Position Paper Prepared in the Department of State1
Remaining Agenda Items of the Political and Security Committee of the Fifth Session of the General Assembly
Following the adoption of the United States proposed resolution on Chinese Communist intervention in Korea the Political Committee may decide to consider the remaining items on its agenda. These items are:
- “Complaint of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics Regarding Aggression Against China by the United States of America”;2
- “Complaint by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics regarding the violation of Chinese air space by the air force of the United States of America and the machine gunning and bombing of Chinese territory by that air force, and against the bombardment and illegal inspection of a merchant ship of the People’s Republic of China by a military vessel of the United States”;3
- “The Question of Formosa” (Proposed by the U.S.)4 What position should the United States take with reference to the disposition of these items?
- The United States should support and if necessary propose resumption of the discussion of the Soviet complaint regarding United [Page 1555] States aggression against China (item A– above). This item should be discussed preferably simultaneously with the agenda item on Soviet complaint against the United States regarding the violation of Chinese air space and machine gunning of Chinese territory (item B– above). The Soviet draft resolutions under these two items will presumably be rejected by an overwhelming vote.
- The United States should support or propose an indefinite postponement of the consideration of the “Question of Formosa”.
- Upon completion of the two items concerning the Soviet complaints against the United States and decision to postpone the “Question of Formosa” the Committee should recess pending the report from the Good Offices Committee and/or the Special Committee on Collective Measures established under the resolution dealing with the Chinese intervention in Korea on the understanding that the Political Committee may be reconvened by its Chairman whenever he considers it necessary.
- The United States Representative should discuss the recommended course of action with friendly delegations in New York.
- Last November the First Committee opened its discussion of the Soviet complaint regarding aggression against China by the United States of America, (item A in the problem). Mr. Vishinsky5 made a lengthy speech and submitted a draft resolution noting the “infringement” of China’s territorial integrity by United States units and requesting the Security Council to take steps to ensure immediate cessation of aggression against China by the United States. Mr. Dulles6 presented an extemporaneous rebuttal and stated that he would reply more fully after study of the Soviet allegations. Prior to his departure from New York General Wu,7 the representative of the Chinese Communists, released to the press a long statement supporting and amplifying Mr. Vishinsky’s charges. Due to the massive intervention of Chinese troops in Korea the Committee decided to interrupt its consideration of this item and concentrate on the Korean situation. The majority of the Committee including the United States agreed that the debate on the Soviet propaganda charges would not be helpful in the efforts for a cease fire in Korea.
- The United States supported the inclusion of the Soviet charges in the agenda, and it is in our interest that these charges be rejected [Page 1556] by the Assembly as they already have been by the Security Council, so that the record is clear. With the conclusion of the current phase of the Korean case there is little reason for further postponement of the Soviet complaints.
- The Soviet complaint regarding the United States aggression against China overlaps with the item concerning the Soviet complaint of the violations of Chinese air space and machine gunning by the United States. For this reason it would be convenient for the Committee to discuss these two items simultaneously.
- It is very likely that the Soviet Union will submit in the Committee a proposal along the line of its proposal in the Security Council (S/1745) condemning the alleged United States actions and calling on the United States to desist from future violations.8
- The Political Committee decided on November 15, 1950 to defer the “Question of Formosa” to the bottom of the agenda. Following this decision, taken on the proposal of the United States, the United States Delegation was instructed to suggest, when the end of the agenda is reached, a further postponement of this item until the 6th session of the Assembly.9 This instruction was later modified to the effect that the proposal should be for an indefinite postponement.10 The modification was due primarily to the fact that the current 5th session of the Assembly was extended beyond the customary adjournment time before Christmas; moreover, an indefinite postponement offered greater flexibility.
- It is assumed that the present session of the Assembly will not be adjourned at this time. It would still be preferable to advocate an indefinite postponement even though the likelihood of a constructive United Nations discussion of the Formosa question has greatly diminished. The only possible disadvantage of an indefinite postponement would be the opportunity for any member to propose discussion of the item at any time prior to the adjournment of the current session. However, there has been no indication that any Member desires to discuss this item in the Assembly. Moreover, the decision to postpone this item until the 6th Session would offer an opportunity for any Member to insist on the discussion of this question next September when the 6th session opens and would make it somewhat more difficult for the United States to advocate further postponement at that time if such postponement should appear advisable.
- It would be theoretically possible for the General Assembly to terminate its current session when it disposes of the three remaining items on the Political Committee agenda, with the understanding that the Good Offices Committee and the Special Committee on Collective Measures against the Chinese Communists, would report to a special session which may be called later on or to the next Assembly. However, this alternative is hardly practical. The calling of a special session and organizing it is a burdensome process. Moreover, it is obviously desirable that both the Good Offices Committee and the Special Committee should be able to maintain a constant contact with the Political Committee of the Assembly as long as the Korean emergency continues. Thus, the current session may continue until the opening of the next session in September of 1951.11
- The position paper was sent to the U.S. Mission at the United Nations with a covering memorandum of February 2 from Harding F. Bancroft, Director of the Office of United Nations Political and Security Affairs, to James N. Hyde, a member of the U.S. Delegation to the General Assembly.↩
- This item had been placed on the agenda of the General Assembly at the request of the Soviet Delegation on September 26, 1950, and referred to the First Committee. On November 24, the First Committee took up the question and voted to invite a representative of the People’s Republic of China to join in the discussion; it resumed debate on November 27, with the delegation from the People’s Republic of China entering during the meeting, and heard statements by the Soviet and United States Representatives. The Committee did not meet again until December 7, when it voted to suspend debate on this item in favor of discussion of the intervention by the People’s Republic of China in Korea. For further information, see Foreign Relations, 1950, vol. vi, pp. 256 ff.↩
- This item, based on charges made by the People’s Republic of China, was placed on the agenda of the General Assembly at the request of the Soviet Delegation on October 7, 1950, and referred to the Ad Hoc Political Committee; on December 1, it was transferred to the First Committee. For further information, see U.N. document A/1774.↩
- This item, proposed by the U.S. Delegation on September 20, 1950, was placed on the agenda of the General Assembly on September 26 and referred to the First Committee. On November 15, at the request of the U.S. Delegation, the Committee voted to defer consideration of the subject. For related documentation, see Foreign Relations, 1950, vol. vi, pp. 450–589.↩
- Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Y. Vyshinsky led the Soviet Delegation to the U.N. General Assembly.↩
- John Foster Dulles, a member of the U.S. Delegation to the Fifth Session of the U.N. General Assembly.↩
- General Wu Hsiu-chuan, leader of the special delegation from the People’s Republic of China to the United Nations in November and December 1950.↩
- The reference is to a Soviet draft resolution submitted to the Security Council on August 31, 1950 (S/1745/Rev.l), and voted down by the Security Council on September 12, 1950. For related information, see editorial notes, Foreign Relations, 1950, vol. vi, pp. 476 and 496.↩
- See telegram Gadel 162 to New York, December 5, 1950, ibid., p. 589.↩
- See footnote 2, ibid .↩
- The First Committee began consideration of the two Soviet items on February 2. Ambassador Austin presented a reply to the charges made by Vyshinsky on November 27, 1950; Soviet Representative Semen K. Tsarapkin made a statement charging that U.S. policies toward China since the nineteenth century had been aggressive and imperialistic. For the record of the meeting, see U.N. document A/C.1/SR.439.↩