I attach a memorandum on the United Nations Secretariat problems. You might wish to use a document of this sort:
(a) Merely as notes to consult when speaking about this in Cabinet; or,
(b) As a Cabinet memorandum to be reproduced and distributed to Cabinet by way of more permanent record. I think the memorandum is probably general enough in its statement to permit a great deal of flexibility in taking subsequent, detailed decisions;
(c) As in (b) above but omitting Part III, which is somewhat more detailed, and thus placing before Cabinet only the broad objectives of Canadian policy without precise recommendations.
2. Could you indicate how you would like this handled?4
Note pour le Cabinet
Memorandum for the Cabinet
||[Ottawa], February 6, 1953
UNITED NATIONS SECRETARIAT PROBLEMS
I. Historical Review
The current wave of investigations into the loyalty of United States citizens in all walks of life spread, during the second half of 1952, to the Americans employed by the United Nations. The state of public opinion in the United States and the refusal of certain American Secretariat employees to answer questions put to them by United States investigating bodies prompted the Secretary-General to seek the advice of three well-known lawyers concerning the personnel policy which he should pursue. These lawyers recommended among other things that:
(1) the Secretary-General should dismiss all employees convicted of subversive activities against the host country;
(2) the Secretary-General should dismiss all United States employees who plead their constitutional privilege to refrain from answering questions which might tend to incriminate them;
(3) the Secretary-General should dismiss all employees who he has reasonable ground to believe have been, are, or are likely to be engaged in subversive activities against the host country. The lawyers suggested the establishment of an Advisory Panel to help the Secretary-General reach decisions in regard to this category.
After the Secretary-General had indicated that he would use the lawyers' recommendations as a basis for his policy, the UN Assembly decided to include an item on personnel policy on the agenda of the resumed session. At that time member states can state their views and discuss the full report which the Secretary-General is preparing.
Since 1949 the Secretary-General has had an informal arrangement with the United States under which the State Department indicated to the Secretariat merely whether adverse security information was or was not available concerning present or prospective American employees. This arrangement was termed inadequate both by the Secretary-General and by the Senate Sub-Committee and on January 9, 1953, President Truman issued an Executive Order whereby security investigations of all United States citizens employed or seeking employment in the United Nations would be conducted and the information thus obtained would be passed to the Secretary-General, subject to United States regulations governing the release of security information.
To assist him in assessing the security information available on United Nations employees, the Secretary-General decided to set up the Advisory Panel recommended by the three lawyers and asked Mr. Pearson to suggest the names of eminent Canadian jurists, one of whom might serve as an independent chairman of this Panel. Subsequently, Mr. Leonard W. Brockington, QC, accepted Mr. Lie's invitation to serve as Chairman of the Panel which is made up of himself and two senior United Nations officials. It has been made clear both privately and in public that Mr. Brockington is serving in his personal capacity and not as a representative of the Canadian Government.
The Presidential Executive Order is now being put into effect with the co-operation of the Secretary-General who has not agreed to act solely on the basis of the information made available under this Order but has welcomed its general provisions. He is not only circulating official United States questionnaires to all American employees on the Secretariat but is also arranging for their fingerprinting by United Nations employees on United Nations premises. The Director-General of WHO, with its headquarters in Geneva, has announced his intention to cooperate in the implementation of the Executive Order and UNESCO (headquarters in Paris) and ICAO (headquarters in Montreal) are expected to follow WHO's lead in the near future.
The Secretary-General's full report to member states has been published. In it, he re-affirms the independence of the Secretariat and his sole responsibility, under the Charter and the Staff Regulations approved by the Assembly, for the employment and dismissal of Secretariat staff. But he points out that the difficult circumstances of his relations with the host government necessitate a balance between the ideal and the practical and he proposes to use as a basis of his personnel policies the recommendations of the three lawyers. In particular, he agrees with their opinion that anyone invoking constitutional privilege, even in regard to past associations, should be dismissed. Further, he goes beyond the lawyers' opinion by stating the principle that he should not retain on the staff of the United Nations anyone who he has reasonable ground to believe is engaging or is likely to engage in subversive activities against any member government.
The United States-United Nations arrangements for the investigation of American employees are for all practical purposes a fait accompli. The first symptoms of the problem seemed to involve the relations of the United Nations with the host country, i.e. the United States. Now, however, the United States Executive Order covers Americans employed by all international organizations situated anywhere in the world. This new aspect involving a relation between a United Nations employee and the member state of his origin seems to have been perpetuated in the Secretary-General's report when he speaks of subversive activities against any member government being sufficient reason for dismissal. Whether in practice the Secretary-General and the directors of the Specialized Agencies will confine themselves to action in regard to United States citizens, since it is their government which is the most exercised, is yet to be seen. It is probable, however, that investigations and dismissals will tend to spread to nationals of other member states, first to those employed in the United States and later, through pressure of other member governments, to those employed outside the United States.
II. General Objectives of Canadian Policy
1. To maintain the independence of the United Nations from domination by one or more Member states; as part of this aim to ensure the independent, international status of the Secretariat.
2. To ensure that United States support for the United Nations be continued effectively and to this end:
(a) Achieve a modus vivendi between the United Nations and United States to meet the just security demands of the United States and to allay public suspicion in the United States that the United Nations Secretariat represents a security risk;
(b) To prevent the launching of a strong movement by the United Nations or the United States to remove the United Nations headquarters from the United States.
3. To achieve a situation in which the United Nations Secretariat, unharassed and assured of reasonable security of tenure, can again function effectively, with dignity and self-confidence.
4. To avoid measures which might lead to the withdrawal of the USSR from the United Nations.
5. To find a formula which, mutatis mutandis, would permit the United Nations and Specialized Agencies to operate harmoniously in other host states.
6. To protect the legitimate security interests of Canada.
The Canadian position should be:
1. That no express exception be taken by Canada to US Governmental measures under the Executive Order but that the hope be expressed in measured terms that Member states generally will not wish to influence the Secretary-General unduly in regard to the employment of nationals of their respective countries.
2. That Canada should outspokenly emphasize that the Secretary-General, subject to the Charter and decisions of the General Assembly, is solely and finally responsible for employing or terminating the employment of members of the Secretariat and that his responsibility must not be diminished if the Secretariat is to remain truly international and if efficiency is to be maintained by employment on the basis of individual qualification.
3. That the Secretary-General should continue to give due consideration to the legitimate security requirements of host states and will avoid employing persons whom he believes to threaten the security of host states.
4. That the Secretary-General, subject to the Charter and decisions of the General Assembly, should dismiss (or not hire) persons; whose employment he is convinced is not in the best interests of the United Nations.
5. That the Secretary-General should not be bound to dismiss an employee on security grounds unless he has evidence before him which he finds convincing as to the employee's unsuitability for United Nations service.
6. That Canada should maintain the position of permitting the Secretary-General full independence in the hiring of Canadian nationals. To this end the Canadian Government will not undertake UN recruitment in Canada nor establish a system of security screening for Canadians employed with the United Nations Secretarial or applying for such employment but that the Canadian Government be prepared to answer specific enquiries from the Secretary-General about Canadian employees or applicants for employment with the United Nations Secretariat.
7. That efforts be made to establish suitable United Nations appeals machinery for persons dismissed by the Secretary-General on security grounds.
8. That the Secretary-General should seek the guidance of the General Assembly, whenever possible, before taking important initiatives in personnel policy.
4Voir le document 236./See Document 236.