Partial Transcript: We are talking about the United Nations and with us today are former Ambassador W. Tapley Bennett, career Foreign Service Officer and on the way to Athens, I believe, and also Professor Louis Sohn of the Law School
Segment Synopsis: Dean Rusk discusses the military forces that are on call by the U.N. Security Council, and describes their responsibilities.
Keywords: Dag Hammarskjöld; Suez Canal; Trygve Lie; U.N. Charter
Partial Transcript: But coming to this particular point, there have been proposals several times in the United Nations, especially by Canada and Norway among others, saying that the United Nations should be better organized.
Segment Synopsis: Dean Rusk discusses several proposals that have been made to better organize the United Nations, so that they would be able to react more quickly to situations that arise. He also talks about the differences between Berlin and Vienna, which both had divided city sectors but implemented that policy much differently.
Keywords: Cyprus; Dag Hammarskjöld; Franklin Roosevelt; WWII
Partial Transcript: Let's shift now to perhaps a different subject, again something in which you have been interested from the very beginning: the issue of colonialism and the sudden growth of the independent nations in the United Nations.
Segment Synopsis: Dean Rusk discusses the issue of Colonialism and the sudden growth of independent nations in the United Nations. He also talks about the Pentagon, Defense Department, and the State Department and their views on decolonization.
Keywords: British Empire; Eastern Europe; Franklin Roosevelt; NATO; Soviet Union; Truman; Winston Churchill
Partial Transcript: Next question--I am kind of taking things chronologically as they arose during your tenure in the department--was aid to Greece, Truman Doctrine.
Segment Synopsis: Dean Rusk discusses the Truman Doctrine, which agreed that the United States would provide assistance to Greece and Turkey, who were under pressure from the Soviet Union. He also talks about how the Untied Nations was involved in Greece.
Keywords: Arthur Vandenberg; Declartion of Friendly Relations; General Assembly; George Marshall; Joseph Stalin; NATO; U.N. Security Council
Partial Transcript: The other thing that happened later with it, in 1950, was the Uniting for Peace resolution which was part of the proposal creating a committee to deal with crisis situations.
Segment Synopsis: Dean Rusk talks about a proposal for the United for Peace Resolution which proposed the creation of a committee to deal with crisis situations. He discusses article 33 of the U.N. Charter, which states that going to the U.N. Security Council to solve a problem should be used as a drastic measure after attempting other solutions.
Keywords: Andre Gromyko; Cuban Missile Crisis; Dean Acheson; Uniting for Peace Resolution
Partial Transcript: One thing in this connection with Article 33, and related to that, of course, is Article 52 about the regional organizations: one thing that is mentioned in Art. 33 is that you ought to go to a regional organization if available, before you go to the United Nations.
Segment Synopsis: Dean Rusk discusses the Organization of American States (OAS) and how they sometimes blocked Security Council action on the grounds that it was more appropriate for the regional organization to solve the issue. He also talks about the vetoing process for allowing countries to be part of the U.N.
Keywords: Article 33; Article 51; Article 52; Chiang Kai-shek; Mauritania; NATO; Outer Mongolia; People's Republic of China; SETO; Soviet Union; Taiwan; U.N. Charter
Partial Transcript: Let's perhaps take another subject. One I was wondering about is Palestine, which is still now on the agenda anyway.
Segment Synopsis: Dean Rusk discusses President Truman's strong desire for their to be a Jewish state in Palestine (Israel). He talks about being asked by Truman and Secretary Marshall to negotiate between the Arab delegation and the Zionists at the Savory Plaza Hotel in New York.
Keywords: British Mandate; Clark Clifford; League of Nations; United Nations; Warren Austin
Partial Transcript: I think something that happened at the time that always fascinated me was suddenly the United States' proposal that Palestine be changed into trusteeship.
Segment Synopsis: Dean Rusk discusses the proposal for a U.N. trusteeship in Palestine to replace the partition plan of having two separate states in Palestine. He explains that even though this seemed contradictory to Truman's desire to establish a Jewish state in Palestine, he also wanted to create a solution that would satisfy both the Arabs and the Jews and not start a war. He also discusses the reaction of the General Assembly to the announcement of the Trusteeship Proposal.
Keywords: Clark Clifford; George Marshall; Jerusalem; League of Nations; Loy Henderson; Middle East; Soviet Union; Warren Austin
Partial Transcript: Let's perhaps go to a few more general questions. I have seen you mention several times the importance of the Charter of the U.N., especially the preamble Article I and II seem to be especially cherished by you.
Segment Synopsis: Dean Rusk states that the U.N. Charter is usually amended through practice rather than by a formal amendment. He also discusses his feelings on enlargement of the Security Council.
Keywords: Article 33; Brazil; General Assembly; Germany; India; Japan
Partial Transcript: How would you distinguish positions of the Soviet Union and the United States to United Nations?
Segment Synopsis: Dean Rusk discusses some of the Soviet Union's violations of the U.N. Charter, saying that they have been "major, far reaching, and very consequential."
Keywords: Hitler-Stalin Treaty; United Nations; Walter La Feber
Partial Transcript: Sometimes I disagreed with you on some policy subject. One was United for Peace. I remember having a big fight once with Ernest Gross.
Segment Synopsis: Dean Rusk discusses the United for Peace Resolution, which stated that if the Security Council was unable to maintain peace because of a veto, the matter could be referred to the General Assembly. The Russians were very opposed to this resolution because the U.N. charter stated that the Security Council had the primary responsibility for international peace and security.
Keywords: Article 12; South Africa; human rights
Partial Transcript: Louis, can you help me remember the year in which the contributions to the budget issue came up, where the Soviets and France were taking a view? Was that '66?
Segment Synopsis: Dean Rusk recalls a time when both the Soviet Union and France were two years behind on their United Nations dues, which meant that they couldn't vote. He also talks about some budget issues in the U.N.
Keywords: Arthur Goldberg; Lester Pearson; Lyndon B. Johnson; Paul Martin; Security Council; UNCTAD
RICHARD RUSK: We are talking about the United Nationsand with us today are former Ambassador [William] Tapley Bennett, career Foreign Service Officer and on the way to Athens, I believe, and also Professor Louis [Bruno] Sohn of the Law School. What we have talked about in previous tapes regarding the United Nations has been the material I gave you, plus some discussion of the Congo situation and the U.N.'s role in that, and a little bit of boyhood recollections of my father about the League of Nations: his study of the League at Oxford. But other than that it is a wide-open subject.
DEAN RUSK: Well I hope that we will take advantage of the presenceof Louis Sohn and Tapley Bennett here and draw them into the discussion. Both of them are authentic experts on the U.N. and it would be a misfortune 00:01:00 if they did not participate in the discussion and not just posing questions. Louis, why don't you start off?
SOHN: I noticed in one of the speeches you made in the sixties, you saidthat you were in San Francisco when the conference was being held. Could you explain what you were doing at that time?
DEAN RUSK: I was in the San Francisco Bay Area. I had not participated inthe preparatory work for the United Nations and was not involved in the San Francisco conference because I was out in the China-Burma-India theatre with General [Joseph W.] Stilwell. But in May 1945, I was sent home for a month of R&R [rest and relaxation], and I was in Oakland across the Bay from San Francisco and not at the conference. It was during that period that my son Richard got underway. Then I was, instead of being ordered back to 00:02:00CBI, I was ordered to the Operations Division of the General Staff of the Army, in a section which had to do with political-military questions. And there I found myself very deeply involved in United Nations matters from the very beginning. Then when I was demobilized from the Army in 1946, I became assistant chief of the division of International Security Affairs in what was then called the Office of Special Political Affairs, working on security aspects of the United Nations system. The head of the office under which my division worked was Alger Hiss. Well after having been there for several months, I was asked to come back across the Potomac again to become a special assistant for Secretary of War Robert [Porter] Patterson. There again on that 00:03:00 job I had a lot of things to do with United Nations and United Nations policy: the launching of the new U.N. Well, after I had been there George [Catlett] Marshall became Secretary of State. And he asked me once again to cross the Potomac and take Alger Hiss' place as director of that office which, in effect, was United Nations Affairs. So that is where I was at the beginning. I was not one of the founders in any sense of the U.N.
SOHN: But I noticed in your papers that you got involved very quickly both atthe Pentagon and in the State Department in something that always interested me very much, namely, the military forces for the United Nations. And I saw that you wrote one of the best papers on the subject, and I was wondering what the paper was about.
DEAN RUSK: In the Charter under Chapter 7 it provides for military forces00:04:00on call by the U.N. Security Council: forces which were to be under the direction of a military staff committee made up of senior officers from the five permanent members of the Security Council. I was much involved in the initial negotiations with the Soviet Union and others about establishing those U.N. forces. In retrospect I think we overplayed our hand a bit because on the American side we had come out of World War II with disproportionate air force and naval strength compared to the Soviet Union, and we wanted disproportionate naval and air forces in the U.N. force, provided largely by the United States and Britain. The Soviets insisted upon exact equality in all 00:05:00 branches, man for man, plane for plane, ship for ship, and therefore these negotiations did not get anywhere. In retrospect, I think perhaps we might have accepted the idea of complete equality in the various forces committed to the U.N. But as a practical matter, had those forces been established, it is very unlikely that the five permanent members of the Security Council would have been in agreement about the employment of those forces. But in any event, ever since then the military staff committee which still exists is simply a pro forma business. For years and years they met, once a month. I don't know if they still do.
SOHN: They do.
DEAN RUSK: --meet for about two or three minutes and adjourn.
BENNETT: We used to have a delegation stationed in New York. We nolonger have that. They come up from Washington. 00:06:00
DEAN RUSK: But it is useful to have senior military available to our delegateto the United Nations up there. Among other things they usually have a boat that you can use to take other delegates around Manhattan Island for lunch, things like that.
BENNETT: That's right. I have availed myself of that privilege.
DEAN RUSK: Anyway, that's how I became involved in the U.N.
SOHN: What kinds of solutions were you thinking about at the time for thedirection of the force? Was it to have a commander-in-chief or something like that, or be only run by that five-member military committee?
DEAN RUSK: Well, we thought if such a force were ever used that it wouldbe under the command of a designated commander for that particular operation. We didn't have in mind a supreme commander for U.N. forces on a continuing basis such as we have in NATO [North Atlantic Treaty 00:07:00Organization]. But there has been one weakness all along when forces have been used under the auspice of the U.N.: that is that there is no effective backup support in terms of logistics, general staff, and things of that sort, intelligence services. During the Congo operation the force in the Congo was being operated by Ralph [J.] Bunche out of his vest pocket. He had no real help or major assistance around him and so--but I suppose that had those forces ever been used, the logistic support would have been planned for. And I suppose the United States would have played a major role in the logistic backup of such a force, as indeed we did in the Congo later on.
SOHN: Of course, it could have been done in such a way as it was done in00:08:00the Suez crisis when the U.N. forces got in somewhere in Italy and then an airline was hired to bring them to Suez.
DEAN RUSK: Yes, but you see these things are extraordinarily expensiveand I don't think that element was properly taken into account at the time of the early negotiations based on the Charter. The U.N. found, for example, that it had to borrow a hundred million dollars from the United States to help finance the Congo operation. Military operations, when you take into account all the support and supplies they have to have, transportation and the rest of it, are very expensive things, and this was a very serious challenge to the 00:09:00financial capabilities of the U.N.
BENNETT: Even today, you have large deficits in your peacekeepingoperations, largely because the Soviets have consistently--and I think it probably began with the Congo operations--refused to pay, and the French somewhat less so. And they've been the two principal ones who haven't contributed.
DEAN RUSK: Right.
SOHN: One more point I would like to raise about this issue: Remember theTrygve Lie proposal that there should be a United Nations' own force, that this contingent business was not really working because he had to go around and beg people for providing some forces, and had to give certain guarantees, not subject them to any fighting and so on, and he felt that there should be a United Nations' own force composed of volunteers being servants of the U.N. directly rather than simply contingent. I gather that the 00:10:00State Department did not like that.
DEAN RUSK: We didn't like that very much because, although we were infavor of a strong Secretary General, we did not think that there should be U.N. forces that could possibly be employed by the Secretary General on his own authority. We did discuss the matter of substantially enlarging the guard force around the U.N. Headquarters itself so that out of that could be drawn observer missions, things of that sort, for particular disputes. But I think also we were concerned about the cost of such a force; I think we perhaps knew more about the costs of military units than Trygve Lie did. We were then paying over forty percent of the U.N. budget, and so we took the negative view on that suggestion. 00:11:00
BENNETT: It is interesting that even today the Norwegian government keepsan element of its forces earmarked for the United Nations. They really believed in this. And I recall at one time, when I was there in the seventies, we were organizing a force for something in the Middle East and the Norwegians were not chosen to serve because, under the Soviet balancing two sides, there were enough westerners, so they objected to having Norwegians. The Norwegians were very put out that their force could not be used for this.
DEAN RUSK: When it became clear that there was not going to be a U.N.force made up by the five permanent members of the Security Council, this role fell onto the shoulders of the middle-sized countries: countries like 00:12:00Canada, Ireland, Sweden, and Norway, and Nigeria, and quite a number of others. Brazil, I think, had some forces in the Congo operation, and some of them--Well Canada has taken a good deal of initiative in trying to stimulate this idea to get forces specially trained for U.N. service. My hunch is that U.N . forces cannot be used to wage war, that they simply do not have that capability. But they can play a very important role in manning truce lines and in watching the situation and reporting back on various things of that sort. But I think we are not yet at the point where the United Nations itself can wage war in the usual sense.
BENNETT: Nor do I think you can say that the U.N. can't make peace, that00:13:00they can keep the peace and help others to come to some truce.
SOHN: But coming to this particular point, there have been proposalsseveral times in the United Nations, especially by Canada and Norway among others, saying that the United Nations should be better organized. They should really have at least a planning staff for the purpose and that they should have commitment from governments like the United States that wherever something happens, the logistical facilities would be available to get people there fast. The question people very often mention is related to Cyprus. Everybody agreed that the Cyprus thing would explode, I believe it was 1964, if the United Nations does not step in quickly. And it was agreed by 00:14:00 the parties that they should step quickly. But the Secretary General had to negotiate with Norway and other countries for the contingents, etcetera, and that took several weeks. And by that time the Near East started fighting. And by that time people got angry and feelings got high, etcetera. And as a result we have had the mess ever since. I heard people say if they would go there immediately, if they had the facilities and abilities to get there in twenty-four hours, that would make a tremendous difference.
DEAN RUSK: Yes. I once talked with Ralph Bunche about the possibility of askeleton general staff at the U.N. patterned after the usual general staff arrangements of most countries. You have a G-l in charge of personnel, and 00:15:00 that person would be in charge of recruiting national contingents for a U.N. force. Then you would have G-2 for intelligence The U.N. has only a limited capacity for intelligence in the usual sense, but yet they ought to have somebody who can receive intelligence from member nations, then a G-3 for operations and a G-4, very important for logistic support. But since we did not have formal troops under Chapter 7 of the Charter, Ralph thought that the Secretary General of that time would not want to proceed. That was when Dag [Hjalmar Agne Carl] Hammarskjld was still Secretary General.
RICHARD RUSK: If I can return to this one question you raised aboutcomposition of the military force for the U.N., looking back over the years do 00:16:00 you think it really was possible for the United States and the Soviets to have come to an agreement on the composition of that force in view of all the tensions and the rivalries?
DEAN RUSK: I think it is possible that we could have agreed on the force,but I doubt that we could have agreed on how, when, and where to use that force which would have been necessary if the U.N. forces were to come into being. Now it is true that later on we and the Soviets agreed to certain U.N. forces here and there. But I think in those early days we would not have agreed on the situations where U.N. forces might be used.
RICHARD RUSK: Would the very agreement on those forces have led to agreater spirit of cooperation between us and the Soviets and perhaps made it possible to take a joint approach toward Cyprus?
DEAN RUSK: I would suppose perhaps in a marginal way. It at least wouldhave given the military staff committee something to talk about. But I think it 00:17:00would be only marginal in terms of the problems we were having with Joseph Stalin on a wide range of issues at that time. By the way, let me say when I went to the Pentagon in the summer of 1945, it was not just the so-called military aspects of the Charter we were interested in. During World War II Franklin Roosevelt turned to Secretary of War Henry [Lewis] Stimson, who after all had been a former Secretary of State, and to Chief of Staff George Marshall for a wide range of foreign policy matters that were somehow related to the war. And during that period a good deal of the normal responsibility of the State Department seemed to shift over to the Pentagon for a period so that my section of the General Staff was involved in a great many foreign policy issues which normally would have been a State 00:18:00Department function.
SOHN: One thing that always fascinated me, and again connected with thissubject, is the differences between Berlin and Vienna. In Berlin you divided the city in sectors and each country was in charge of that sector. In Vienna somehow you were able to agree to joint supervision. And I remember being there once, and there was a jeep with four people in different uniforms: one Frenchman, one Russian, one American, and one British. And those jeeps were keeping peace in the city jointly. And I thought that was a much better arrangement and much safer.
DEAN RUSK: Well I think, happily for Austria and Vienna, Austria was not00:19:00caught up in the tremendous sensitivity, bitterness, hatred of the Russians toward the Germans, nearly to the extent we found when we were dealing with German and Berlin questions. The theory in Berlin was that we do just what they were doing in Vienna, but that broke down at a very early stage. And I think the political position of Berlin was much more important to the Russians and much more sensitive for all of us than was the situation in Vienna. Fortunately, during one of the transitions in the Soviet government during the Eisenhower administration, we were able to obtain the Austrian State Treaty after hundreds of negotiating sessions which removed all occupying forces from Austria and let them go forward as independent and 00:20:00neutral. But we have never been able to make any headway on that kind of result as far as Germany is concerned.
SOHN: No neutral Berlin?
DEAN RUSK: No. You see Berlin is over a hundred kilometers inside theterritory of East Germany and it appears to be a tempting target for the East Germans and the Soviets. From a strictly military point of view it is an untenable position militarily because West Berlin is surrounded by East German and Soviet divisions. But the presence of U.S., British, and French forces there, as a token force, represents the presence of these three nations in West Berlin. And so we have had to mae it very clear to the Russians 00:21:00that after all, at the end of the day, Berlin is not vulnerable because we are there. And I think also a telling point for the Russians has been that it is in the Russian interest that Germany's armed forces are a part of NATO forces and that the British, the French, and ourselves are present in Berlin as a kind of guarantor of the stability of the situation over against the Germans. I think there were times when the Russians seemed to take that point into consideration.
SOHN: Let's shift now to perhaps a different subject, again something inwhich you have been interested from the very beginning: the issue of colonialism and the sudden growth of the independent nations in the United Nations. I was always wondering what happened in those early years where 00:22:00 the State Department--of course the European bureaus of the various desks, the French Desk, British Desk, etc., must have been strongly for keeping the Empire. On the other hand, I believe that the leadership of the State Department accepted very quickly the idea that this is something that the United States should be for. In studying even the San Francisco Conference, where I remember there was a big trouble about this particular issue, and that's how you got this very unclear Article 73 in the Charter, which provides a kind of acceptance by the colonial powers that there would be some slight responsibility to the U.N. but not too much. But the United States seems to have been always pushing that, even at Yalta. 00:23:00
DEAN RUSK: Well, during the period when I was head of the U.N. Bureauduring the Truman administration, it is true that I had a good many disagreements with my colleagues in the Bureau of European Affairs, for example, about these colonial areas. As you will remember Franklin Roosevelt thought that the great colonial areas of Asia, India, Burma, Malaysia, Indonesia, Indochina, should come out of World War II as independent nations. But he was strongly opposed on that idea by Winston Churchill. But then Franklin Roosevelt pretty much lost interest in this subject around the first of the year 1945 and did not pursue it any further. Maybe he was getting old and ill; maybe he was just tired of butting his head up against 00:24:00 Winston Churchill.
But when President Truman came in he was very much involved withproblems of the occupation of Germany and in completing the war against Japan, and he did not, himself, take up this issue. But when President Roosevelt and later Harry Truman more or less withdrew from this policy point, that meant that policy direction in that part of the world fell to the British. The British Chiefs of Staff were the agents, operating agents, for the combined Chiefs of Staff for Southeast Asia, and that in effect meant Churchill. And so it was, in effect, British policy which brought Britain temporarily back into India, Burma, Malaya; the French back to Indochina; 00:25:00 and the Dutch back to Indonesia.
But our own policy has been very sympathetic to the idea of independence tocolonial areas. After all we were the first member of the U.N. who achieved independence out of a colonial empire. And so we pretty consistently in this postwar period have thrown our influence behind the decolonization process . Now I must confess that we did not think that the colonial empires would break up into such small pieces. We thought there would be a West Indies confederation, a West African confederation, an East African confederation. But all those schemes fell and they broke up into these tiny fragments, so we now have what, 159 members in the U.N., and there are others coming 00:26:00along. But in some of those situations policy was strongly reinforced by simple fact. The British did not have capability of staying in India against the wishes of the Indians.
I remember a conversation which Secretary of State George Marshall hadwith the Prime Minister of the Netherlands. Marshall said to him, "Mr. Prime Minister, you do not have the capacity to stay in Indonesia. The effort would bleed you white and there would be no one to help you, so you simply cannot maintain your control over Indonesia as a practical matter." And that made a deep impression, I think, on the Dutch Prime Minister. But when you look at it 00:27:00 as a whole, future historians, I think, are going to be somewhat astonished that so much power was laid down with so little conflict. There have been some disturbances in India. There was some fighting in Kenya and some in Indonesia, more in French Indochina. But by and large the decolonization process has moved forward with relatively little violence, as though most people recognized that the time had come for this process to get underway.
You see, the British, for example, had developed over a period of centuriesthe basic notions of political freedom and the structure of constitutional 00:28:00government. Now, when they established the British Empire all over the world, they could not help but take along with them in their knapsacks these simple ideas of freedom. They took with them the seeds of the elimination of their own colonial empire because they could not be free at home and despots abroad. It just wouldn't work. And so I think it was clear that these colonial empires were passing events in long historical terms, and after World War II the time had come to liquidate them.
Now I hasten to add that there is another colonial empire in the world today00:29:00 which is there but is not somehow attacked as a colonial empire. I have in mind the empire the Soviet Union has in Eastern Europe. We have never been able to get the Third World countries to take an interest in that problem as a colonial problem, possibly because there were no racial differences; there were no oceans in between, things of that sort. But we have a strong dose of colonialism with us in the world today.
SOHN: Eastern Europe is one question which it is very difficult for theAfricans or Asians to be excited about. Twice people had a fight about the Asian republics of the Soviet Union, the Cossacks and [Karnuks?] who are not very happy. And there are Moslem people who didn't like to leave their religion for Bolshevism.
DEAN RUSK: I suppose people tend to worry about colonial problems which00:30:00 are nearer home. These are far-off places. There is nothing that these anti- colonial people can do about ousting the Soviet Union from those areas, and so it just isn't taken up as a live issue. We have tried, in the early days of the U.N. to draw attention to the colonial aspect of Soviet policy, but had very little success in getting any interest on that questions with other governments.
RICHARD RUSK: With the death of Franklin Roosevelt, was there unanimityamong American policy makers that colonialism was indeed nevertheless on its way out? And when policy did shift, was it due more or less to a vacuum in our leadership, an unwillingness to fight for people--
DEAN RUSK: Those differences didn't really disappear within our owngovernment until the colonial powers themselves saw what had to be done 00:31:00 and moved toward granting independence to those more important colonial areas. The Bureau of European Affairs, for example, remained touchy about such things as West New Guinea; the dispute between [Achmed] Sukarno of Indonesia and the Dutch and the Portuguese territories. You see, Portugal was a member of NATO during my time there, and yet they had these African territories that many of us felt were due for independence. And so there was always that pressure from the Bureau of European Affairs not to rock the boat with our NATO allies on such issues.
RICHARD RUSK: Was there more of a reason than just our relations with00:32:00our NATO allies, or did these fellows think that the maintenance of these colonial empires would help stabilize the world?
DEAN RUSK: [There m]ight have been, but I think it was basically ourrelations with our allies. For example, at a time when we were using the Azores, Portuguese territory, as a base, a NATO base, and Portugal was a full member of NATO, we were extracting Angolan and Mozambican dissidents and educating them here, and in Western Europe, and in other places so that when the time came for the Portuguese to get out there would at least be some kind of manpower available to run the country. The Portuguese, I think, knew we were doing that and that sometimes led to a little strain in conversation between myself and the Portuguese Foreign Minister. It is a little hard to reconcile these things. 00:33:00
SOHN: To what extent did the change from Churchill to [Clement Richard]Attlee make the big difference in 1945 and immediate succeeding years.
DEAN RUSK: I think that was a very important change from the point of viewof British policy toward colonial areas. Churchill had said, "I did not become His Majesty's First Minister to preside over the death of the British Empire," or something like that.
RICHARD RUSK: Liquidation.
DEAN RUSK: Liquidation of the British Empire. But Attlee, I think, saw thehandwriting on the wall, and so he moved rather promptly to bring about the independence of India, Burma. And that started the ball rolling in a big way. I think the Attlee government was basically a decolonization government. 00:34:00
RICHARD RUSK: Had the British people voted them in?
DEAN RUSK: Yes, during the Potsdam Conference, to the surprise of a lot ofpeople.
SOHN: The second point is, apart from the State Department, of course,other departments are interested in our foreign policy. I was wondering how the Pentagon felt, the Defense Department felt about this disintegration of the empires, and whether they had been trying to salvage it as much as possible?
DEAN RUSK: I don't know that there was a single, firm Defense Departmentview on these questions. But it was clear that people in the Pentagon were not as interested in decolonization as was the State Department, and that the Pentagon would have settled, I think, for the status quo if the status quo had proved to be workable. But the simple fact was that the status quo was 00:35:00 no longer tenable, could not be maintained. I think there are more British today in an independent India than there were when Britain controlled India. I think there are more Dutch in Indonesia than there were in the days of Dutch colonialism, but these things move along.
SOHN: Next question--I am kind of taking things chronologically as theyarose during your tenure in the department--was aid to Greece, Truman Doctrine. Could you give us a little more background on what happened there, the problems between the State Department and Congress about it, especially Senator Vandenberg?
DEAN RUSK: Well, Joseph Stalin demanded two eastern provinces of00:36:00Turkey, Kars and Ardahan, and a share in the control of the straits leading to the Black Sea. So he was putting pressure on Turkey. Then came along the guerrilla problem in Greece. I think the thing that caught us a little by surprise was the promptness with which the British decided that they could no longer play a hand in Greece, and they told us that and we had to face the problem as to whether or not we tried in any way to take Britain's place in Greece. The more we looked at it, the more we thought that we ought to try to give the amount of aid to Greece and Turkey which would enable them to take care of the problems largely on their own inside their own countries.
Of course, the Turks were all calm and cool about these pressures from theSoviet Union. They had lived next to Russia for a long time and they were 00:37:00pretty calm about it. The situation in Greece threatened a communist takeover of Greece, which would have been a great disadvantage, I think, to NATO and to the Western interests in the Mediterranean. So President Truman decided to ask the Congress for such assistance. In the course of explaining his attitude and his policy and what he wanted from Congress, he used rhetoric which was more far-reaching than anything that he had in mind on a practical plane at that time. And that far-flung rhetoric about giving assistance to any country, anywhere that is threatened by communism came to be known as the Truman Doctrine.
My own impression, having been in the Department at the time, was that we00:38:00were not deliberately taking on the role of the world's policeman, that this was simply a part of the campaign to persuade the Congress to give support to Greece and Turkey, and that the so- called Truman Doctrine in the real world had far more limited purposes than have generally been ascribed to it. But Arthur Vandenberg finally came on board and, of course, at that time the Senate Foreign Relations Committee was a very powerful committee not only in the Senate but in the Congress as a whole. During the 80th Congress which was a Republican Congress Senator Vandenberg insisted that members of the committee come to meetings and take the time necessary to hammer out a committee point of view. And that consensus on that 00:39:00committee put them in a powerful position in the Senate and indeed in the Congress as a whole and put them in position to negotiate effectively with the Executive Branch. With one trivial exception, during that 80th Congress every bill and every report that came out of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee came out unanimously because Senator Vandenberg just insisted that the senators do their duty. When you are trying to get appropriations, you tend to make the most of the materials at hand in terms of debate, rhetoric, advocacy, but it was passed in the Congress with reasonable majorities.
SOHN: What I was interested in is the United Nations angle of it, to whatextent the State Department was itself thinking that the U.N. should be 00:40:00involved in this, not just the United States. And I was fascinated by Senator Vandenberg's insistence that the U.S. should [a] report to the U.N., and [b] if U.N., (unintelligible) both the Security Council and his beautiful statement with / respect to any decision of the Security Council on this issue, the United States would relinquish its veto. And then I wonder even if the General Assembly does it, would we follow the order.
DEAN RUSK: Yes. Senator Vandenberg played a major role in involving theU.N. in important legislation and important treaties. He was the one who persisted on a reference to the U.N. in the NATO Treaty, for example. And he 00:41:00wanted it to be made clear that anything the U.S. did would be subject to anything which the U.N. could do with regard to the Greek guerrilla matter. Of course, the Greek question was before the U.N. Security Council. But Senator Vandenberg--One of the prices he required for his support in negotiations with people like George Marshall and Dean [Gooderham] Acheson was to involve the U.N. wherever possible. It was not instinctive, at least for Dean Acheson, to do that. I remember in one matter which came up later, I suggested to Dean Acheson that some inclusion of the U.N. be made 00:42:00in some matter at hand, and he said, "Oh yes, very well. Let's don't get kicked by that horse again," because he had been forced by Vandenberg to do that in connection with a number of other pieces of legislation and in the NATO Treaty.
RICHARD RUSK: Do you recall the incident and policy?
DEAN RUSK: No, I don't.
SOHN: I gather that between you and Acheson there was always thisdiscrepancy about the role of the U.N.
DEAN RUSK: Well you see, I began in the State Department under GeorgeMarshall. George Marshall had a genuine, personal interest in the U.N., partly because he took a view of the world as a whole and he attached great importance to the U.N. Furthermore, he, being the man Harry Truman had 00:43:00called "the greatest living American," he received from Truman a massive delegation of authority in foreign policy matters, and George Marshall himself delegated heavily to those underneath him. If he couldn't delegate, he would get someone else to whom he could delegate. He delegated to me very extensively in U.N. affairs. But when Dean Acheson came in, he was, in effect, a North Atlantic man. He really didn't care personally much about these browns, and blacks, and yellow people all over the world. He was a North Atlantic, NATO man.
When I was in India during the war, there was an Indian parliament housealready in existence in New Delhi. It was a big round building, and some of the major blimps of the old British colonial attitude used to refer to this 00:44:00building as "the monkey house." Well, there were times when I felt that Dean Acheson looked upon the U.N. as "the monkey house." He really didn't have all that much interest in or respect for the UN, although at the time of the adoption of NATO, Arthur Vandenberg tried to make it very clear that NATO was not in any way to be a substitute for the U.N, that it was wholly within the U.N. system. So there were times when Dean Acheson was impatient with me about my interest in the U.N.
This has varied with different Secretaries of State over the years. John FosterDulles was very much interested in the U.N. He had served on the delegations there and was one of our best vote-getters in the U.N. General 00:45:00Assembly. But on the other hand, people like Dean Acheson, Henry Kissinger, and some others just didn't care about the U.N. It was almost a nuisance in their thinking, so that the flavor of American attitudes will vary somewhat depending upon who is the Secretary of State and what his own personal interests are.
SOHN: Coming back to the Greek situation, I gather more or less from thattime dates your great interest in the question of indirect aggression, subversion, and what you can do about it, and what particular role the U.N. will play in dealing with it.
DEAN RUSK: Yes, the primary thought that was in people's minds when the00:46:00 charter was drafted was aggression by organized forces. After all, that had been very much involved in that slippery slope that had led us into World War II. But it soon became apparent after the war that organized divisions were not necessarily the greatest threat to peace, that guerrilla activity, informal bands, assistance to revolutionaries, things of that sort were likely to be even a more common instrument of aggression. And there developed an express which, I think, has been overcome now, "direct aggression" by organized armed forces and "indirect aggression" by these more informal means. But that has been largely eliminated now as far as the U.N. Charter is concerned because in 1970 the General Assembly passed, without a dissenting vote, 00:47:00the Declaration on Friendly Relations. And that spelled out in some detail the meaning of Article 2:4 of the U.N. Charter on the use of force for aggression, and included what we used to call indirect aggression.
RICHARD RUSK: Did you have a hand in that Declaration? Did you work onit?
DEAN RUSK: Yes, during my period about thirty-five nations were inconsultations on this Declaration for a period of some years.
RICHARD RUSK: Did you personally take an involvement?
DEAN RUSK: Yes, sure. And then in 1974 the General Assembly passedagain without a dissenting vote, its Definition of Aggression, which again seemed to eliminate this distinction between direct and indirect aggression. And I think that was a very important development, both as a matter of policy and as a matter of law on the subject.
SOHN: How were you ever able to sell to the Soviet Union that this shouldbe prohibited? 00:48:00
DEAN RUSK: I suppose they might have taken the view that they might needthis themselves some day in one or another of the areas of interest to them, but also it would be important to them from a propaganda point of view to assume this air of innocence in this field and in what Khrushchev and others had called the "wars of liberation."
SOHN: They could veto any specific incident?
DEAN RUSK: Yes, or violate it.
RICHARD RUSK: As could we.
BENNETT: In connection with Greece, though, you, in 1947, were on thelosing end of that battle to involve the U.N. in Greece.
DEAN RUSK: Well, the Greek question was before the U.N. Security Council00:49:00 and was debated several times. And I think there was a U.N. Commission sent out there, wasn't there?
SOHN: Yes, the Commission on the Balkans.
DEAN RUSK: That's right.
SOHN: The other thing that happened later with it, in 1950, was the Unitingfor Peace resolution which was part of the proposal creating a committee to deal with crisis situations. And at that time, a subcommittee of that committee was established for the Balkan situation. So at least the United Nations had a watching commission there. I remember someone said at the time, "The question is whether the Greek border is being violated, and you can observe it as well from the Greek side. You don't have to be on the Albanian, Bulgarian, or Yugoslav side." You can see violations from one side.
DEAN RUSK: By the way, Dean Acheson was very interested in the Uniting00:50:00for Peace Resolution. You see, that resolution basically prepared the basis for the General Assembly acting. If the Security Council is frozen by a veto and the General Assembly then can take up questions that are stymied in the Security Council, and debate them, and pass resolutions on the subject in the General Assembly where there was no veto. And Dean Acheson was very much interested in that.
SOHN: Did you think that was a good idea in the long run?
DEAN RUSK: I think it is a very useful thing to have there if needed, but weought to continue to make a serious effort in the Security Council to make the Security Council work. I think over the years, the Security Council has been attenuated somewhat in its response to its charter obligation to assume primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security 00:51:00 for a variety of reasons. For example, today, 1985, there is a pretty good- sized war going on between Iraq and Iran. Well the Security Council ought to be meeting at least once a week on that matter, not because by resolution they can end it, but because by continuing probing they might be able to find some way to bring the thing to a conclusion.
Let me make one remark here. As Louis Sohn knows, the U.N. SecurityCouncil never drops an item from its agenda; it remains "seized," as the expression is, of that item forever, as far as I can tell. So every year the Secretary General puts out a list of issues with which the Security Council is seized, and that list is, in effect, a checklist of all items and questions that have come before the Security Council since its beginning. Now if you look 00:52:00 over that list and you look at those issues on which the Soviet Union and United States were not directly and harshly opposed, you will find by and large in a fumbling and bumbling kind of way, the Security Council has been able to keep small wars from breaking out into larger wars, to bring about truces and cease fires, negotiations, and things of that sort. And although it has not prevented the use of force in such disputes, it has done a great deal to smother them. Now even on the issues where we and the Soviet Union were at each other's jugular veins: the Cuban missile crisis. It was very important that the U.N. Security Council be there to which this matter could be referred for discussion and debate, and create a period in which it was 00:53:00less likely that one side or the other would lash out in fury at the other, and to gain a little time while Washington and Moscow tried to put their heads together and find some solution to this problem.
So, I personally believe that the Security Council has earned its pay manytimes over in a great variety of circumstances. For example, I have no doubt that the debates in the Security Council had some genuine influence on Joseph Stalin about terminating the Berlin blockade. I think the propaganda aspects of that problem turned against him. And he probably found that he had about milked the Berlin blockade for all he could get out of it and therefore he might as well bring it to an end. And it was at the U.N. Security Council that the contacts were made which in fact ended the Berlin blockade. 00:54:00 By the way, I don't think I have put this on the record anywhere, but I was very close to making a mistake about the Greek matter. I was at a dinner in New York where Mr. [Andre Andreevich] Gromyko was present during the Greek affair and I said to him that we ought to sit down and talk about this Greek problem and see if we cannot somehow bring it to an end. And he, somewhat to my surprise, showed great interest in talking further about it. We had a date to sit down and talk further about the Greek question. Well about three days after that dinner, Yugoslavia defected from the Soviet camp and that had a great bearing on the wind-up of the Greek guerrilla problem. 00:55:00Gromyko might well have known something that I did not know: namely, that Yugoslavia was about to defect. And therefore he was interested in seeing whether they could recoup anything out of the Greek problem and that was the wrong time for me to suggest any discussion of the subject. But fortunately, I was saved on that one.
BENNETT: Did you end up holding the discussions, or did you cancel them,or were they just held in abeyance?
DEAN RUSK: No. No. Simply had to tell him that on instructions from theDepartment, I had to--
BENNETT: On Greece, what I meant before is that according to Cohen youadvocated U.N. involvement and you were somewhat disappointed by the fact that the United States at least went forward unilaterally on Greece.
DEAN RUSK: Well, I didn't really think that the U.N. itself could do what the00:56:00 U.S. did with respect to assistance to the Greeks. I did believe that any question which involves the possible use of armed force ought first to be referred to the U.N. That was the attitude we took in Korea, and we immediately referred the Cuban missile crisis to the United Nations. I think there is that obligation under the Charter. But, of course, most people have long since forgotten Article 33 of the Charter, the exhaustion of remedies, makes it clear that those who drafted the Charter, believed that debate in the United Nations was a fairly drastic remedy and ought to be left to the end. Because Article 33 provides that you should first exhaust all the remedies like negotiation, mediation, arbitration, judicial settlement, things like that, before 00:57:00referring matters to the Security Council. Well, we have had a little problem on that because in this country we have had a lot of people who think that if you do not begin by referring the matter to the U.N., you are somehow bypassing the United Nations. They forget Article 33. But then, when you refer something to the United Nations, you just meet yourself coming around the barn United Nations has almost no existence other than through its members. And when you refer something to the U.N. then the U.S., as an important member of the U.N., has still got to decide what it wants the U.N. to do, or anybody else, to do about the issue at hand. So, I personally am inclined to think that although Article 33 has almost been eliminated by disuse, that one of the first things that the United Nations should do when 00:58:00these matters come up is to find out where any of these processes of settlement might be applicable to, available to, or helpful to the parties to the dispute, rather than take it on as a direct United Nations responsibility.
SOHN: One thing in this connection with Article 33, and related to that, ofcourse, is Article 52 about the regional organizations: one thing that is mentioned in Art. 33 is that you ought to go to a regional organization if available, before you go to the United Nations.
RICHARD RUSK: What is Article 52?
SOHN: Article 52 is about "regional arrangements." It authorizes regionalorganizations to be established in the first place to deal with regional questions.
RICHARD RUSK: Things like NATO, SEATO, that type of thing?
SOHN: No, not NATO and SEATO but Organization of American States,00:59:00which has got two heads. One head is about settling disputes and one is under the RIO Pact dealing with dangerous situations.
DEAN RUSK: As a matter of fact, it was the Latin American states of theWestern Hemisphere who were primarily responsible for there being that section of the Charter about regional arrangements. At San Francisco they insisted that the affairs of the Western Hemisphere be handled in the Western Hemisphere. They did not want hemispheric affairs to be caught up in the U.N. Security Council with the Soviets sitting there with a veto. Nelson [Aldrich] Rockefeller, who was then working on Latin American matters in connection with the San Francisco conference on the Charter, fought a pretty strong fight within the American delegation, some of whom objected to regional agencies. But it was finally put in, largely on the insistence of the 01:00:00 Latin Americans.
SOHN: I gather that you distinguish very clearly between Article 51 oncollective self-defense, which is like NATO for instance, and regional arrangements under Articles 52 and 53.
DEAN RUSK: That is correct. SOHN: And you got into some trouble aboutthose things in later years: Guatemala, Dominican Republic--[Chile?] (unintelligible).
DEAN RUSK: Well, once in a while when something was before theOrganization of American States, if a particular member of the OAS did not get satisfaction from the point of view of his particular government, then they might themselves take this to the U.N. And sometimes we were able to block Security Council action, even putting it on the agenda, on the grounds that this was before an appropriate regional organization. Let me make a brief 01:01:00comment here about the Soviet use of the veto. I think they probably used the veto about a hundred times before we did. In the early days of the U.N., the Soviet veto was a common practice. Well, that is cheating a little when you chide them for that because in those days with the Security Council membership of eleven, it took seven votes to put an item on the agenda or to pass a resolution. Well, we were always in a position to deny the Soviet Union the seven votes they would need, so we didn't have to use the veto. I remember once chiding Gromyko about the excessive use of the veto during those years at the U.N. during the Truman years. And he said with a little shake of his finger, "Mr. Rusk, let me tell you there will come a time when the 01:02:00 United States will value the veto as much as we do." And he was right.
SOHN: And I suppose the other point about the veto has been that many ofthose vetoes were about the membership issue. Every year--there was a bit debate in the forties about--
END OF SIDE 1
BEGINNING OF SIDE 2
SOHN: Hungary, Bulgaria. And we objected on the grounds they are notviolating the human rights provisions of the peace treaties. And so they said, "All right. If that's what you do, we are going to veto anybody that you propose." We had by that time accumulated quite a list of countries that wanted to come to the United Nations. And every year we went through the 01:03:00rigmarole of the Russians saying, "Let's admit everybody." And we said, "No, let's vote on everybody in particular." So we voted first on theirs because they had submitted their applications earlier and they couldn't get the seven necessary votes. We didn't have to veto because, as Secretary Rusk said a minute ago, we had the votes, therefore we didn't have to veto. Then came our countries and they said, "All right, we are going to veto theirs." So sometime they cast seven vetoes, then later twelve vetoes, fifteen vetoes, just on that particular subject.
DEAN RUSK: Then we worked out various block deals along the wayseveral times whereby a block of countries that the Soviets were interested in would be admitted along with a block of countries that we were interested in. 01:04:00
SOHN: It has always fascinated me how you worked out Mauritania for OuterMongolia.
DEAN RUSK: Well, there was something behind the scenes on that. Whenthe question of Outer Mongolia's membership in the U.N. came up, we were in favor of it. As a matter of fact many of our people wanted us to establish bilateral relations with Outer Mongolia because we would have liked to have an embassy in that particular part of Central Asia.
SOHN: Great listening post.
DEAN RUSK: Sure. But we were faced with the fact that the Republic ofChina, Taiwan, was then sitting in the Security Council and had a veto on the admission of Outer Mongolia. And they were strongly opposed to it because as Chinese they thought that Outer Mongolia was a part of China. So I worked that out personally by striking a deal with Chiang Kai-shek's 01:05:00government that if they would abstain and not veto the membership of Outer Mongolia, we would postpone indefinitely our own consideration of the bilateral recognition of Outer Mongolia. So that is what got over that hump.
RICHARD RUSK: Was there ever any debate between us and the Soviets orwithin the United Nations over exactly what constitutes a country, what criteria a so- called country, or someone who aspires to call themselves a country has to meet to label themselves as such? Were those issues fought over? And I ask that in context with the 160 nations in the U.N. today and all types of little splinter groups.
DEAN RUSK: Well, each year there is a vote on credentials where that kindof issue could arise: credentials of delegates. But by and large the United Nations has recognized those countries who have very substantial blocks of 01:06:00recognition from individual nations. And of course there has been the famous debate about the status of the PLO [Palestine Liberation Organization] at the U.N. But yes, that question does arise from time to time.
SOHN: At the very beginning, of course, the Russians had some peculiarideas about not the word "state," but what you mean for instance by "peacekeeping." I remember at some point it said Sweden was not peacekeeping, but peace loving, because they did not participate in the war against Hitler.
DEAN RUSK: The Charter seems to suggest a couple of qualifications formembership. They should be peace loving and that you have the ability to carry out your obligations under the Charter. Well both of those qualifications 01:07:00 have almost disappeared. It now simply turns on the votes.
SOHN: If you have been given independence by the mother country,everybody accepts that you are entitled to be admitted.
DEAN RUSK: Right.
RICHARD RUSK: If you can find enough countries willing to call you acountry and recognize you as such, you can line up enough votes.
DEAN RUSK: Now, of course, in the case of the divided countries, Germany,Korea, Vietnam, both halves of these divided countries had a considerable number of recognitions. But it was not until both Germanies agreed that both of them would join the United Nations that that problem was solved. And neither Korea today is a member of the U.N.
SOHN: Let's perhaps take another subject. One I was wondering about isPalestine, which is still now on the agenda anyway. But the beginning of the 01:08:00 issues in the '40s, submitting the question to the United Nations, the United Nations adopting the partition resolution and Arabs rejecting it and trying to occupy Israel. What was your feeling about those things at the time? I gather there was some difference between you Truman on some things.
DEAN RUSK: I became involved in the Palestine question at a very earlystage. Just after the war President Truman felt very strongly that there should be a Jewish state in Palestine. The full impact of the holocaust in Europe hit the United States after the war much more heavily than during the war itself 01:09:00because we had a full exposure of the terrible things that happened during the holocaust. So he was very strongly in favor of that, and he pressed Britain very hard to allow the creation of the Jewish state in Palestine in connection with the eventual termination of the British mandate in Palestine which it had received during League of Nations days.
Well, the British were resistant to this and became rather annoyed byPresident Truman's pressure on the matter. So they themselves decided to put the Palestine question before the U.N. After all, the United Nations was the direct successor to the League of Nations on these mandated territories. So the British put the question before the U.N. There we were, heavily involved as a major member of the U.N., and a permanent member of the Security Council, and the British, in putting it before the U.N., took the 01:10:00position that, "We will agree with any solution which is agreeable both to the Jews and to the Arabs:" a very comfortable position in which to be. In effect, they abstained on much heavier participation.
But in the U.N. a commission was appointed which went out there and cameback with a recommendation of the famous partition plan. When that came before the special session of the General Assembly, of course, we were under instruction from President Truman to press for the partition plan with all our might. And we counted noses and realized that if the Arab side introduced a simple motion to adjourn the Assembly, that they had the votes to pass that motion of adjournment. It required only a fifty-one percent vote. Then Mr. [Camille] Chamoun, later president of Lebanon, who was the Arab 01:11:00floor leader at that time, went to the podium and made a motion for adjournment. And our delegation said, "Oh boy, now we have had it." But then, to our amazement, he added a second paragraph to his motion to appoint a commission to do this, that, or the other. Well, that changed that motion into an important question which required a two-thirds votes and so we were able to defeat him because he couldn't get two-thirds vote for it. Then we went on to pass the partition resolution.
RICHARD RUSK: Who was involved in that, Mr. Rusk,you and Clifford or, who are the main players in the delegation at that time?
DEAN RUSK: The main players were Warren [R.] Austin, our principalrepresentative, who made history once when talking about the Palestine question by calling upon the Jews and the Arabs to settle their differences in 01:12:00a Christian spirit. (laughter) But it was Secretary Marshall, Under Secretary [Robert A.] Lovett, myself, and Clark [McAdams] Clifford was playing a more or less behind-the-scenes role at the White House on this. He was not carrying the load publicly, was not a member of the delegation or anything of that sort. But those were very tense days in the U.N. General Assembly. The approval of the partition plan was just barely carried the by the necessary two-thirds votes.
RICHARD RUSK: There is some indication in Cohen that your personalfeeling was not in favor of partition although you, of course, followed Truman's instruction.
DEAN RUSK: Well, I'm a little skittish about what are called "personal views."George Marshall was once asked what his personal view was on a particular foreign policy matter was. He said, "Personal views? I don't have personal 01:13:00views on matters of public policy. My views are the views of the Secretary of State. And I come to those views through constitutional process."
RICHARD RUSK: We've gone over this a few times before.
DEAN RUSK: Yes, but let me point out that Harry Truman was somewhatschizophrenic on this Palestine issue. On the one side, he strongly felt there should be a Jewish state in Palestine. But on the other side, he hoped very much to try to find a solution out there with which both the Arabs and the Jews could live. So he gave instructions on both sides to the State Department which may, at times, appear to be contradictory. For example, just before the expiration of the British mandate, Truman and Secretary 01:14:00Marshall asked me to see if I could negotiate a diplomatic and political standstill to take effect at the time of the expiration of the British mandate, through which we could gain more time to try to find a solution that would be agreeable to both sides.
Those discussions occurred at the old Savoy Plaza Hotel in New York. TheArab delegation was down at one end of the corridor; the Zionist down at the other end of the corridor. I had a suite halfway between, and I shuttled back and forth. We worked out almost all the problems connected with the standstill except the rate of Jewish immigration into Palestine during this standstill. Finally the Zionist side came down to 2500 a month, which was just almost nothing compared to the needs and their demands and things like 01:15:00that. So I went down the other end of the corridor with some confidence that this figure might be accepted. I put it to the Arab delegations. Prince Faisal, later King Faisal, heard me out and said, "No, we cannot accept that because they would only bring in 2500 pregnant mothers and that would make 5000." Had you ever heard that Louis?
DEAN RUSK: During those discussions Secretary George Marshall, down inWashington, with a slip of the tongue referred, in talking with some newspaper reporters, referred to these talks going on in New York. From that moment, the talks were dead because the constituencies on both sides were not willing to have such talks occur. So that closed out that particular attempt to get a standstill on the date of the expiration of the British mandate. 01:16:00
RICHARD RUSK: Were you literally the only one passing back and forthbetween the delegation?
DEAN RUSK: Yes.
RICHARD RUSK: You were the intermediary?
DEAN RUSK: Yes.
SOHN: I think something that happened at the time that always fascinatedme was suddenly the United States' proposal that Palestine be changed into trusteeship.
DEAN RUSK: Yes.
RICHARD RUSK: I'm sorry, I missed that.
SOHN: The United States suddenly proposed that instead of ending themandate and establishing two independent states, a temporary trusteeship would be established for a period of time, under the United Nations direct mandate somehow.
DEAN RUSK: That again was a part of--it flowed from President Truman's desire to gain some time to try to find a solution that both sides would accept.This is a kind of interesting story. A telegram had gone to our delegation in New York authorizing them in certain contingencies to move toward 01:17:00trusteeship. And those contingencies seemed to have been realized so the delegation, based upon its instructions, moved toward the trusteeship proposal. That exploded like a bombshell at the U.N. for everybody. I remember meeting the press up there at that moment. You could slice the atmosphere with a knife. I've never seen such a loaded atmosphere as on that occasion.
This horrified the Zionists and many of the Jewish leaders in this country. Icame back to the Department and Chip [Charles E.] Bohlen, as Counselor to the Department, was then the Senior Officer in the Department because the 01:18:00 Secretary and Under Secretary were out of town somewhere. Clark Clifford called over and said, "I want to see you and Rusk immediately about that action we took in the United Nations the other day." So Bohlen and I realized that Clark Clifford was looking for somebody's neck to be sliced, but we went over there to see him. He was furious about it. Whereupon Bohlen took out of his briefcase the green, original copy of the outgoing telegram to our delegation authorizing him to take this step. And in George Marshall's own handwriting in the right hand corner was "approved by the President. GCM." That calmed Clark Clifford down.
But again, you see, Truman did a number of things on this issue whichappeared to be contradictory because he was moved by these two powerful 01:19:00motives: a Jewish state in Palestine and a solution which would simply not lead to a series of wars.
BENNETT: But weren't there, wasn't there also reflected--reflecting thatcontradictory approach, perhaps, weren't there two factions that were arguing different things? On one hand, there was Clifford who was a pro-Israeli view, and on the other hand, you and some others who were more even-handed looking to--
DEAN RUSK: You see, Clark Clifford was Truman's in-house liaison with theJewish community, and he was a highly political animal in those days. Whereas our channels ran through George Marshall to President Truman. And these two channels didn't always say the same thing. But the Zionist 01:20:00interests in those days were playing hardball politics.
SOHN: Still is.
DEAN RUSK: I remember seeing a telegram that a Jewish friend of minehad shown me that she had received from the Zionist group saying, "We have sent the following telegram to the President under your signature and have charged it to your telephone number. If you have any objections, you can get in touch with so-and-so." Of course, nobody would dare object under those circumstances. They were playing pretty hardball politics. One little instance about George Marshall involved in this: a group of several heads of Jewish organizations came in to call on George Marshall during this period. As he opened up, one of the members banged on the table and really but the "bee" 01:21:00 on George Marshall, whereupon George Marshall--
RICHARD RUSK: Were you in the room?
DEAN RUSK: Yes. He turned to his "squawk" box and pressed the lever forthe press office. He said, "Would you please send up to my office any reporters who happen to be there at this time." The fellow said, "Yes." He turned back to this gentleman and he said, "Now, when the reporters get here I want you to say exactly to them what you've just said to me." And they just beat a retreat. (laughter) Well, I was told that the publisher of the New York Herald Tribune was weighted on by a dozen of his major advertisers, saying that, "Unless you change your policy in this direction, we are going to stop advertising."
RICHARD RUSK: There must have been real blood on the floor just withingovernment, within the Department of State, in your discussions with fellow colleagues.
DEAN RUSK: People like Loy [W.] Henderson were, I think, badly abused by01:22:00 the Zionist interests because they singled him out as being disloyal to President Truman in taking the Arab side. Well, Loy Henderson was simply carrying out George Marshall's instructions based upon Truman's efforts to find a solution that people could live with.
BENNETT: Why did you escape--you seemed toescape the wrath although you were perhaps working with--you were able to work with both sides really, weren't you? And why were you--were you--you were a kind of unique player in a sense that you were able to keep the goodwill of Dulles and Clifford and you worked to take the issue out of the '48 campaign. You kept the good will of both sides and didn't, weren't condemned by one side or the other. Can you explain that? 01:23:00
RICHARD RUSK: Pop, Cohen refers to this directly. He calls it "the ease withwhich Dean Rusk followed an incredibly sinuating White House course."
DEAN RUSK: In the first place, it was my duty to do so. I had played aconsiderable role in helping to get the votes for the partition resolution: without much help from the British, by the way.
SOHN: I gather that it was a very difficult point. Again it was one of thosethings that the procedural thing helped mainly: adjourning the meeting, not having the votes they needed.
DEAN RUSK: That's right. I think some people underestimate the importanceof procedural matters in these international bodies. 01:24:00
BENNETT: And you did it again in Korea, in the Korean--that's off thesubject.
DEAN RUSK: Well, that's because the Soviet representative walked out ofthe Security Council. I've already put that on tape. But it was a very dramatic moment, at the time of the moment of the expiration of the British mandate. First let me say that a critical remark was made by [Arthur] Creech Jones, the British colonial minister, who was in charge of Palestine in their cabinet. He and I and [Moshe] Sharett, later to be Prime Minister of Israel, were standing there in the delegate's lounge, just the three of us talking. Creech Jones turned to Sharett and said, "We know you're going to have your Jewish state in Palestine. But of course the Arab legion will move. It has to move because it's Arab. But I can tell you that it will move only into those areas allotted to 01:25:00the Arab state in Palestine."
This was a very important piece of information because the Arab legion wasthe principal organized military force in the Arab world at that time, and it was under British command. So Sharett took off for Tel Aviv, or wherever. And I have no doubt that that remark of Creech Jones' played an important part in their decision to declare a provisional government the moment the mandate expired. It expired I think at 6:00 our time. The provisional government was declared immediately by the Jewish state. I got a telephone call about a quarter to six--I was in my office at the State Department--from Clark Clifford. He said, "The President wants me to inform you that at 6:00 a provisional 01:26:00state of Israel will be declared and the United States will recognize it immediately." And I said, "But, Clark, this would cut across everything that our delegation has been trying to do up there for the last several weeks on the instruction of President Truman. We have forty-five votes or so for the approach that we've taken, and this would just cut right across it." He said, "Nevertheless, that is the instruction of the President, and he wants you to inform our delegation in New York." So I called Warren Austin off the floor of the General Assembly and told him about this. Instead of going back to the delegation to tell them, he just went home. (laughter)
RICHARD RUSK: Did you ever ask him why he did that?
DEAN RUSK: So about three minutes past 6:00, a delegate at the U.N.came shouting down the aisle, waving an Associated Press ticker. He went to 01:27:00 the podium and he read this ticker, announcing the declaration of the state of Israel and American recognition. He demanded from the U.S. delegation an explanation. Well, sitting in our delegation at that point were Francis Sayer, a fine old man but not too smart, and Philip Jessup. Well, Philip Jessup immediately left the assembly room to telephone us in Washington to find out what in the hell was going on. But Francis Sayer went to the podium and sort of scratched his head and said, "[I'll] be damned if I know!" Then, a few minutes later, Phil Jessup came back and went to the podium and read this report, and confirmed that it was, in fact, correct.
Well pandemonium reigned in the Security Council at that time: genuinepandemonium! An American staff officer physically sat in the lap of the Cuban delegate to keep him from going to the podium and withdrawing Cuba from 01:28:00the United Nations right then and there!
RICHARD RUSK: Did you ever ask Warren Austin why he simply trotted onhome, after receiving the news?
DEAN RUSK: I have no doubt that he felt it was better for the United Statesfor everybody up there to know that this was a Presidential decision and that the U.S. delegation had not been trying to "hoodwink" everybody on this. Probably in that respect, he was correct. Then, about 6:20, I got a call from George Marshall saying, "Rusk, get up there to New York and keep our delegation from resigning en masse." So I jumped in the next plane and got up there. But by the time I had got there, they had more or less cooled off and that didn't occur.
BENNETT: At one point, you also--you said a telex saying they shouldreserve a spot in the mental institution for the U.N. delegation--
DEAN RUSK: (laughter) I don't remember that.01:29:00
RICHARD RUSK: We need a separate tape on the creation of Israel as astate. I think this is quite an area that we have dipped into here.
DEAN RUSK: I would point out something and, Louis, if you disagree withthis please say so. When the General Assembly passed the Partition Resolution, this was not just a recommendation of the Assembly in the usual sense. The United Nations had inherited from the League of Nations plenary powers with respect to the mandate system. My view had always been that the General Assembly was legislating under its mandate responsibility when it passed the Partition Resolution. It was not just a recommendation in the usual--It was a constitutional act taken by the General Assembly within its powers.
SOHN: A similar thing happened about Namibia in Southwest Africa.01:30:00
DEAN RUSK: Yes. Yes.
SOHN: The International Court agreed that they have that power. But whatbothered me about it, the partition resolution, you remember the Arab countries finally got together on something: Namely, that they asked that an advisory opinion be sent, be requested, from the International Court on the issue whether this was legal, whether the Assembly had the power to do it. That almost passed, and, I guess, probably required quite a lot of effort on the part of the United States not to pass. That would have, of course, delayed the whole business and maybe would have been, in fact, something that the United States might have liked. But we opposed it very strongly.
DEAN RUSK: The situation on the ground clearly pointed toward heavy01:31:00fighting up there. We knew that the court could do nothing about that. But in any event, the momentum of the establishment of the state of Israel meant that our government was not particularly interested in that kind of delay because the situation on the ground would not stand still. So we thought that was not a very good idea.
SOHN: Another point, of course, rose at that time very strongly: The questionof trusteeship for the state of Jerusalem, an issue that still, in a way, is not completely forgotten.
BENNETT: It hasn't been solved yet.
SOHN: And have not solved yet. But what do you do with this sacred city forseveral religions? Is it proper for the Arabs to have it; Jews to have it? What's the United Nations' solution to correct this?
DEAN RUSK: Well there's a strange irony about the old city of Jerusalem. To01:32:00some, it's the city of David; to others it's the city of Christ. To still others, it's the city that played a special role in the tradition of Mohammed. Here we are, three great religions, all confessedly worshiping the same God: the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Yet, when we sit down to talk about Jerusalem, we start balling up our fists and get ready to kill each other.
The United States took the view that there should be internationalarrangements, somehow, for the city of Jerusalem that would respect and protect the interests of three great religions, particularly in the old city. To this day, we have not fully recognized the old city as a part of Israel. We have kept our embassy in Tel Aviv and have not moved it to Jerusalem, for that 01:33:00matter. I think the tradition of the United States has been to insist upon some settlement for Jerusalem that respected and recognized the interest of the three religions.
My own personal solution for Jerusalem would be to come up with somethingthat is so complicated, so loused up, that nobody could understand it and wouldn't know what they are fighting about. For example, to allocate the shrines in the old city to three religions, and the supporting facilities, such as hotels, things of that sort, then distribute the other functions of the city: maybe let the Israelis take the police responsibilities, somebody else the utilities, garbage collections, things of that sort. And let the question of sovereignty just float up in the air. It's only a figure of speech anyhow. But get something 01:34:00 that is so utterly complicated that there was no issue on which to fight about. But that never got anywhere.
RICHARD RUSK: Of all the things you dealt with in the sixties, I think youtold me that the Middle East, the question of Israel and the Arabs, probably discouraged you as much as anything else.
DEAN RUSK: It's been the most stubborn, impractical, unyielding problemwe've had in this postwar period for all sorts of reasons. Now we were able, in the case of a number of Arab states, to acknowledge that we and they differed on this particular point, this particular set of issues, but that we ought to put those issues over in the corner and get on with working out our relations in every other respect. Most of the time that worked reasonably well. There were times, though, when things came to push and shove with regard to the Arabs in Israel when some of those relationships suffered. The Arabs 01:35:00almost need the Israeli issue. That's about the only issue on which they agree among themselves, Tap, it seems to me. They have an infinite capacity to quarrel with each other. But on this one issue, they seem to be able to come together.
SOHN: Isn't it also the issue that the Soviet Union likes to keep open? Theywouldn't probably like the issue closed because it gives them a leverage with the Arabs.
DEAN RUSK: Yes. At the beginning they were strongly in favor of theestablishment of the state of Israel. They voted for the Partition Resolution. That meant several other eastern European votes at that time. But then later on they shifted away from that. I think they feel they have an interest in continuing animosity between Israel and its Arab neighbors because they 01:36:00know that we would be associated with Israel in such situations. That would open the way for them to establish and expand their influence in the Arab world. So I think they do not feel they have an interest in peace between Israel and the Arab states.
RICHARD RUSK: Kind of discouraging.
SOHN: Let's perhaps go to a few more general questions. I have seen youmention several times the importance of the Charter of the U.N., especially the preamble Article I and II seem to be especially cherished by you. You have also been saying more often that we were lucky to have drafted the Charter like that when we drafted it, and if we had to draft it today, it would be much worse. Nevertheless, the United Nations has a special committee now 01:37:00 that has been working for more than ten years trying to say we ought to improve the Charter. Do you think it can be improved? If so, how?
DEAN RUSK: We've only amended the Charter twice, and that was toexpand the membership of the Economic and Social Council and of the Security Council to take into account the much larger membership in the U.N. as a whole. I do not, myself, believe that you can amend the Charter in any significant, substantive way because amendments are subject to veto by the five permanent members. So I've not thrown much of my own time and effort into studying proposals for amending the Charter. We would like to have eliminated the veto under Chapter VI questions, the peaceful settlement of disputes, but the Soviets won't accept that. And there might be some other amendments. I doubt very much if the Charter can be amended in any 01:38:00significant way.
SOHN: How about amending it the way the Constitution of the United Statesis amended all the time, namely by practice.
DEAN RUSK: Oh, I think there have been quite a number of amendments tothe Charter by practice. For example, under the Charter resolutions in the Security Council require the concurring vote of the five permanent members . But from the very beginning, we established earlier the proposition that if a permanent member abstains, or non participates, or is absent, that that does not constitute a veto. This is on the theory that if a permanent member wanted to vote against, he could be there to vote against it instead of abstain, or non- participate, or be absent. There is one instance where the language 01:39:00of the Charter seems to have been changed in practice. Another one is the Charter refers to certain membership questions, things of that sort, where the Assembly would act on the recommendation of the Security Council. This, in effect, means now following an affirmative decision of the Security Council, so that the General Assembly is not free to admit members just because a Security Council's vote is only a recommendation. So there have been a variety of ways in which the Charter has changed. For all practical purposes, the sections of the Charter about the military staff committee and military forces has withered away. Article 33 has been significantly changed in its application, with exhaustion of other remedies of the provision of the Charter. There have been considerable changes in the U.N. Charter through practice 01:40:00 rather than by formal amendment.
BENNETT: How would you feel about further enlargement of the SecurityCouncil, because the membership has grown greatly since the last change. And there are certain countries, such as Japan, India, Brazil, who feel they deserve to have more frequent representation, and not to mention Germany , except you have the double problem there.
DEAN RUSK: There has been a tendency toward electing certain countriesmore often than is their due because of that element. Japan, for example, comes on more frequently than some other Asian countries. I'm not sure that I care very much about expanding it further. I've no particular objection, but it becomes more unwieldy. And in any event, the ability of the Security Council 01:41:00to act will still turn crucially on the attitudes of the five permanent members. We, States, generally have taken the nominations of the different regional groups of membership in the Security Council. They tend to rotate this among themselves: two from Latin America, there's always an Arab member, eastern European bloc has a piece, another from the Soviet Union. Once in a while we might vote against a regional nominee, but not very often. And the regions tend to put up their better-known members, although often that is violated.
BENNETT: I'm just going to say that in my time they quite often saw themore radical members assert themselves and use procedures: countries like 01:42:00 Algeria, which at the time was so influential and have a representation beyond that.
DEAN RUSK: When you have a caucus of the Africans, or the Asians, or theAfro-Asians, it's part of the sociology of such groups that the more radical, more extreme voices tend to predominate because the moderate and conservative people don't speak up and don't use their elbows to make themselves heard. Often the group will adopt a position which many of its member governments would not support when you talked to them bilaterally. Sometimes you can break through those patterns as far as voting in the U.N. is concerned.
SOHN: How would you distinguish positions of the Soviet Union and theUnited States to United Nations? Of course, you said before the Soviet Union 01:43:00 would be out-voted by us and the only protection they had was in their veto. Nevertheless, they stayed there and fought. Do you feel that the United States has the same staying power, the more and more the U.N. adopts resolutions toward the United States?
DEAN RUSK: You mentioned earlier my own personal respect for the U.N.charter. It is true. I think that it is an extraordinarily important document. It represents the lessons we learned from World War II. We paid fifty million dead for the chance to write that Charter. It is--if you want to look at a succinct statement of the general attitude of the United States and the American people toward the kind of community of nations we should have, 01:44:00you can find that in Articles I and II of the Charter. It's no accident, because we played a major role in drafting that Charter. But it also is a useful expression of aspiration. From a legal point of view, as you know Louis, it's the granddaddy of treaties; it's the master treaty. Because any treaty in violation of the Charter does not have legal effect. The Hitler-Stalin Treaty, for example, would undoubtedly be invalid as a matter of international law today because it makes provisions that were in violation of the Charter.
So I think that it's a very important instrument. If you look back over thispostwar period, and take the Charter in your hand as your guide, then you 01:45:00will find, I think without too much American chauvinism, that the Soviet Union in fact has violated the Charter time after time after time. Its attempt to keep its forces in Azerbaijan, the northwest province of Iran: the first case before the U.N. Security Council. If it did not take action to give effect to its demand for the two eastern provinces of Turkey, it's support for the guerrillas in Greece, its blockade of Berlin, support for the Koreans, invading South Korea, all sorts of things. So I think, measured by the standards of the Charter, there's just no way to consider the Soviet Union and the United States sort of equally at fault. It just won't work.
Although there are some people who like to play the role of the man from01:46:00Mars and sort of pretend that we are all the same. Of course we've made some mistakes on our side, and we have had some disappointments. But by and large in this postwar period, the United States has acted with responsibility, restraint, and even generosity, and largely in conformance with the U.N. Charter. There have been some times when one could argue that point. But the Soviet violations of the Charter have been major, and far- reaching, and very consequential. One small example, for three fiscal years after V-J [Victory in Japan] day, '47, '48 and '49, our own defense budget came down to a little over $11 billion a year, groping for a target of $10 billion. Now if you take that figure as what we thought would be a normal peace time 01:47:00defense budget, and then compute the additions we have had to put on it because of Soviet actions and policy, when your account gets beyond two trillion dollars you might as well stop, because it boggles the mind with what you could have done with the resources which Soviet policy imposed upon us.
So I don't -- Now you'd think I would be very angry about this. Well, my soulcries out about it. But, anger standing alone has no future. Whatever we think of the Russians or they think of us, we and they have got to find some way to inhabit this speck of dust in the universe at the same time. So you still have got to get on with the main job.
RICHARD RUSK: I wonder what Walter La Feber, a revisionist historian,would say to this in response to my father's analysis of Soviet and American joint responsibilities in the breakdown of the U.N. He is not here and I cannot 01:48:00 argue on his behalf. Professor Sohn, are you in a position to state the revisionist interpretation of American role with respect to the United Nations to the extent to which we may well indeed be responsible for some of the problems of that organization?
SOHN: Not really. Dean, sometimes I disagreed with you on some policysubject. One was United for Peace. I remember having a big fight once with Ernest [Arnold] Gross.
DEAN RUSK: Oh, yes.
SOHN: At a meeting at the University of Michigan.
RICHARD RUSK: Was he a professor?
SOHN: Ernest Gross was also our delegate to the United Nations for a longtime. First number two, and at one point he was number one. Somehow in Michigan he made the statement saying that the greatest thing that happened 01:49:00to the United Nations was the United for Peace resolution. And I had courage to get up and say, "I don't believe so." Because I was worried that what we were doing was violating the letter of the Charter, even if you said we did it because of the spirit of the Charter. And I made an argument on that subject. And he got very angry, making some very caustic remarks about me. And then to my pleasant surprise, Jessup got up, who was of course for a long time involved in the U.N. delegation, and said that there was some grain of truth in what I said and someday the United States might regret because the majority in the General Assembly might be in somebody else's hand.
DEAN RUSK: As a matter of fact--and Louis, help me remember--the Soviet01:50:00 Union at one stage later on supported the use of the United for Peace resolution. What was that about?
DEAN RUSK: Right. And the Suez Treaty.
SOHN: It was used against us, essentially.
RICHARD RUSK: For the benefit of this oral history, just a brief summary ofthis United for Peace something.
SOHN: The United for Peace had several parts to it. The main one was if theSecurity Council is unable to maintain peace because of the use of veto by a member, the matter would be referred to the General Assembly on the request of a majority of members or any, at that time, seven members now nine members of Security Council could meet immediately and discuss the issue, and adopt even a recommendation recommending action by the United 01:51:00Nations members, collective action, if necessary, economic sanctions, and even military sanctions in case of breach of the peace. And the Russians, of course, opposed it very strongly on the grounds that only the Security Council under the Charter is authorized to do things like that, that Article 12 of the Charter expressly provides that the General Assembly may debate issues, but when if action is required, it would refer it to the Security Council.
DEAN RUSK: I think part of this debate turned on the meaning of a word inthe Charter. The Charter provides that the Security Council shall have primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security. We took the position that that word did not mean "sole" responsibility. The Soviets wanted the Security Council to have a monopoly of this field because 01:52:00 there they had a veto. But the United for Peace resolution has not disrupted things as much as it was capable of doing.
SOHN: I think it had surprisingly little use. I mean I always was worried that,for instance, the African countries would come to the General Assembly and ask the General Assembly to recommend the use of force against South Africa, and the Soviet Union would say, "Of course the General Assembly has authorized it," so we comply, and we do it. Actually they have not tried it.
DEAN RUSK: By the way, being with the U.N. I've often wondered why it wasthat the United States was not hauled in by the ears, into the General Assembly, for strong debate on our own civil rights problems here at home. On another tape I've outlined what some of those were, even in the early sixties. I've talked to the foreign ministers of several non-white countries 01:53:00about this, and I got from them almost the same answer. In general they said that, "You people in the United States do not have a monopoly on these problems. Wherever you have different races, religions and cultures in direct contact with each other, there are problems, and we all have some of them. But what is very stimulating to us is the fact that it appears that the President, the Congress and the people of the United States are moving to find better answers in this field than you have found before. And that," he said, "is very exhilarating, not only because of what might happen in the United States, but what light it might throw on some of the problems we have in such matters in other parts of the world." So, it was the sense of motion, the sense of trying to do something about it in the United States that, I think, had a lot to do with our not being pounded in the United Nations on these matters. 01:54:00
SOHN: I think there was a great difference clearly made between the UnitedStates and South Africa. The United States is trying to do something positive about it. South Africa is going backwards, and backwards is not promoting human rights. The basic operating word in the Charter is that you should promote, the United Nations members should promote human rights. And promoting means improving. It doesn't mean going backwards, as South Africa went backwards in the situation of 1955.
BENNETT: And that brings in the great importance of the open society, theopenness of our public life. And I think a very fundamental issue is that of the free press. With all the problems our press causes, it's a free press and it stimulates, goads--
RICHARD RUSK: It sure is free!
DEAN RUSK: Louis, can you help me remember the year in which the01:55:00contributions to the budget issue came up, where the Soviets and France were taking a view? Was that '66?
SOHN: Yes, it was about that time.
DEAN RUSK: An interesting story connected with this: Under the charter, if amember falls more than two years behind in his dues, he loses his vote in the General Assembly, although the General Assembly can take into account special circumstances and waive that if it wishes to. Well, the Soviet Union and France both came up with more than two years behind in their dues because, for different reasons, they wouldn't pay certain parts of the budget . In case of the Soviet Union, in particular, the Congo operations and certain other peace keeping operations. We, at the beginning, felt that we had to insist that the charter be applied. After all, when the U.N. had borrowed 100 01:56:00 million dollars from the U.S. for the Congo operations, one of the points we made in testimony was that the U.N. would be able to pay because they have this sanction on the payment of dues by its members. But that led to a deadlock at the opening of the General Assembly. We would not allow anything to come up that required a vote if the Soviet Union was going to vote, so I don't know how we elected a president of the Assembly that year.
SOHN: It was the Nineteenth Assembly.
RICHARD RUSK: What year was this?
DEAN RUSK: 1966, I think.
SOHN: 1964 at that time the crisis arose.
DEAN RUSK: Anyhow, the deadlock continued throughout most of the fall.
SOHN: That was a beautiful Assembly because they couldn't vote. And howit was beautifully done by the President of the Assembly, who was a 01:57:00Nigerian--No, Ghanaian. The ambassador from Ghana was at that time president. And what he did was very easy. He said, "We shall not vote, but on these elections, and so on, there are some candidates. And I would like people to come to my office. There will be a box there, and you can drop a piece of paper saying how, if there were a vote, how you would vote."
RICHARD RUSK: I'll be darned.
SOHN: Then he would announce, from the Assembly, from the chair, sayingthat, "I understand that there is a preponderance of views that Mr. X should be, have such office, or that such and such country should be elected to the Security Council, the Economic or Social Councils," and so on. And it was done.
DEAN RUSK: I have to step out for a second. I'll be right back. There's astory on this I want to tell. 01:58:00
RICHARD RUSK: Keep it going.
SOHN: And that went very nicely for a while. And then at the last minute,Albania raised an issue which required a vote. And [Adlai] Stevenson was at that time our delegate: didn't know what to do. Somebody advised him that you just get up there and say that the United States does not object to a vote on this subject because it's a procedural vote, not a substantive vote, and, therefore, the injunction of the charter doesn't apply to it. The charter there must distinguish between the procedural and substantive vote on that issue, but continues to preserve that the country shall not have the right to vote. And 01:59:00 by that device we had the one vote in the Assembly. It's amazing because this is also the Assembly that established one of the biggest bodies in the United Nations: the UNCTAD. It just happened too that that was the year just before it, before the Assembly that a conference was held to establish the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, which had, however, to be approved by the Assembly assembled for the (unintelligible) for it. That issue arose, and again it was simply said that, "I believe there is now no objection." And that's the kind of consensus system developed. I've been talking about the Nineteenth Assembly and why UNCTAD was established by that Assembly without a vote. And that, in a way, was the beginning of consensus in the General Assembly.
DEAN RUSK: Well I want to tell a little story about the way that dues problem was02:00:00resolved because it throws light on the methods that they use sometimes in making policy decisions. For months we had been in deadlock at the U.N. And there were people in the delegation and our Department who simply wanted it to come to a confrontational vote. But Prime Minister Lester [Bowles] Pearson of Canada and his Foreign Minister Paul [Joseph J.] Martin, came down to the LBJ Ranch to visit with President Johnson, and I was there. And in the usual way, Lyndon Johnson took the four of us out in his car to look at the deer. You always do that when you go to the LBJ Ranch.
BENNETT: Did he drive?
DEAN RUSK: LBJ was driving, Lester Pearson was sitting in the front seat,Paul Martin and I in the back seat.
RICHARD RUSK: (laughter) All of you terrified for you lives.
DEAN RUSK: And Lester Pearson talked about his dismay and concern over02:01:00 this deadlock in the United Nations. And LBJ said, "Well, we're not going to break up the United Nations just because the Soviet Union won't pay 150 million dollars." And I could feel Paul Martin in the seat next to me jump a little, because that was a very significant remark by LBJ. We got back to the Ranch and I said to LBJ, "Well, that was a pretty important remark you made. Do you mean it?" He said, "Dean, how much has the United States contributed to the United Nations system since World War II?" I said, "Approximately three billion dollars." He said, "Do you have any doubt about whether I mean it or not?" So that led to fresh instructions to Arthur [Joseph] Goldberg, who then allowed the General Assembly to proceed in a normal fashion, but with a statement by Arthur Goldberg that if the Soviet Union and 02:02:00 France look upon their payment of dues to the U.N. as a voluntary contribution, so would the United States. And there were some people in the State Department, Richard [N.] Gardner for example, who was furious about this change of direction by LBJ.
SOHN: Richard Gardner and Steve [Stephen M.] Schwebel were big fightersfor the hard approach. I, again, was on the other side of the case because I agreed with Judge [Gerald] Fitzmaurice in the court, who said, "Do you realize what you are doing? You are giving the absolute power of taxation to the United Nations." Because the court interpreted this provision in the Charter as saying that General Assembly can [a] decide what the budget of the U.N. is by a two-thirds majority, and can also decide who should pay what 02:03:00 proportion of it. By its being done in a gentlemanly way for the moment, there can be negotiations that the United States considers thirty-three percent or twenty-five percent, and so on. And the United States usually won on it. But he pointed out that this is simply the kindness of heart of the majority, but the majority could tomorrow decide that the United States would pay ninety percent of the budget and, theoretically, this will be a binding decision.
DEAN RUSK: This is a very interesting point in the Charter because, underthe Charter it is clear that two-thirds of the General Assembly can adopt a budget and can assess dues to members in whatever ratio the General Assembly by two- thirds vote decides upon. Now that was in the Charter that was given advice and consent by the Senate of the United States. And over the years since then I've had more than one senator say, "My God! Did we 02:04:00give advice and consent to that?" Because you see, that creates a legally, binding obligation upon the United States. It was a major--
RICHARD RUSK: Has it been abused in recent years?
DEAN RUSK: In some respects--
SOHN: The budget, yes. There have been now several budgets voted towhich we object.
RICHARD RUSK: What about the allocation of shares? Allocation ofresponsibility?
BENNETT: We've gradually whittled that down.
SOHN: We whittled it down to twenty-five percent, which is not really exactlythe amount of the worth gross product we are responsible for.
BENNETT: We're a little bit under, I would say, now.
SOHN: Yes, under.
DEAN RUSK: At the beginning it was thought that it would be unwholesomefor the United Nations for any single country to pay more than twenty-five percent of the budget.
END OF SIDE 2