81. Memorandum of Conversation, New York, September 22, 1975, 9:35 a.m.1 2

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Date: September 22, 1975 9:35 a.m.

Subject: ILO

Secretary General Waldheim
Brian Urquart
Roberto Guier
The Secretary
Ambassador Moynihan Alvin Adams (notetaker)

PLACE: Secretary General’s Office, UN Headquarters

Waldheim: On the ILO matter, I have received a desperate note from Blanchard asking that I raise this personally with you and obtain your help. The point is that withdrawal would affect the whole UN system in general.

The Secretary: The labor movement in the U.S. is not used to losing, contrary to the beliefs of most FSOs. Meany is up in arms--absolutely. If we do not give notice of our intent to withdraw, Labor will force Congress to cut off all contributions. They will, however, consider giving notice for two years but without this Congress would certainly cut off the funds now. If Meany indicates any preference for reforms and if one or two are carried out, in a year from now he may cooperate. Congress is now about to vote on our contribution. If we give notice, he will let us pay for two years. This is our best way to stay in; meanwhile we can continue to study the problem.

The Secretary: Blanchard is basically well intentioned. We will look again, but really we do not have much leeway. Meany states that at the last session there were only four votes with us. On issue after issue we are voted down. Meany thinks the European labor movements are voting with the communists.

Waldheim: If we give the notice then this would give us an opportunity to regroup.

The Secretary: If we can work out an accommodation with Meany, a symbolic victory would make it easier for now to get along with him. Now he knows we will consider a notice. By the device of a notice we will put off a decision until early 1977. Then we’ll be better off.

Moynihan: Make clear that if you do this, we’ll want reform.

The Secretary: Yes. We have a group now under Dunlop working on recommendations for changes. Also, I saw Meany last Friday. If we forced the issue this year, we would have lost. We do not have the votes. We simply cannot get money from Congress for a labor group when our own labor people oppose it.

Moynihan: Dunlop once worked in ILO and is a friend of Blanchard.

The Secretary: He is an expert on ILO. I know.

Waldheim: Blanchard has mentioned Dunlop.

The Secretary We cannot do it now but we should work together for two years.

Moynihan: Dunlop has Meany’s confidence.

The Secretary: Yeah, I wish I had.

  1. Source: Department of State, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files, P820123–1638. Confidential; Nodis. Drafted by Alvin Adams (S) on October 8. The meeting was held in Waldheim’s office at U.N. headquarters. Brian Edward Urquhart was Under Secretary General of the United Nations for Special Political Affairs.
  2. Kissinger, Waldheim, and Moynihan discussed the potential withdrawal of the United States from the International Labor Organization.