Volume #20 - 210.|
UNITED NATIONS AND OTHER INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS
NINTH SESSION OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY, NEW YORK, SEPTEMBER 21-DECEMBER 17, 1954
Permanent Representative to United Nations|
to Secretary of State for External Affairs
December 22nd, 1954|
DELEGATION ASSESSMENT OF THE NINTH GENERAL ASSEMBLY|
Reference: Your telegram No. 432 of December 15.?
An analysis of the General Assembly in retrospect is attached, together with an outline for the benefit of those who are interested only in particular aspects of the session.
2. It may be helpful in this covering despatch to refer to a few of the main characteristics of the session.
3. First - a Period of Détente. For two-thirds of the session there was more sweetness and light in evidence than at any time since the first General Assembly met in London nine years ago. Although a number of the older and less important items continued to run in the familiar groves, throughout most of this period the unanimity achieved in the First Committee on disarmament and on the setting up of an Atomic Energy Agency pervaded the other Committees and past controversies were muted in the general chorus of conciliation of which the theme song was co-existence.
4. Second - a Period of Increasing Tension. Before delegates had been able to resolve to their own satisfaction the question of whether the more agreeable face of the new Soviet diplomacy was tactical and temporary or sincere and lasting, the Assembly was pitch-forked back into the cold war. The Soviet group introduced three propaganda items, two of which concerned China. The Chinese Communists themselves, perhaps anticipating and wishing to distort the motives of the forthcoming Treaty between the United States and Nationalist China, set off a furor in the United States by the announcement that they had sentenced eleven United States airmen, who had served the United Nations in Korea, to long prison terms. In short order the case of the American fliers was also brought before the Assembly and a series of angry exchanges and recriminations occurred, while outside the United Nations tension was increasing as ratification of the London and Paris agreements to re-arm Western Germany drew nearer.
5. Nevertheless, the hope generated by the unanimous resolutions on disarmament and atomic energy persisted. As the President of the Assembly said in his closing remarks, these agreements, though procedural, do provide the "essential prerequisites" for successful substantive negotiations. Delegates were acutely conscious of the risks which might be entailed if the Secretary-General failed in his mission to Peking to secure the release of the American airmen. Not only would there be a loss of prestige for the United Nations but it was possible that public opinion in the United States might force the United States Delegation to request members of the United Nations to take some additional action to secure the release of these airmen. On the other hand, it could not be denied that if the Secretary-General succeeded, the prestige of the United Nations would be greatly augmented and an important step would have been taken towards normalizing relations with Communist China, if no fresh provocation were committed. From the point of view of New Delhi, the Assembly's resolution on the fliers might appear singularly unhelpful but given the state of public opinion in the United States the United Nations could hardly have done less.
6. Third - Success of Colonial Powers. During the Ninth Session the colonial powers had a greater measure of success than in any recent session. It was noteworthy that the Netherlands and Australia were able to muster sufficient votes to prevent a resolution acceptable to Indonesia, which had received a majority of more than two-thirds in the First Committee, from receiving the necessary two-thirds majority in Plenary. The United Kingdom and France were each even more successful. The United Kingdom succeeded in having a resolution passed on Cyprus which was acceptable to them. Similarly the resolutions on Tunisia and Morocco were both acceptable to the French Delegation. In the cases of Cyprus, Tunisia and Morocco, friends of the colonial powers found themselves in the unusual position of being begged by the colonial powers to vote for instead of against the resolutions which were eventually passed on these three items. The reason for the success of the colonial powers was partly the United States-United Kingdom co-operation at this Assembly referred to below and partly the increasing caution of the Scandinavian and Latin American members in intervening in this field.
7. Fourth - United States-United Kingdom Co-operation. Behind the headlines, one of the chief features of the session was not the tenuous and superficial détente, for purposes of mutual convenience, between the United States and the USSR, but the solid and real entente, between the United Kingdom and the United States. These two delegations between them invariably have great influence in the United Nations but at this session of the Assembly they achieved a remarkable degree of accommodation and co-ordination which for the first time began to extend beyond East-West issues and into the colonial and economic fields.
8. This unparalleled degree of United States-United Kingdom co-operation was based on practical exigencies. The two delegations badly needed one another's support. Although there was, so far as we are aware, no "deal", both delegations, building on understandings arrived at during Sir Winston Churchill's visit to Washington last summer, supported one another effectively on such otherwise controversial issues as Chinese representation, the case of the United States airmen, and the Cyprus question.
9. Fifth - Personnel Problems. Personnel problems of the Secretariat, which had plagued the two previous General Assemblies and which had tended to separate the United States from its closest friends, seemed to be on the way to a satisfactory solution. The United States Delegation agreed at this Assembly to support the payment of the controversial awards of the Administrative Tribunal to dismissed employees and at the same time obtained a decision in principle of the General Assembly that there should be a judicial review of future awards of the Administrative Tribunal.
10. Sixth - General. Taken as a whole the Assembly seemed to reflect an encouraging slackening of tension and a real desire on both sides to proceed step by step towards mutual accommodations so that the nations of the world might gradually move onto firmer and surer ground instead, as Sir Winston Churchill has recently put it, of "roaming and peering around the brim of hell".
11. At the United Nations, the Great Powers have to put on their Sunday best, for they are paraded before a world public. To some extent, therefore, the agreements arrived at and the sentiments expressed are artificial. Resolutions are worded so that they can be variously interpreted to satisfy fundamentally divergent points of view. This papering over of the cracks is not without value if it fosters the fundamental purpose of the United Nations, of harmonizing conflicting points of view or creating a climate of opinion in which negotiations, whether inside or outside the United Nations, become both possible and fruitful. But in the last analysis, the accomplishments of the present session will be worth little if, when the eyes of the world are turned elsewhere, the Great Powers do not seriously follow up the possibilities which have been opened by the work of this session.
David M. Johnson
General Introduction: Political
Another Assembly is over. Once again procrastinating Committees which had approached their agenda in a leisurely fashion for the first two months of the Session managed somehow to tackle, postpone or otherwise dispose of all their remaining items in the final month, and concluded in time for most Delegates to return to their neglected families for Christmas. In many ways, the Ninth Session which ended on December 17 ran true to form: the last minute rush to finish, the incessant speeches, the ubiquitous press, the receptions, the papers, the weariness. But in more important ways it was different. From the point of view of most participants and for the Canadian Delegation in particular, it was perhaps the most interesting and hopeful session of recent years.
2. Both the interest and the hope were, of course, relative. After the rather stultifying Eighth Session, it had seemed as if nothing of importance could be negotiated in the United Nations, at least not until the problem of Chinese representation had been solved and the Organization had become much more nearly universal in membership. At Berlin, Geneva and elsewhere, the United Nations was being by-passed. United States opinion was becoming increasingly negative towards it. Informal private talks on disarmament among the Five Powers in London had got nowhere and had seemed totally unreal as relations between the East and West worsened over Indo China and Germany.
3. Between June and September, a break in these ominous clouds occurred. The fighting in Indo China was stopped. For the first time a session of the Assembly met in a world at peace - or at least an absence of war.
4. Unknown to each other, both sides in the remaining "cold war" were preparing peaceful initiatives for the Assembly. Despite the lack of enthusiasm of many of his technical officials, President Eisenhower was determined to accept no further delay in carrying his "Atoms for Peace" plan a step further towards the establishment of an International Atomic Energy Agency under the aegis of the United Nations, as he had proposed before the Assembly on December 8 last year. Public opinion throughout the world was becoming sufficiently disturbed by the appalling prospect of thermonuclear warfare that a bold United States initiative to dramatize and develop the peaceful uses of atomic energy had become necessary, whatever the technical complications.
5. At the same time, the USSR, watching Western efforts to wrest agreement from the ashes of E.D.C. on some alternative means of having Western Germany pull its weight in the defence effort of Western Europe, was preparing a new disarmament proposal to present to the Assembly in time to put a spoke in the wheel of French ratification. For, as the French representative on the Disarmament Commission, M. Jules Moch, had long argued, if a measure of actual disarmament could be achieved (or even if there were a reasonable hope of achieving it), German divisions would become unnecessary to redress the military imbalance on the European continent. It was no accident that Mr. Molotov gave an advance copy of the Soviet proposals to the French Ambassador in Moscow.
6. From these two initiatives of the Great Powers, announced in the opening speeches of Mr. Dulles and Mr. Vyshinsky, the Assembly drew hope - hope that was later consolidated by the not inconsiderable achievement of unanimous resolutions on both these subjects, disarmament and "atoms for peace". Though much of the rest of the Assembly was routine, and there were times when we seemed to be back to the "cold-war-as-usual", these two major items gave the Assembly a lift that the United Nations badly needed. No doubt they encouraged many wild and wishful hopes of an approaching golden age of co-existence. General Romulo could carry himself away with a rhetorical vision of "the United Nations energized by the atom". The cautious and shrewd Foreign Minister of Norway, Mr. Lange, affirmed without qualification that the Russians were sincere in their search for a disarmament agreement. As soon as he heard of the Soviet proposals, M. Jules Moch wired his Premier advising him to delay ratification until there had been an opportunity to explore fully the new possibilities of agreement. But even the most conservative assessments conceded that the atmosphere of the Session as a whole was much improved and, whether or not any substantive advances had been made, there were sufficient grounds for hope to make it worthwhile to go on trying to secure Soviet cooperation in a United Nations atomic energy agency, in disarmament and in other efforts to lessen international tension.
7. In this sense, the main accomplishment of the Session may have been the renewed impetus given towards a genuine effort on all fronts to arrive at a modus vivendi that would give meaning to "co-existence". This new sense of direction was strengthened by President Eisenhower's reiterated counsels of moderation, patience and restraint in the face of difficult domestic and foreign pressures and provocations. The same impulse found vigorous expression in the statement and personality of M. Mendes-France who chose the Assembly as the forum for his proposals for a meeting of the Big Four next May to discuss Germany, and perhaps Austria and a European armaments control plan as well.
8. In the disarmament item, the first to be discussed by the Political Committee, the Canadian Delegation was fortuitously pushed into unaccustomed prominence. In the private preliminary discussions among the four main Western Delegations involved (United States, United Kingdom, France and Canada), the main objective was clearly, as one delegate put it, "to keep the French in bed with us".
9. When agreement had been reached on the text of a resolution providing for the reconvening of the Five Power Sub-Committee (United States, United Kingdom, France, Canada and USSR) to seek an acceptable solution and to report as soon as sufficient progress had been made (and not by a fixed date which might give the USSR an Assembly platform during ratification proceedings in Paris), the question of sponsorship arose. The procedure for dealing with the item which had been agreed among the Four was substantially that proposed by Mr. Martin. We had assumed, along with the United States and the United Kingdom, that the four Western powers would sponsor the resolution on disarmament, but Mr. Moch of France objected on the grounds that the Soviet Union, the fifth member of the Sub-Committee, should not be excluded. As there were difficulties about having the United States or the United Kingdom or France sole sponsor, Mr. Moch made the ingenious proposal that Canada should sponsor alone initially, and invite the other four members of the London Sub-Committee (United Kingdom, United States, France and USSR) to co-sponsor. The Western three would at once accept. As the resolution was largely procedural, it would be difficult for the USSR, on its present tack of sweet reasonableness, to refuse; and there would be no obvious "ganging up".
10. Within the limits of a general assessment of the Session, the story of the intricate negotiations between Mr. Martin on behalf of the Western sponsors and Mr. Vyshinsky cannot be told in detail. On several occasions, the talks nearly foundered, but thanks to persistence and a conciliatory spirit on both sides, Mr. Martin was able to achieve agreement on amendments which were acceptable to the Western Powers and permitted the USSR to co-sponsor the amended resolution. It was the first time since January, 1946, that East and West had agreed to co-sponsor a resolution. Ten days efforts had paid off.
11. It had been an interesting and in many ways valuable exercise for the Canadian Delegation. We were perhaps given more prominence in the press than was altogether warranted, for it had been a Western teamwork operation from beginning to end. On the other hand, Canadian Delegations at past Assemblies had too often been given far less recognition than was warranted because we have been content to exert what influence we could largely in private - as, for example, the untold story of Mr. Pearson's leading part in the Korean negotiations at the 1952 Assembly.
12. In the negotiations on disarmament, a good deal more than publicity was achieved at little risk. As M. Moch had realized, Mr. Vyshinsky was in a position in which he had to appear reasonable; he could not afford to be otherwise or it would undercut the favourable impression created by Soviet acceptance of the Anglo-French disarmament proposals as a basis of negotiations. Soviet counter-proposals already made it doubtful that the USSR had really given much away by accepting the Anglo-French paper "as a basis", and if they were shown to be reluctant to accept a non-controversial definition of the fundamental disarmament objectives and a reasonable procedure for resuming private negotiations, the sincerity of their new approach would have become highly questionable, even for European opinion. Any gain for Soviet propaganda by accepting the Western resolution was, in our opinion at least, more than paid for by the advantage to the West of pinning down the USSR
(a) to a timetable and procedure which would not conflict with French ratification, and
(b) to a definition of objectives in basically Western terms.
13. Moreover, in the course of debate on this item, the Soviet "concessions" were progressively cut down to size by diligent Western cross-examination of Mr. Vyshinsky's proposals.
14. On some important points - to do chiefly with phasing, the prohibition of atomic weapons and the reduction of arms and armed forces - there appeared to have been a real advance in the Soviet position. However, on the crux of the problem, control, there was little change in their basically unacceptable proposition that prohibition of atomic weapons must precede the effective institution of control in the sense of inspection, though there was a narrowing of the gap in the time table of prohibition and control.
15. It remains for the disarmament sub-committee to see whether, despite Western progress towards the controlled rearmament of Western Germany, some measure of agreement on a comprehensive disarmament system with effective safeguards and controls can yet be reached. When the Disarmament Sub-Committee had its first meeting on December 8, Mr. Sobolev, the Soviet Representative, sounded a discouraging note. He said that the decision of the Western Powers to permit the re-arming of Western Germany was contrary to the spirit and intent of the disarmament resolution and would make a comprehensive system of disarmament difficult to obtain. When Mr. Sobolev was asked after the meeting if his statement meant that the Soviet Union would not be interested in taking part in disarmament talks if the decision to rearm Germany was ratified, he replied that his statement was not intended to have that implication but he did not elaborate.
Atoms for Peace
16. Disarmament and the next political item "Atoms for Peace" took up two-thirds of the First Committee's time. The "Atoms for Peace" item also culminated in a unanimous resolution although it was not co-sponsored by the Soviet Delegation. In some respects, however, the achievement of unanimity on this resolution was at least as important as the unanimity on the disarmament resolution. Both resolutions were, on a number of points, vague and evasive, dealing with procedure and broad objectives. But whereas few observers considered at the end of the session that a disarmament accord was within sight, there were good reasons for believing that, if the Western Powers wished to take the trouble, they might secure Soviet participation in an International Atomic Energy Agency under the United Nations.
17. The main outstanding problem which emerged from the debate was the question of the proposed agency's relationship to the Security Council. The Soviet Delegation maintained that some such relationship was essential in order to protect states from the risk of fissile material being diverted from peaceful to warlike purposes and in order to protect the minority group in the Agency from having its atomic policies wholly dictated by the majority.
18. Mr. Lodge resisted this argument, explaining that it was open to any state, in accordance with the Charter, to raise a matter affecting its security in the Security Council. What he wished to avoid was having the new Agency "bogged down in the veto". He did not, however, rule out some connection with the Security Council and in the end agreed to a modification in the wording of the Western resolution (which Canada joined in co-sponsoring) so as not to pre-judge this issue. As adopted, the resolution said simply that, once established, the Agency would negotiate an appropriate relationship with the United Nations. After some private negotiations between Mr. Lodge and Mr. Vyshinsky (who died a few days later), the sponsors omitted an explicit reference to their intention of establishing the relationship of the Agency to the United Nations on a basis similar to that of the Specialized Agencies. This concept of a Specialized Agency relationship, which had been initially suggested by the Canadian Delegation, was, however, the closest form of relationship the Western organizing powers (United States, United Kingdom, Canada, France, Belgium, Australia, South Africa, Portugal) were likely to accept.
19. Once the chief bone of contention between the United States and the USSR had been buried and unanimity on the resolution assured, the other delegations not directly involved showed the same tendency as in the disarmament debate to avoid putting forward amendments which might in any way upset the precarious applecart. On both the disarmament and atomic energy items India, Lebanon, Philippines and a number of other delegations would have pressed amendments or alternative resolutions but for the fact of Great Power unanimity. For fear of disturbing that rare achievement, India held back from pressing her intended claims to participate in both the disarmament and atomic energy private negotiations, although Mr. Krishna Menon made no secret of the fact that he had misgivings. Indeed, in the final stages of the atomic energy debate when the Peruvian Delegate was so rash as to say that since the Great Powers had agreed he thought the smaller ones should desist from efforts to improve matters, he was sharply taken to task by Mr. Krishna Menon who for the first time publicly expressed Indian apprehensions lest some day the United States and the USSR should agree and divide the world between them.
20. India and other countries were also critical of the Atomic Powers for their declared intention of negotiating a complete treaty setting up an Atomic Energy Agency before consulting more than perfunctorily with other countries and without convening a general conference of all prospective participants as had been done when other Specialized Agencies had been set up. To meet this criticism, it became necessary for the principal Western spokesmen to promise that before any treaty was ratified they would broaden the scope of consultations. This vague promise is taken to include India, Brazil, and other countries who would be in a position to make some contribution to an Atomic Energy Agency.
21. Aside from these rather marginal criticisms, the decision of President Eisenhower to report to the General Assembly on the progress of negotiations for the establishment of an Atomic Energy Agency, although the negotiations had hardly gone beyond consultations among a small group in Washington, was in the event vindicated by the enthusiasm and gratitude of the great majority of member states, all of whom were promised an opportunity to participate in the future work of the Agency. Indeed the problem became one of restraining the enthusiasm of those who fondly imagined that the era of atomic power was just around the corner. It was explained by Western spokesmen that the first requirement was for states to prepare themselves technically for economic power development which was still in the future, that the first function of the Agency would be to assist in technical training and research programmes. To this end, as a concrete indication that there was more to the Agency proposal than "training courses and isotopes" as Mr. Vyshinsky had caustically observed, the United States pledged to provide 220 lbs. and the United Kingdom 44 lbs. of fissile material for the future Agency. These offers undoubtedly made a great impression and contributed to the successful outcome of the debate.
22. Although the main interest of the debate naturally focused on the Atomic Energy Agency, unanimity for the secondary part of the resolution was also successfully negotiated, providing for the Secretary-General to convene next summer an International Scientific Conference. In organizing the Conference he will be assisted (and in fact guided) by an Advisory Committee composed of representatives of the USSR, United States, United Kingdom, Canada, France, India and Brazil. Here too the under-developed or non-atomic countries unsuccessfully sought additional representation on the Advisory Committee.
23. Although muted by the conciliatory mood created by the previous items, the spokesmen of the Soviet bloc in the Korean debate reiterated in routine fashion the old arguments of previous Assemblies and of the Geneva Conference. Genuinely free all-Korean elections could not take place, they said, in the presence of foreign occupation forces. They emphasized this point much more than the controversial character of United Nations supervision of the elections; for the formula presented in the report of the fifteen powers with troops in Korea was (thanks largely to persistent back-stage Canadian efforts) so flexible that it was difficult even for the Communists to take exception to it.
24. Apart from the Communists, there was general acceptance of the fact of stalemate in Korea and therefore of the probable futility of any future attempt in present circumstances to carry on negotiations from where the Geneva Conference left off. The attitude of the Indian Delegation in this regard was particularly helpful and it was unfortunate that the United States could not see its way clear to supporting an Indian resolution in substantially Western terms. In any event, however, the Western resolution was adopted with only four abstentions and the Soviet bloc alone in opposition.
25. Perhaps the best example of the way in which the close teamwork of the United States and United Kingdom worked at this Assembly was the inter-play between the two Delegations in private at the time of the debate towards the end of the session on the American fliers. The United Kingdom Delegation was so apprehensive when Mr. Lodge had first told Mr. Nutting of their intention of bringing this case before the United Nations and seeking at least condemnation of Communist China that Mr. Nutting had cabled home suggesting that Sir Winston Churchill intervene at once with the President. As it turned out this was not done because the United Kingdom Delegation was able to restrict the scope and moderate the language of the original United States resolution.
26. Looked at from the vantage point of New Delhi, the terms of the final resolution no doubt appear to be "singularly unhelpful" but in the atmosphere of New York and of the United States as a whole the resolution was about as moderate as could be expected. It could be argued that there would have been more chance of securing the release of the prisoners if no United Nations action had been taken and if the United States had followed the course taken by Canada in obtaining the release of Squadron Leader MacKenzie (i.e., negotiations in private). But once President Eisenhower had publicly said that United Nations prestige was involved, some United Nations action became inevitable. Certainly the United States Delegation was determined, either with the support of the states with troops in Korea or without their support, to introduce a firm resolution at this Assembly.
27. Instead of a resolution being submitted in the Security Council condemning the Chinese Communist Government, a resolution was submitted in the Assembly condemning not the Government but the act of detaining the eleven United States airmen as a violation of the Armistice Agreement, while requesting the Secretary-General to mediate for the release of the airmen. Having secured the type of action acceptable to United States public opinion but least likely to lead to undesirable consequences in the event of a Communist rejection, the United Kingdom Delegation then spoke up vigorously in the Assembly in favour of the United States case.
28. The handling of the Cyprus item was another example of close United Kingdom-United States co-operation. Nutting's wholehearted support of the United States on the prisoners of war item was, no doubt, given with the hope of obtaining the wholehearted co-operation of the United States on the Cyprus item. This came about. The United States position on Cyprus was crucial and decisive. They were prepared to vote against any resolution on substance no matter how innocuous it might be but they were not prepared to canvass actively among Latin American or other Delegations in support of this position. The United States were, however, prepared not only to support a procedural resolution that the General Assembly should not further consider this item but were also prepared to canvass actively in support of it. The United Kingdom in order to attract the greatest United States support, persuaded the New Zealand Delegation to introduce a procedural resolution (that the General Assembly should not consider this question further) and to have it voted upon first.
29. In view of the fact that the Cyprus question had been inscribed by an Assembly vote of 30 to 19 with 11 abstentions, a very awkward vote on the apparently innocuous Greek resolution on the substance of the Cyprus question could not have been avoided without strong United States support among the Latin American Delegations in favour of the alternative procedural motion. So strong was the support for the postponement motion on Cyprus that had Mr. Kyrou, the Greek Delegate, not shrewdly decided to support it himself, (once the Latins had amended it by adding "for the time being"), he would have been left with only the Soviet bloc, Iceland, and a handful of Arabs and Latins supporting him. Indeed from the time he had heard incredulously of the United States decision to oppose rather than abstain on the Greek resolution, Mr. Kyrou had, with a good deal of dignity and moderation, reconciled himself to being a "good loser". (The mobs of angry students outside American Missions in Athens did not.)
30. The handling of the Indonesian item clearly points the contrast. Here the Netherlands delegation had been unable to secure the support of the United States which decided from the outset that it would abstain, in keeping with its traditional policy on colonial questions. The result was that, although in logic and in law the Netherlands had at least as good a case as had the United Kingdom for resisting Assembly pressure to negotiate, the Dutch had a much harder time of it in defending their point of view. Despite the strong and well reasoned opposition of the Netherlands and Australian Delegations, the First Committee adopted by more than a two-thirds majority a resolution expressing the hope that Indonesia and the Netherlands would pursue their endeavours to find a solution to the dispute and report on progress to the tenth session. This resolution was only defeated in plenary on the application of the two-thirds rule when Canada and five other countries changed their votes. The upshot was, therefore, that the Assembly adopted no resolution on this question. It is fully expected, however, that when the Indonesians return to the charge at the next session, the Netherlands will have to accept at least a reference to the International Court for an advisory opinion, as suggested at this session by the Canadian representative, on the questions of whether:
(a) the Netherlands retains sovereignty under the Round Table Agreements in the absence of a negotiated settlement, and
(b) the Netherlands has any continuing obligation to negotiate with Indonesia in view of the failure of the negotiations prior to the dissolution of the Netherlands-Indonesian Union.
Morocco and Tunisia
31. Taking their cue from the failure of the resolution on Indonesia and the success of the resolution on Cyprus, the Arabs progressively watered down their projected resolutions on Morocco and Tunisia until they merely postponed for the time being consideration of these questions. Here the decisive factor was not United States support for the status quo (as in the case of Cyprus), but the fact that the Mendes-France Government had adopted a much more conciliatory and liberal attitude towards North Africa, and Tunisia in particular. At the time of the Assembly's consideration of these questions, negotiations on Tunisia were actually proceeding in Paris between the Nationalists and the French Government, with comparable reforms and negotiations in prospect for Morocco, although the situation there was admittedly more difficult because of the position of the deposed Sultan. In view of the circumstances, the Arabs were not disposed to press for Assembly action at this session, pending the outcome of the negotiations on Tunisia and the evolution of French policy in regard to Morocco. Their limited objective, which they attained, was to keep the issue alive before the United Nations so that, if pending negotiations and reforms were not satisfactory, it could be raised again at future sessions of the Assembly.
32. In any event, the Arabs probably knew that in its present mood the Assembly would not have found a two-thirds majority in favour of doing anything more than this bare minimum. The French Delegation found itself in the unusual position of begging its friends to vote for both the resolution on Morocco and the resolution on Tunisia.
Colonialism and the United Nations
33. The same basic minimum was achieved by the Greek Delegation in the Cyprus debate. In this case, however, the Greeks were far less ready than the Arabs to acquiesce in a postponement resolution for, although they had succeeded in having the question of Cyprus recognized as one of "international concern", they had not secured the slightest encouragement for bilateral negotiations which they had sought to force upon the United Kingdom.
34. It may be said in passing that, although we are here discussing the Cyprus question with colonial questions since it was debated in the Assembly in that context, it cannot properly speaking be considered a colonial question since what is at issue is basically the transfer of sovereignty of a colonial territory from one member of the United Nations to another. There is, however, little question that given the right of self-determination - a right nowhere embodied in the Charter although there is a general reference to the principle - the Island of Cyprus would go to Greece. A similar argument can be made for not considering the question of West New Guinea as a colonial issue, but here the force of the argument is weakened by the fact that self-determination could have little meaning for the Papuan bushmen who, as the Foreign Minister of Indonesia said to the Australian Minister of External Affairs, "look a lot more like me than like you", although racially distinct from the Indonesian people.
35. It may be said, therefore, that the clearest colonial issues before the Political Committee at the present session were those of Tunisia and Morocco. Here the United Nations could legitimately take some share of the credit for creating during the past few years a sufficient body of public opinion, even in France, sympathetic to the aspirations of the North African Nationalists, to enable the Mendes-France Government, despite the colons lobby, to start on the path of negotiations and reforms which could scarcely have been contemplated by any French Government before the issue came to the United Nations. This may be an over-simplification, but in our opinion some credit should go to the United Nations for indirectly bringing a French Government to the point of tackling the problem by means of evolution and negotiation, rather than by purely repressive measures.
36. For its part, the Assembly responded to the new French policy towards Tunisia by expressing its confidence, in an almost unanimous resolution, that a satisfactory solution would be found.
Competence and Realism
37. The positions on these so-called colonial issues of a number of middle-of-the-road delegations, including the Canadian, show a significant shift during the present session. Although the South African, Australian, Belgian and French delegations continued to advance the classical arguments on competence based on the strict interpretation of Article 2(VII) (domestic jurisdiction), the United Kingdom delegation led the way, when opposing the inscription of the Cyprus issue, towards gaining increasing support for the "colonial position" on political and practical grounds rather than on grounds of competence. They found considerably more sympathy for arguments against adding additional items, the consideration of which could serve no useful purpose and which might lead to undesirable political and strategic consequences, than they did on the basis of legal arguments on competence. Australia also invoked the strategic argument in opposing action on New Guinea.
38. It was clear that a number of responsible delegations with liberal traditions with regard to the Assembly's competence to discuss almost every question were becoming concerned by the tendency to overload the Assembly's agenda with special grievances and use it as a sounding-board year after year for publicizing their points of view which could only come to fruition by bilateral negotiation outside the United Nations. Not only was this involving the Assembly in an increasingly long list of annually recurring items of doubtful international concern (of the type of "Indians in South Africa"), but there seemed to be a serious risk of the practice spreading and the Assembly becoming a "wailing-wall" for any country with an ethnic minority in some other country. From this point of view, Cyprus - the last remaining British-owned base in the Near East - might be but the first of a series of complaints seeking to detach bit by bit other strategic links in the chain of empire; and though even the best friends of the United Kingdom might feel critical of official public statements to the effect that the United Kingdom would "never" give Cyprus independence and would "never" talk to the Greeks about the future of the island, nevertheless there was a general reluctance to involve the United Nations on a course which could do little but exacerbate relations between friendly powers and drastically reduce the co-operation between the United Nations and some of its staunchest supporters.
39. For these reasons among others, the Canadian, Norwegian, Swedish and Danish delegations showed a stronger tendency than before to take sides on questions like Cyprus and New Guinea. For the first time in such a case, the Canadian Delegation opposed inscription of the Cyprus item. We also, in the end, gave outright support to the Netherlands and United Kingdom Delegations in the voting. The Scandinavian Delegations (with the exception of Iceland, which had its own axe to grind with the United Kingdom over fisheries) also came "off the fence" on these issues at this session and gave timely support to the United Kingdom in the Cyprus debate. Like the Canadian Delegation, the Scandinavians and others who shifted from a neutral position on these issues, did so on grounds of practicality and timeliness without in any way modifying their views on the question of competence.
The Work of Other Committees: the Ad Hoc
40. Most of the items assigned to the Ad Hoc Committee at this session had been discussed many times before and gave rise to very little in the way of new, original or creative ideas as to how solutions might be reached.
Chinese Nationalists Leave Burma
41. Substantial progress towards a satisfactory settlement was evident with respect to only one of the items, i.e., the Burmese complaint against Nationalist China. The Burmese, acknowledging a real improvement in the situation, again handled their case sensibly and moderately and, in fact, the harshest words uttered in the debate came from the Indian Representative. A resolution noting the progress made was adopted unanimously although the Chinese Delegation did not participate in the vote. This item and that on Palestine refugees were the only two of the eight items before the Ad Hoc Committee which did not produce either an East-West division or a division between the supporters and opponents of Article 2(VII).
South African Items
42. The atmosphere of the debate on treatment of Indians in South Africa was very much better than that of the later debate on race conflict. The resolution produced on the first of these items contained nothing condemnatory and placed full stress on direct negotiations as the only hopeful course. The South African Delegation showed its appreciation for this relative moderation by only abstaining on two parts of the resolution instead of following its usual policy of voting "no" on every part of every resolution relating to South Africa. The resolution on race conflict, on the other hand, was in much stronger language, and the debate, particularly the main Indian intervention by Mr. Trikumdas, was marked by a number of harshly worded accusations.
43. The Soviet bloc voted in favour of all parts of the resolutions adopted but played a brief and rather casual role in the debate. The 2(VII) group supported South Africa's arguments on domestic jurisdiction; the United States, Scandinavian and some Latin Delegations voted in favour of the innocuous expressions of decent sentiments and abstained on the more extreme parts of the resolutions, but took almost no part in debate; Canada continued nearer than the rest of the Old Commonwealth to the Indian position but expressed doubts on competence and utility.
44. The debate on Palestine refugees consisted of a week or two of angry recriminations between the Arab States and Israel, and revealed no compromises on either side. The countries contributing to UNRWA managed to work in a few short statements to the effect that something had better be done fairly soon to get the refugees off relief because contributions would not be forthcoming forever. The Soviet bloc took no part at all in the debate on this item and abstained on the final resolution, along with Israel, Burma and Iraq. The Latin American and Afro-Asian delegations (other than Arabs) took almost no part in the debate at all, probably appreciating that the price of admission to this particular squabble was a contribution to UNRWA. The resolution was put up by France, Turkey, the United Kingdom and United States, all members of the Advisory Commission of UNRWA, and approves a relief and rehabilitation budget for the next fiscal year of UNRWA and extends the mandate of the Agency for five years. The fact that both Israel and Iraq abstained probably indicates that the sponsors did not go too far in acceding to the demands of either side.
45. On this subject, as on the three Soviet bloc items, the Committee divided primarily on East-West lines. All the familiar arguments and proposals with respect to new members were brought up again, but the permanent members of the Security Council, who, alone, can end this deadlock, showed no inclination to change their positions. The Soviet Union will refrain from vetoing Western candidates only as part of a package deal, and the other permanent members will not agree to any such approach. The main issue of new members was to some extent obscured in the debate by a side-show controversy between India and Australia over the admission of Laos and Cambodia. A number of Latin American countries again suggested solutions which ignore the veto right of permanent members of the Security Council, while India, Burma and the Scandinavian countries took a position, more or less shared by Canada, stressing the desirability of universality and not explicitly ruling out a package deal of some sort. Eventually, in a superficial show of unanimity, all outstanding applications were referred back without dissent for consideration by the Security Council. There was no serious consideration either of the Secretary-General's suggestion for breaking the log-jam by letting in a few quasi-neutrals or of a suggestion which the United States favoured (but did not mention in the debate) for some form of "non-member participation".
Soviet Bloc Items on War Propaganda, Aggression Against the People's Republic of China, and Freedom of Navigation in the China Seas
46. The first two of these items were clearly cold war propaganda productions and were treated as such throughout the debate. The Czech resolution on war propaganda was transformed into a United States resolution against the iron curtain and was passed by a large majority with only the 5 Soviet votes against and 10 abstentions (Afro-Asian countries and Yugoslavia). In a similar vote, the Soviet resolution on the item on United States aggression against China was rejected and was not replaced by any Western resolution.
47. The final Soviet item on freedom of navigation in the China Seas might have proved embarrassing, particularly to the United Kingdom, but also to all delegations interested both in freedom of navigation and in avoiding open disagreement with the United States. However, the Soviet bloc resolution and speeches were offensively anti-American, every act of the Chinese Nationalists being ascribed to the United States Government. This made it relatively easy for the United Kingdom, Scandinavian, Western European and Commonwealth countries, which would not have supported Nationalist China against well-founded charges, to line up with the United States in another straight East-West division. The final disposition of the item, a last-minute United States resolution referring records of the debate to the International Law Commission, was passed with only the 5 Soviet votes in opposition. By its own tactics the USSR had ensured the large majority which the United States can easily obtain when it is under direct Soviet attack.
48. There was certainly little general enthusiasm for the straight propaganda exchanges on these three items, and participation of countries other than the Soviet bloc on the one side and the United States and China on the other was rather perfunctory. The Canadian Delegation spoke in support of the United States on only one of the items, the charge of aggression, which was the most blatantly far-fetched of the three.
49. Of the eight items before the Ad Hoc Committee, only one, the admission of new members, seemed really to be of general interest to the whole Committee. On every other item, the countries or small groups of countries directly involved carried on a debate amongst themselves, while the great majority of Delegations watched from the sidelines and either took no part at all or made only short and routine statements of their points of view.
The Economic Committee and the Under-Developed Countries
50. In the Second (Economic) Committee, the United States Delegation found themselves in a peculiarly embarrassing position. For years Western spokesmen had made a great point of the constructive work of the United Nations Programme of Technical Assistance to which the USSR had never contributed "one red ruble". In the very year in which the Soviet Union had made its first contribution, however, Congress had seen fit to delete this portion of the United States foreign aid programme. Although the Administration hoped to remedy this misfortune in January, the United States at the present session was unable to pledge anything for the Expanded Programme of Technical Assistance, although for the first time representatives of the Soviet bloc were joining in the general chorus of praise for the Expanded Programme and pledges of continuing or increased financial support.
International Finance Corporation
51. To meet this criticism, as well as for other reasons, the United States not only decided to play up its initiative in proposing the establishment of an International Atomic Energy Agency but announced on November 11, its decision to support the early establishment of an International Finance Corporation. This latter decision came as a surprise to practically all delegations but was almost universally welcomed as an important advance in international co-operation in the economic field, and as a significant concession to the "have nots" on the part of the United States, which pledged $35 million to the capitalization of the Corporation. The debate on the I.F.C. resolution, which requested the International Bank to draft statutes for the Corporation, was speedily completed in an atmosphere of cordiality and the resolution was adopted almost without opposition.
52. Aside from this advance in a related field, the underdeveloped countries made relatively little progress towards the achievement of their main objective - that of gaining the support of the industrialized countries for the early establishment of a Special United Nations Fund for Economic Development (SUNFED). As was the case at the previous session, the partisans of the Fund pressed hard not only to keep the idea of the Fund alive, but also to obtain the agreement of the industrialized countries to steps which would bring its establishment nearer. The United States and the United Kingdom, who would be the major contributors to the Fund if and when it is set up, were determined not to advance beyond the position they adopted last year, i.e., that the establishment of SUNFED should not be considered until sufficient progress has been made in internationally controlled world-wide disarmament. In view of the widely divergent points of view on this question, the SUNFED resolution, which was finally adopted after weeks of negotiation, represented an unsatisfactory compromise for both sides. In its most important operative clauses, it asked Mr. Raymond Scheyven, a former President of ECOSOC, to continue his consultations with governments about the Fund, and to prepare a new report giving "a full and precise picture of the form or forms" such a Fund might take. In accepting this provision, the industrialized countries made it clear that they did not interpret it as giving Mr. Scheyven a mandate to draw up draft statutes for the Fund.
53. SUNFED will undoubtedly be the most controversial economic issue at ECOSOC next spring and again in the Second Committee during the Tenth Session. We gathered from the United States Delegation that the Administration evidently regrets having gone as far as it did in supporting even the principle of the Fund. There appears to be a growing disposition in Washington to concentrate on bilateral aid programmes and to refuse to make any further concessions with regard to SUNFED or any other similar global plan.
54. The positive result of the debate on the International Finance Corporation appeared to have a mellowing effect on the Second Committee which dealt with all its remaining items in an atmosphere of cooperation and objectivity. The Soviet bloc, in line with the milder approach adopted by its representatives in all committees, directed its main criticism of Western economic policies to the debate on the report of the Economic and Social Council, in which they renewed with considerable effectiveness their demands for an easing or removal of the restrictions on trade with Communist countries. About the only note of real political discord was injected during the debate on UNKRA when the representatives of the USSR, Poland, and Czechoslovakia charged that programmes of economic assistance sponsored by UNKRA, and bilaterally by the United States, had failed completely, while, on the other hand, the assistance given by the Soviet group to North Korea had been of great benefit to its people.
Human Rights and Wrongs
55. The Third (Social) Committee was successful this year in taking some practical decisions. The most significant of these were:
(a) to authorize the United Nations High Commissioner for refugees to undertake a $12 million five-year programme in consultation with the Advisory Committee;
(b) to establish a Universal Children's Day;
(c) to authorize the Secretary-General to render to member states services outside the scope of technical assistance programmes with a view to promoting freedom of information; and
(d) to set up a United Nations Narcotics Laboratory in Geneva.
Except in the case of the High Commissioner's programme, which was opposed by the Soviet bloc, these decisions did not prove controversial.
56. However, the Committee made little, if any, progress on any of the items on its agenda which had a political content. The draft International Covenants on Human Rights, which at last came before the Assembly, were the subject of a procedural decision. The first reading of the Covenants took the form of a general debate; no decision, even of a provisional nature, was taken on the contents of any of the Articles. In line with the suggestion of the Commission on Human Rights, the Committee decided that special priority should be given at the next session of the Assembly to the second reading of the Covenants. Although no tangible results ensued from the general debate on the Covenants, which occupied some twenty meetings, this discussion had a sobering effect on the self-appointed champions of human rights in the Third Committee by underlining the fundamental differences still separating different groups of states in spite of the painstaking efforts of the Human Rights Commission to produce drafts which would provide a common denominator. From the Canadian point of view, this discussion gave federal states the opportunity of emphasizing once again in unmistakable terms the impossibility of their signing the Covenants unless there is a suitable federal clause in place of what has been referred to as "the anti-federal clause" proposed by the Commission at the instigation of the Soviet Union. Although no satisfactory federal state clause was proposed, one worthy of the name would probably have secured a majority, if not a two-thirds.
57. Except for Mrs. Lord's short statement at the beginning of the debate, the United States Delegation remained aloof from the discussion and abstained on all but one of the fifteen votes taken on the Human Rights resolution. This attitude was no doubt dictated by the decision of the Administration, reiterated in Mrs. Lord's speech, not to sign the draft Covenants. In view of the great importance which a very large number of states obviously attach to this question, not to mention the emotional attitude of many of them in this matter, this decision of the United States, if it is maintained, may in the end do them more harm than good in the world at large. But Congress is another matter.
58. The West had the advantage over the Soviet bloc in the main "cold war" item on the Third Committee's agenda, Forced Labour, on which ECOSOC's condemnation was endorsed. It gave rise, however, to a depressing propaganda exercise reminiscent of the Stalin era. The United States this year was silent on conditions in the Soviet Union and instead gave detailed data on Communist China and Albania. In reply, the Soviet delegate used fairly strong language vis-à-vis the United States and accused the United Kingdom delegate of having joined in this exercise as a result of United States pressure. From the restraint exercised by Commonwealth and other Western European countries in this matter, it was apparent that these countries will be glad to see the subject returned to ECOSOC and ILO.
Assembly vs. ECOSOC
59. The Western European and Commonwealth countries found themselves isolated when the Afghanistan delegation submitted a resolution which was tantamount to a vote of censure of ECOSOC for its failure to transmit to the Assembly two resolutions of the Commission on Human Rights on the question of self-determination.
60. The Arabs, Asians and Latin Americans also succeeded in having the Assembly revise a decision of ECOSOC to leave aside for the time being the perennial question of an International Convention on Freedom of Information. Here again the Assembly specifically requested ECOSOC to make recommendations for consideration at the eleventh session. During many discussions of the Committee, a number of Asian and Arab countries implied that they regarded ECOSOC as the "instrument of the imperialist powers" (which clearly have less trouble controlling ECOSOC than they do . . . the Assembly). The Third Committee's reaction was a sign of dangers to come if Western control of ECOSOC is abused.
61. The Session furnished further evidence that the West is almost constantly on the defensive in the Third Committee. The long experience of some of the leading Moslem delegations who have sat in the Committee for almost a decade, facilitates their task. Western weakness became particularly apparent during the Ninth Session in procedural discussions, and the Czechoslovakian chairman did not make life easier for Western delegates.
Trusteeship and Colonialism: Stretching the Charter
62. Once again the non-administering members of the United Nations in the Fourth Committee (led this year by the Delegations of Yugoslavia, Lebanon and Venezuela) have pushed ahead in their efforts to extend the supervisory role of the General Assembly over the Trusteeship Council and the administering members, and to equate the provisions of Chapter XI of the Charter with those of Chapter XII and XIII setting up the Trusteeship Council. In this, of course, they are deliberately following the aim which they have set themselves, of "wiping colonialism from the face of the earth".
63. While the United Nations interest in promoting the well-being of the inhabitants of dependent territories and their development towards self-government or independence is fully recognized, the Charter clearly sets forth the rights and responsibilities of the administering authorities. These rights and responsibilities cannot be changed except by amending the Charter. This point was stressed on several occasions by the delegations of Australia, Belgium, France and the United Kingdom. These delegations pointed out that there was a bland assumption on the part of the non-administering powers that the General Assembly was entitled to alter or amend Charter obligations by simply adopting resolutions. This danger of "back door" Charter amendments influenced the vote of the Canadian Delegation and to a lesser extent that of the Scandinavian countries on at least half of the fourteen resolutions which were tabled in Committee during the Ninth Session.
64. Another persistent characteristic of the Fourth Committee debates inherited from previous sessions was the tendency of the anti-colonial group to develop fixations which tie their minds to particular solutions, closing them to all other possibilities. Thus, the anti-colonial group insisted upon unification as the only solution for the problem of Togoland and Trusteeship as the only possible future for South West Africa.
65. This year the Indian Delegation proved to be a striking exception to this general rule. Perhaps more because of a change of representatives than of basic policy, India voted in favour of asking the International Court for an advisory opinion as to the legality of the procedures proposed for the Assembly's consideration of petitions and reports on South West Africa. Again on the case of Togoland, India actually sponsored the United Kingdom proposal that after the Gold Coast attains its independence, and the United Kingdom would no longer be administering British Togoland as a Trust Territory, that the views of the inhabitants as to their future status should be ascertained. Since the majority view is likely to oppose unification of the Togolands, this was a radical approach for a leading "anti-colonial" power to take. India's decision to act in this manner sprang from a promise given by the Prime Minister of the Gold Coast to Mr. Nehru earlier this year to champion the cause of independence of British Togoland united with the Gold Coast.
66. The inhabitants of Trust Territories have not been long in realizing the meaning of the resolutions adopted year after year by the General Assembly, curtailing the powers and responsibilities of the administering authorities. Except in matters affecting their every day life, they have come to consider the Fourth Committee of the General Assembly, rather than the Trusteeship Council or its Standing Committee on Petitions, as the proper venue for their petitions relating to the future political status of their territory. No less than 17 petitioners, most of them from the Trust Territory of Togoland, appeared to plead their special causes before the Fourth Committee at this session.
Administrative and Financial Matters: The Per Capita Principle
67. For Canada, the issue of greatest direct interest in the Fifth Committee was the Report of the Committee on Contributions which proposed, on a new interpretation of the per capita ceiling principle, an increase from 3.3% to 3.63% in Canada's assessment for the United Nations Budget, and also called in question the principle itself. As the per capita ceiling is Canada's unique protection against an inequitable assessment, it was necessary to put up a vigorous fight against the Contributions Committee's recommendations. At the price of accepting the slightly higher assessment, the delegation succeeded in getting the per capita principle reaffirmed and interpreted so as to freeze our contribution against further increases until we reach per capita parity with the United States, or until new members are admitted, or the economic capacity of present members improves. The Contributions Committee's interpretation of the per capita principle was demonstrably incorrect and its questioning of the principle unwarranted, but most of the underdeveloped countries, and even some of our Commonwealth and European friends, were initially unsympathetic to the Canadian position. The final result was therefore a considerable victory.
68. Toward the end of the session, the question of the awards of compensation made by the Administrative Tribunal troubled the Fifth Committee again, though much less acutely than at the Eighth Session. In view of the clear opinion of the International Court of Justice, there was no longer any doubt that the Assembly must pay the disputed awards, but the United States was determined that there should be safeguards against excessive or unwarranted awards in the future. It proposed a number of amendments to the statute of the Administrative Tribunal, the most important of which would establish a Board of Judicial Review. The Canadian delegation was not at all happy about many features of the United States proposals and we could see that there would be very strong opposition to them in the Fifth Committee. We recognized, however, that this was a very important issue for the United States and we did not wish to see a headlong collision between them and other Western delegations. After discussion with the United States Delegation, therefore, Canada took the initiative in the Fifth Committee in proposing that the Assembly should decide in principle to establish a procedure for judicial review of the Administrative Tribunal's decisions but postpone consideration of the details. This solution was eventually accepted, but not without much resistance from the Western European countries, India, Egypt, Brazil and others. In acceding to the wishes of the majority, the United States had to make major concessions and deserves credit for doing so.
69. Although the Secretary-General's Budget for next year, already reduced through staff cuts and other means, by approximately $1 million from the present Budget, was given a relatively easy passage (the 1955 net Budget figure being fixed at approximately $39,500,000), the Secretary-General ran into trouble over his plans for the re-organization of the top structure of the Secretariat and the allowances, particularly the representation allowances, which he proposed to give to his top men. It may be that Mr. Hammarskjold's honeymoon with the Assembly last year led him to over-estimate the freedom of action he had been granted. The Fifth Committee demonstrated at the present session that it was still master of the purse, and the Secretary-General had unwillingly to accept a considerably modified system of allowances for the upper ranks of the Secretariat.
70. Once again the work of the Sixth Committee underlined the unreadiness of member states to seek the early codification and application of international law to current international problems. As in previous years, general agreement was secured only on procedural dispositions of the various questions coming before the lawyers and postponement was the order of the day.
Continental Shelf and Fisheries
71. Important areas of substance were, however, discussed. It would be well to take warning for the future that serious trouble is brewing over the Continental Shelf, High Seas Fisheries and the Regime of the High Seas generally. The International Law Commission is to make recommendations on these questions to the 1956 Assembly - in the case of Fisheries, the International Law Commission will be assisted by a report from a Scientific and Technical Conference which is to be convened in the meantime. The basic conflict of interest which is reflected in the legal positions adopted on these questions stems from the fact that some countries wish to fish in other people's waters, some have fishing grounds in their own waters and want to protect them, and others, having few fish in their waters, nevertheless have valuable natural resources in the continental shelf below. Relations between the United Kingdom and Iceland are already seriously strained by Iceland's protectionism. Other disputes in this field have set some of the Latin American countries (particularly Peru, Ecuador and Chile) against the United States. As the development of fisheries and the exploitation of resources in the continental shelf become increasingly important, widely divergent legal theories will be developed to justify national economic interests, and the sooner a comprehensive re-thinking and re-negotiation of basic concepts and present law is undertaken by all concerned, the better chance there will be of avoiding serious international disputes on these questions in the future.
72. The other issues postponed by the Sixth Committee are less likely to cause difficulty in the future. The majority of the Latin American and Arab delegations, supported by the Soviet bloc, are however likely to resist indefinite postponement of these issues and we may therefore expect repetitious debates at future sessions on such subjects as a draft Code of Offences, the Definition of Aggression, and the establishment of an International Criminal Court. Only the United States is opposed to all three schemes, though most Western countries (except France and the majority of the Latin Americans) are skeptical of the possibility of defining aggression in a satisfactorily comprehensive manner. The United States and the Soviet bloc are the delegations chiefly opposed to the International Criminal Court and most members seem anxious that a Code of Offences should not go beyond the Nuremburg principles already affirmed unanimously by the General Assembly. It does not seem likely that the Assembly will be called upon to adopt any of these projects in the near future.
Groups and Personalities
73. Few delegates enhanced their reputation at this Assembly and some definitely suffered a loss of prestige. Mr. Krishna Menon, for example, although helpful and constructive in his handling of the Korean item, was too obviously piqued by finding himself unable to hold the centre of the stage as the great mediator when East and West agreed, without his assistance, on the disarmament and atomic energy items. Mr. Menon nevertheless spoke indefatigably on almost every subject, even where his ability to contribute was clearly limited by the circumstances of East-West agreement or, on colonial questions, by unusual willingness of the Latin-American Delegations to postpone colonial questions rather than urge negotiations as they have in the past.
74. Sir Percy Spender also achieved little in return for his active efforts on disarmament and on new members. He did, however, handle the Australian case on West New Guinea vigorously and successfully. By and large, Sir Percy was too obviously in the U.S. orbit to exercise much influence at this Assembly. His colleague from "down under", Mr. Munro of New Zealand, maintained a better balance and was one of the few who did enhance their reputations.
75. Among the Arabs, both Dr. Jamali and Dr. Azmi of Egypt (who died at a Security Council meeting during the Assembly) reflected the marked improvement in the relations between the Arabs and the Western Powers in recent months. Although both remained solid supporters of special Arab causes, they and most of their colleagues were more outright in their support of Western positions on East-West issues. In fact, only Mr. Shukairy of Syria maintained the fiction of "the Western menace" to the Arab world through the building up of Israel.
76. In their more pliant mood, the Latin American Delegations did not produce any outstanding spokesmen at this session. The Chairman of the caucus, Mr. Trujillo of Ecuador was sensible and usually helpful but leadership in the group more often came from the Brazilian and Colombian Delegations who maintained the closest relations with the United States and United Kingdom Delegations. Their most influential figure was the Columbian delegate, Mr. Urrutia, who presided over the First Committee with rare skill and judgment. Though the Latins were prepared at this session to accept the leadership of the main Western Delegations on most colonial and economic questions, it should not be assumed that they have abandoned their objectives or their principles and will necessarily be prepared to repeat their votes in favour of postponement of such issues at future sessions.
77. Although the President of the Assembly, Mr. van Kleffens of the Netherlands, made an impeccable presiding officer, correct and impartial, he showed a lack of warmth and imagination in his public relations and seldom if ever gave a private lead, as have some of his predecessors.
78. Led by the late Mr. Vyshinsky, who showed the Assembly his most urbane face before his sudden death, the USSR once again sent half a dozen of their top diplomats to the Assembly - probably a higher concentration of national talent than any other delegation. Although their tactics were much more flexible and intelligent than in the past, their attempts to open up divisions in Western ranks, whether over disarmament or on Asian matters, were unsuccessful. On disarmament, they tried to do so by sweet reasonableness but were met in kind, while in Asian matters, where they might have done better, they reverted to cold-war propaganda. One of our unexpected conclusions from the disarmament and atomic energy negotiations was that Mr. Vyshinsky was apparently given more latitude to decide tactical questions on the spot than we had supposed.
79. The well-concerted United States-United Kingdom leadership, was undoubtedly strengthened by the authority of President Eisenhower's cautious approach to troublesome international questions. At the Assembly itself, the United States gained rather than lost by the substitution of Mr. Wadsworth for Mr. Cabot Lodge on most political questions. Mr. Lodge handled only the items dealing with the atomic energy agency and with the United States airmen in China. In other respects, he gave the impression of a man who did not expect to stay long in his present position. Coming into his own for the first time, Mr. Wadsworth proved an able and agreeable spokesman and exerted (at times unsuccessfully) a constructive and moderate influence on the State Department. Indeed, but for his private interventions, the United States position on disarmament and on Korea might have been difficult for its allies to support whole-heatedly.
80. The chief architects of Anglo-American co-operation at this session were the leaders of the United Kingdom Delegation, Mr. Selwyn Lloyd and later, Mr. Anthony Nutting. Both set out deliberately to achieve U.S. support for U.K. objectives. Mr. Lloyd distinguished himself once again by his capacity to simplify and clarify the essential features of the technical disarmament debate, while Mr. Nutting endeared himself to a wide television audience in the United States by his strong support for the American airmen, though his comments (outside the Assembly) on the defence of Formosa landed him in hot water at home.
81. Once again, the French Delegation played a relatively passive role, while the influence of the fifth permanent member of the Security Council, Nationalist China, had become almost non-existent. It is an interesting commentary on the present role of Nationalist China in the United Nations that during the entire debate on the atomic energy agency, we learned from their delegation that they had sent no cables home. Yet they continue to sit on all United Nations bodies as a permanent members.
82. This raises a question which, thanks again to Anglo-American cooperation, proved much less troublesome at this session than had been feared. Without difficulty, it was decided at the beginning of the session not to consider the issue for the remainder of the year. As a result, the Soviet delegation did not even raise the question of Chinese Communist participation in the debate on the American airmen in China in which the Chinese were condemned in absentia.
83. It is, however, an open secret that at the next session the United Kingdom Government reserve the right to raise the question. How they will do so has not been decided, but the possibility of giving Formosa membership at the same time as admitting the Communist Chinese has been considered, dependent upon the good behaviour of the latter in the meantime. When it comes to the point, however, the United Kingdom, faced with a renewal of the Cyprus debate, will be very strongly tempted to dodge the Chinese representation question once again, if opinion in the United States remains as strongly opposed to the admission of the Communists as it is now. Without United Kingdom support, Communist China could not conceivably gain the Chinese seat, as it is doubtful whether the United Kingdom's contention that the issue of representation (as distinct from membership) can be decided by majority vote would be supported by the Assembly. Potentially, however, this is the biggest question for the next session of the Assembly.