, he did not oppose this initiative.

Turning to another subject, Pollner thought it would enhance the prestige of the Board and certainly stimulate increased American interest in its activities if the INCB could meet in New York on some occasions instead of Geneva. It was generally agreed that this idea was worth exploring.

Pollner indicated that the Board felt some concern about lack coordination, particularly on country visits between the Board, the CND and UNFDAC, and he also expressed concern over what he detected as some efforts to incorporate the INCB Secretariat with the Division Secretariat. I pointed out to him that the U.S. Government was on record as supporting the separate identity for the INCB Secretariat and that we had supported a U.K.-inspired resolution on the desirability of coordinating UN activities in the drug abuse control field. I promised to send him copies of both resolutions. Pollner also mentioned that it was the Board’s wish to raise the Board’s Secretary, Joseph Dittert, to a D-2 level so that he would be on the same level as Dr. Sten Martens, Acting Executive Director of the UNFDAC. He did not solicit our active support for this.

USG Support to INCB Rep

Pollner indicated that he had developed excellent rapport with Professor Reuter and that he expected that the two would be in close liaison on such things as planning, Board trips, etc. He also stated that he had developed excellent personal rapport with Barcov, the Soviet member. He identified Reuter, Chapman (Canada), Sir Frederick Mason [Page 4] (U.K.) and himself as the four who would work closely and in particular ascribe sufficient importance to the Board’s role on problems of illicit traffic. His impression of Joseph Dittert was very strongly positive, and while he recognized Stepczynski’s knowledge of the facts he thought that the latter not as soundly grounded as Dittert. He added, however, that Reuter was sympathetic to Stepczynski’s desire to succeed Dittert when the latter retires as Secretary of the Board.

With respect to Barcov, Pollner stated that they had developed a very close personal relationship and that Barcov had invited him to visit the Soviet Union. It was recognized that this would be very useful but the question about how such a trip could be financed was an obstacle. Cusack indicated that DEA could probably subsidize such a trip. I suggested that when we returned to Washington we would have to put our heads together on this and some other problems that Pollner raised. Pollner made the point that the $1,000 honorarium paid to Board members would not make him a rich man, that he anticipated losing money on this appointment, but wondered if there was not some support which the USG could offer not only in travel but in providing transportation when he is in Geneva, and providing the wherewithal to take his colleagues on the Board to lunch, etc.


He pointed out that Professor Reuter, the President of the Board, would be in the U.S. in November in connection with the General Assembly discussion of the INCB report and suggested it would be good if the Department could host a luncheon for him. In order to publicize the role of the INCB where it would do the most good in the U.S., Pollner thought he might give copies of the INCB report to interested congressmen.

  1. Source: National Archives, Central Foreign Policy Files, P740071–1619. Limited Official Use. Drafted in IO/HDC by Noziglia and in USUN by Wiggins. “1953 Convention” refers to the Protocol for Limiting and Regulating the Cultivation of the Poppy Plant, the Production of, International and Wholesale Trade in, and Use of Opium, signed at New York on June 23, 1953. “1961 Convention” and “Single Convention” refer to the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, signed at New York on March 30, 1961.
  2. U.S. representatives discussed the international drug control situation with INCB member Pollner.