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 You are in: Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs: Office of the Historian > Foreign Relations of the United States > Nixon-Ford Administrations > Volume V
Foreign Relations, 1969-1976, Volume V, United Nations, 1969-1972
Released by the Office of the Historian

Secretary-General Succession

211. Editorial Note

On September 1, 1966, Secretary-General U Thant announced that he did not intend to seek a second term. He later agreed to serve until the end of the current session of the General Assembly. On December 2, however, he agreed to accept a second term after having been re-elected unanimously by the Security Council and the General Assembly. (Andrew W. Cordier and Max Harrelson (eds.), Public Papers of the Secretaries-General of the United Nations, Volume VII: U Thant, 1965–1967 (New York: Columbia University Press, 1977), pages 286–310)

During a press conference on January 18, 1971, Thant announced that he had "no intention whatsoever of serving beyond the present term." He had not changed his opinion that a Secretary-General should not serve for more than one term. When he had agreed to serve a second term in 1966, he had already decided that it would be his last term. (Ibid., Volume VIII: U Thant, 1968–1971, page 540)

Even before this date, the U.S. Mission observed that other countries were showing an interest in who might succeed U Thant. On July 8, 1970, U.S. Representative Charles W. Yost reported that Panamanian Representative Aquilino Boyd, Chairman of the Latin American Group at the UN, was seeking support for a Latin American candidate; Mexican Representative Francisco Cuevas Cancino was a possibility. On July 17 the Department advised Yost not to become involved in the succession question. (Telegram 1423 from USUN, July 8, 1970, and telegram 114488 to USUN, July 17, 1970; both in National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 298, Agency Files, USUN, Vol. IV)

212. Telegram From the Mission to the United Nations to the Department of State/1/

New York, April 20, 1971, 0030Z.

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 300, Agency Files, USUN, Vol. VI. Secret; Exdis. Repeated to Djakarta, Helsinki, London, and Moscow.

986. Subj: Successor to SYG.

1. Finnish PermRep Jakobson called on Bush April 19 to fill us in on his campaign to succeed U Thant.

2. Jakobson reported on his extensive trip to Asia. He had been well received everywhere and Indonesian FonMin Malik agreed that there was little prospect Asians could unite behind Asian candidate. Amerasinghe of Ceylon did not have strong backing.

3. Same situation obtained with Africans. Jakobson estimated there virtually no chance AFs could unite behind Makonnen.

4. LA’s seemed bereft of candidates as well. He admitted that if LA’s could unite behind a strong candidate that such a challenge would be formidable.

5. When asked about Waldheim, Jakobson noted he currently running for President of Austria. If, as anticipated, he not elected then he would maintain his candidacy.

6. Bush asked about attitude of Soviets. Jakobson said as long as there chance U Thant could be drafted then Soviets will not endorse another candidate since he probably their preferred choice.

7. When asked about attitude of Arabs, Jakobson said there had been no Arab group position. He noted Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco had rejected any religious criteria and he thought this helpful. GOF had denied press reports Mrs. Jakobson was Zionist.

8. To above we would add recent conversation Pol Couns had with Swiss ChargÚ. Latter estimated Jakobson’s chances of succeeding U Thant were dead. Both Arabs and Soviets were opposed. When Swiss questioned Arabs they were told Soviets were against Jakobson. Soviets, in turn, said Arabs opposed. Swiss concluded Arabs did not wish to state real reason„objection on religious grounds„neither did Soviets„Jakobson’s views on Finnish neutrality„so each cited the other. Swiss ChargÚ’s canvass of other groups tallied with Jakobson’s above. He concluded, "U Thant was not the first candidate but he will be the final one."


213. Telegram From the Mission to the United Nations to the Department of State/1/

New York, May 10, 1971, 1300Z.

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 300, Agency Files, USUN, Vol. VI. Secret; Exdis. Repeated to the White House for Kissinger.

1196. For the Secretary. Subj: Successor to U Thant.

1. I have reluctantly concluded that our preferred candidate, Jakobson, cannot be elected because of Sov and Arab opposition and because of current Afro-Asian preference for U Thant. I am persuaded that unless we move promptly: to decide on an alternative candidate who has a chance of being elected, and to eliminate the possibility that U Thant could be drafted again, we will wind up at the 26th GA with U Thant reelected to a full five year term.

2. Malik on several occasions has raised the succession problem with me. Although I have been non-committal, he has confirmed what Timerbayev told us at the SALT talks„Jakobson is definitely not acceptable to the Sovs. Malik was less blunt with me in stating the Sov position, rather he noted Arab opposition to Jakobson and the preference of Francophone Africans for U Thant. However, we have other reliable reports of clear Sov opposition to Jakobson and their present preference for U Thant, views which they are making known to other dels. At present, Jakobson is building his campaign on the premise that he is the only candidate acceptable to the PRC, a tactic which we do not believe will work.

3. We have not approached the Arabs directly on this matter for obvious reasons. When the subject arises, Arabs usually say Jakobson is unacceptable but are not precise as to reason. They note Sov opposition to Jakobson and some are effusive in their praise for U Thant. At least in New York they are inhibited from revealing the true basis for their opposition which is religious prejudice.

4. Although U Thant has repeatedly stated his intention not to serve beyond his present term he has carefully not closed the door on a possible draft. There are reliable stories that some of his close associates on the 38th floor have been at pains to point out the liabilities of other announced candidates. Moreover, at a luncheon organized by De Pinies of Spain at which Malik, several Africans and some LA’s were present, and in response to OCAM approach (USUN 1044)/2/ the SYG did not adopt a clearcut stand when hope expressed for his continued service after 1971. Few doubt that he is available for a draft if not covertly pursuing one.

/2/ Telegram 1044 summarized a motion made at the Heads of State Conference of the Central African, Malagasy, and Mauritian Organization (OCAM), at Fort-Lamy, Chad, on January 28, 1971, which congratulated Secretary-General Thant "for his untiring action in favor of peace and justice in world and notably for his initiatives toward under-privileged countries," and expressed the hope that he would remain in office in order to continue his work. (Ibid., RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, UN 8–3)

5. I think I should point out that this support for Thant is not so much positive as it is a combination of essentially negative factors: (A) the Sovs and the Arabs for different reasons do not like Jakobson, (B) many Africans do not want another European yet they cannot unite behind Makonnen or another African and U Thant’s strong views on apartheid and colonialism are appreciated by them, (C) LA’s have not been able to come up with outstanding candidate of their own.

6. I am personally convinced that another term for U Thant would be unfortunate for the UN. If absolutely necessary, we could probably live with his substantive differences with us on such issues as Indochina. However, his lack of interest or ability in administering and coordinating something as complex and important as the UN system is, in my judgment, a disqualifying disability. Among other things, he has taken no effective action to help meet the UN’s desperate financial plight nor has he attracted and utilized strong lieutenants.

7. Therefore, I believe we must promptly:

(A) Find an acceptable and electable alternative to Jakobson and U Thant. In doing so, we must take into account the possibility that the PRC will be in the SC and in a position to cast a vote when the new SYG is elected.

(B) Consult with others to obtain geographically balanced core of active support for the alternative.

(C) Inform Thant frankly that we have taken him at his word when he said he had no intention of serving beyond his current term and that we are actively seeking an acceptable alternative. In this process we would make it clear that we would not under any circumstances support him for a third term. (In order to provide an incentive, I believe we should generate an attractive employment offer for Thant here in New York. I would be happy to help on such a project.)

(D) At the appropriate time, we should have a frank talk with the Sovs, make our position on Thant clear, and try to agree on a successor.

8. As to alternatives, Amerasinghe of Ceylon is the only active candidate who now appears to have both the necessary qualifications and the possibility of obtaining widespread support. He has overcome a major hurdle in obtaining his government’s endorsement. Our experience with him on the seabeds committee has been good. He is an activist chairman who has maintained the respect of all. He is not anti-Western or anti-US and has been willing in the past to take our views into account. His background as a Ceylonese civil servant and permanent sec of the Finance Ministry has given him experience in the field of management and administration where U Thant is notably weak. In addition, he is not European which is a major asset in task of winning the support of the Afro-Asian majority. Although he is fundamentally conservative, he is the nominee of a leftist govt which has good relations with the Sovs and the PRC.

9. If for any reason we should not wish to back Amerasinghe, there is no dearth of capable men who might be induced to run. Other possibilities include:

(A) Adam Malik of Indonesia who will be president of the 26th GA. (While the FDVS would not be happy about Malik they are interested in improving their relations with Indonesia. Unfortunately, Malik does not have a reputation as an outstanding administrator.)

(B) Gunnar Jarring of Sweden. (Given Afro-Asian sensibilities, there is doubt that any European could get the necessary support.)

(C) Former President Frei of Chile. Here the difficulty might be in getting the support of Allende. However, were he to do so, the Sovs would have a hard time opposing him because he is a LA.)

(D) Majid Rahnema, former Iranian Minister of Science, scientific research and advance training. (Iranians are willing to run Rahnema provided his prospects are good. We might keep him in mind as a dark horse.)

(E) Former Mexican FonMin Carillo Flores. (It is not known whether Carillo Flores could obtain the backing of President Echeverria. If he could, he would be a strong candidate.)

(F) Prince Sadruddin Khan, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. (Prince Sadruddin has done an excellent job, but he is largely untested in the political field.)

10. I would appreciate your views on the above.


214. Action Memorandum From the Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs (De Palma) to Secretary of State Rogers/1/

Washington, May 25, 1971.

/1/ Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, UN 8–3. Secret; Nodis. Drafted by De Palma.

U Thant’s Decision to Retire

The attached message reporting Ambassador Bush’s talk with U Thant May 25/2/ appears to provide all the clarification we need regarding the Secretary General’s intentions. While he did not say he would refuse to be drafted he did state unequivocally that his decision to retire at the end of this term is "final". He made the same statement May 25 to a conference of non-governmental organizations in New York. Accordingly, I see no need for another approach to U Thant as we were contemplating in the message which was sent to the White House for clearance. That message has been recalled.

/2/ Telegram 1378 from USUN, May 25; attached but not printed.

I do, however, believe we should promptly get the word out that we are satisfied the rumors about U Thant’s availability for another term are without foundation. After the usual expressions of appreciation for his period of service, we could indicate that we are convinced it will be necessary to face up to the question of a successor this fall, that there are a number of qualified candidates and others who may yet become available and that we shall have to begin looking seriously at their prospects for election.

In response to questions about our choice, we would state that we have made no decision but that, while it will be difficult, we feel it should be possible to reach agreement in the first instance among the Permanent Members on a worthy and strong successor.

I have agreed to see Henry Tanner of the New York Times Thursday, May 27. I do not know what he wants to discuss other than "UN matters". If you agree, I could steer the conversation toward this question and, on background, make the points indicated above.

I also suggest that Ambassador Bush be authorized to inform the UK and French Permanent Representatives of his talk with U Thant and of our intention to undertake a serious study of the qualifications and prospects of possible successors. He could state that we will want to consult them closely in due time regarding tactics for dealing with the Soviets on this matter.


/3/ Rogers initialed his approval of both recommendations on May 26. Authorization for Bush to discuss the succession question with the British and French Representatives was sent to him in telegram 93937 to USUN, May 28. (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 300, Agency Files, USUN, Vol. VI)

1. That I be authorized along the above lines to discuss with Henry Tanner our interest in a successor to U Thant.

2. That Ambassador Bush be authorized to discuss this matter along the same lines with the UK and French Representatives.

215. Memorandum From Marshall Wright of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)/1/

Washington, May 26, 1971.

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 301, Agency Files, USUN, Vol. VII. Secret. Sent for information. Kissinger’s handwritten note in the margin reads: "Jakobson looks alright to me."

Successor to U Thant

Attached is a cable reporting George Bush’s discussion with U Thant to which I referred in my memo to you of yesterday./2/

/2/ Telegram 1378 from USUN, May 25, is attached but not printed. In his May 25 memorandum to Kissinger, Wright noted that Bush’s report superseded a telegram of instructions that was being drafted for Bush. (Ibid.)

This is as flat a disclaimer from U Thant as we can possibly want, and it was reinforced by an equally unequivocal and public statement to the NGO group yesterday./3/ There is, therefore, no need whatever for us further to probe the sincerity of his non-candidacy.

/3/ Not found.

State has, therefore, put before Secretary Rogers the opening steps of an action campaign by us looking toward the selection of a new Secretary General. It involves primarily consultation with the British and French (including discussions as to how and when to approach the Russians on this issue), and an active examination of the merits of the various possible candidates.

As I assume you are aware, there is very strong sentiment in State in favor of Jakobson. There has, however, been no commitment to him. Moreover, it is agreed by all that open support for his candidacy at this point would hurt rather than help his candidacy.

I am told that Secretary Rogers may raise this matter with the President tomorrow./4/ I have also had a call from Cabot Lodge in which he expressed the conviction that the time has come for us to get vigorously into the business [of] selecting a successor. Without pushing the point hard, Lodge expressed the view that Jakobson not only would be a good candidate but, Lodge thought, a feasible one. Lodge asked me to pass on to you his feelings on this matter, and he hoped you would make them known to the President.

/4/ Secretary of State Rogers met with President Nixon on May 27 between 2:42 and 4:09 p.m. No record of this meeting has been found. (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, White House Central Files, President’s Daily Diary)

I will, inevitably, get caught up in all this. Therefore, if you have any particular views on this matter or any instructions by which you wish me to be guided, we should chat about it.

216. Telegram From the Mission to the United Nations to the Department of State/1/

New York, June 3, 1971, 2324Z.

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 301, Agency Files, USUN, Vol. VII. Secret; Exdis. Repeated to London and Paris.

1480. Subj: Successor to U Thant„Consultation With UK and French Reps. Ref: State 093937./2/

/2/ See footnote 3, Document 214.

1. UK Charge Jamieson, accompanied by Weston, called on Phillips June 2 for exchange of views on Secretary-Generalship. Similar discussion held June 3 with French Deputy De La Gorce. British and French concur time has come for Four to commence giving thought to question of a successor, and Jamieson and De La Gorce indicated Four Power ME talks "tea-break" would, in their view, furnish most suitable arena for initial discussion with Soviets. Phillips briefed British and French on Thant’s statement to Bush, and told them USG has concluded this must be accepted at face value and that way is now open for active consideration of acceptable successor.

2. Jamieson reported that Parsons (FCO) had talked with French in London on question of Secretary-Generalship. French in London vague on Quai’s position, and Parsons gave impression matter has not been given much consideration in Paris. Jamieson gave Phillips copy of a list, compiled originally in NY and revised in London by Parsons, of candidates for SYG. Listed are three declared candidates: Jakobson, Makonnen and Amerasinghe, plus large number of "other names mentioned," classified as "possible" and "impossible." Qualification pertains to individual’s chance of being elected rather than to his personal qualities, although in some cases these factors coincide. The "possibles" include four Asians, seven West Europeans (four Swedes and three Finns), one EE, one African and eight LA’s. The "impossible" include six Asians, five West Europeans, one EE, three Africans and seven LA’s. Jamieson observed even this long list not all inclusive and necessarily subjective. Phillips said a number of the listing would obviously give us trouble, i.e., Mme. Myrdal. It was agreed that for purpose of further discussion such list would have to be pared down drastically.

3. Commenting on most active individual candidates, Jamieson and Weston had following to say:

Jakobson: They were afraid Soviets had some definite reason for objecting to him, perhaps related to positions taken in past by Jakobson on Soviet-Finnish relations. British think Soviets likely to pursue every possible avenue to try block Jakobson;

Makonnen: His candidacy not doing well even in Africa and UK opposes him as they would any AF candidate;

Amerasinghe: His candidacy just beginning to roll and he may prove to be dark horse in this race;

Waldheim: British oppose him, consider him lightweight and add he not only a European but does not even have support in European group.

4. Jamieson suggested further consultations between our missions and contacts with French, leading to a sounding out of Soviets at a future Four-Power meeting. Jamieson specifically suggested Four-Power meeting due take place in two or three weeks with Bush as host. Phillips and Jamieson agreed sound out French as first step toward this objective, meanwhile reporting to our capitals and obtaining instructions.

5. When De La Gorce came in June 3 to discuss other matters with Phillips, latter raised Thant’s succession. After briefing him on Bush/Thant conversation, Phillips inquired if French had given consideration to this question. De La Gorce appeared uninformed of his govt’s position. This confirms Jamieson’s report that when he spoke to De La Gorce last week about this subject, he found latter uninformed and not greatly interested. De La Gorce said Kosciusko-Morizet was thinking of asking Malik June 4, at conclusion of Four-Power meeting, if he would be prepared at some future date to begin discussion with French, UK and US of Thant’s succession question. French idea is to plant the seed at this time and permit Malik to seek instructions from Moscow. When MisOff briefed Weston on meeting with De La Gorce, latter said UKUN had been further considering question of discussing potential candidates with Soviets as had been suggested on June 2. British fear, and we inclined to agree, that Soviets might like nothing better than to get list of names acceptable to Western Big Three which they could then methodically undermine in UN corridors during coming weeks. Would appear better, therefore, to obtain commitment from Malik of willingness to discuss this subject before we go into specifics and even then to proceed with extreme caution.


217. Telegram From the Mission to the United Nations to the Department of State/1/

New York, June 4, 1971, 2310Z.

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 301, Agency Files, USUN, Vol. VII. Secret; Exdis. Repeated to London and Paris.

1499. Subj: USSR Attitude on SYG question. Ref: USUN 1480./2/

/2/ Document 216.

1. Kosciusko-Morizet declined to raise with Malik question of discussing informally possible candidates for SYG, alleging lack of instructions from Paris. Therefore, UK Chargé Jamieson asked Malik after June 4 Four Power talk what Malik would think of the four discussing question informally at break during next meeting June 24. Malik rejected idea as premature. Jamieson and Phillips pointed out to Malik that there was new element which perhaps called for early examination of question. U Thant has now made it clear in several public statements and in private conversation with Bush that he does not intend serve past expiration of his present term. Malik still refused, saying that it too soon and Moscow has not yet had time to consider matter. Perhaps in August.

2. Phillips subsequently raised matter with Lessiovski of UN Secretariat who said that Malik could never have agreed discuss matter without authorization from Moscow. Moreover, question not that urgent since Lessiovski of opinion U Thant merely playing clever game and really desires be drafted next fall. (Comment: Urquhart of UN Sec believes U Thant genuinely does not wish to continue past present term and is presently opposed to idea of draft. Lessiovski told UK last week he thought U Thant through as candidate for draft. Therefore we do not take too seriously his statement to Phillips.)

3. In view of negative attitude of USSR and equivocal attitude of French we and UKUN believe it would be preferable confine to US and UK for present any detailed discussion of potential successor to U Thant. Unless such discussions very tightly held, they could leak with damaging effect to other members of UN.


218. Telegram From the Department of State to the Mission to the United Nations/1/

Washington, June 16, 1971, 2105Z.

/1/ Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, UN 8–3. Confidential. Repeated to Vienna. Drafted by Herz and Counselor Richard F. Pedersen and approved by Herz.

107205. Subj: Succession of U Thant.

1. Amb Waldheim called on Acting Assistant Secretary Herz (IO) June 15 to review prospects for his possible candidacy for UN Secretary Generalship. He said while he has assurance of complete and active support of Austrian Government it had been his feeling that it would be mistake to put forward formal candidacy since agreement among SC members should grow up as consensus, as had been case with Lie, Hammarskjold and U Thant.

2. Herz said that while US has not decided on how to proceed, it would seem that situation different from that of previous vacancies. We believe U Thant genuinely does not wish to serve. Soviets and others seem to doubt this. As long as there are no active candidacies (other than that of Jakobson) situation might arise where there simply aren’t enough candidates from whom to choose. Herz noted that Amerasinghe and Makonnen candidacies seem at dead center. Although we do not credit the reports that Jakobson has Soviets and/or Arabs against him, his prospects are also not clear at present time.

3. Waldheim said Austrians have made it known obliquely in several capitals that he might be available as candidate. Several Foreign Ministries had inquired whether he would put forward formal candidacy, among them Japan and Australia, also Diallo Telli of OAU. He said he had touched upon his possible availability in talks with PermReps in New York and had concluded there is interesting symmetry among US and USSR positions in that each does not wish to have it known whom it favors, for fear that the other would oppose. Waldheim also reported that Kosciusco-Morizet (France) had told him that while his country had not made up its mind he could state categorically that France would not vote for any candidate for SYG who does not speak French. Waldheim added he speaks French fluently and expressed doubts that same can be said about Jakobson.

4. On June 16 Waldheim also called on Counselor Pedersen, making most of same points. He said he was having lunch with UN press correspondents on June 29 and would answer questions by affirming his availability, with Austrian Govt support, if member states were to seek his services; but he would not be, at that time in any case, a "candidate". Waldheim said Austrian Govt was now circularizing a number of posts to let them know of his availability and of Govt backing./2/ Pedersen reiterated that USG had not taken any decisions, that we took U Thant’s desire to retire as being serious, and that we were actively interested in encouraging attention of states to question of agreeing on new SYG. Said he thought Waldheim’s approach seemed sensible, that it was important for Govts to know Austrian Govt supported him, and that decision on formal "candidacy" could only be made by him on basis tactical considerations in New York.

/2/ On July 21 the Austrian Embassy in Washington sent an aide-mémoire to the U.S. Government concerning Waldheim’s willingness to serve as UN Secretary-General. (Ibid.)

5. Waldheim said his impression of Soviet position was that they still seemed to prefer U Thant but had not come to any conclusion as to whom else they would prefer when convinced U Thant not available. He said U Thant had told him firmly that he did not want another term. He had also said one or two year extension not acceptable, as such term would put SYG in weak position.


219. Telegram From the Mission to the United Nations to the Department of State/1/

New York, June 18, 1971, 2305Z.

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 301, Agency Files, USUN, Vol. VII. Secret; Exdis. Repeated to London and Helsinki.

1654. Subj: Successor to U Thant.

1. Finnish PermRep Jakobson, who has just returned from Helsinki, called on Bush June 17 to bring him up to date on his campaign to succeed U Thant.

2. Arabs. Jakobson reported on results special emissary sent to Maghreb capitals. Reaction had been uniformly favorable and all three govts had dissociated themselves from action of Arab group reported to have taken place in NY. All three denied their reps had taken part in Arab group meeting on basis of authorization and indicated they would not join in future efforts of this kind since they considered them to be inimical to Arab interests. There was no Arab position on successor to Thant and there not likely to be one. Algeria had been most forthcoming and had indicated GOA might be prepared support Jakobson. Reactions similar to those of Maghreb countries had also come from Finnish Embassies in Jordan and Lebanon. Emissary sent to OAU meeting would stop in Cairo but best Finns could hope for is UAR neutrality. (This is in line with our assessment USUN 1530.)/2/

/2/ Telegram 1530 from USUN described meetings with members of the Algerian and Lebanese Missions, who were noncommittal toward Jakobson’s candidacy but said that the Arab states preferred either a second term for U Thant or H.S. Amerasinghe’s candidacy. (Ibid., RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, UN 8–3)

3. Africa. Jakobson reported President Kekkonen had sent letters to Kaunda, Nyeyere and Senghor. Response had been sympathetic and GOF confident OAU would not adopt appeal to U Thant to accept another term.

4. LA’s. Special Finn emissary now making rounds of certain LA capitals and Jakobson will report results when known.

5. Basically, Jakobson said, picture pretty much same as when he and Bush last talked (USUN 1256)./3/ Idea that U Thant wants to be drafted persists even among "disinterested" dels. In response to question, Jakobson said it would be helpful if US were to emphasize importance of change. Although many dels believed change was necessary, they also believed if Thant wanted another term he could have it. Bush said rather than stressing US wants change, we should perhaps adopt posture there will be change and this will help stimulate serious consideration of other candidates. Jakobson agreed.

/3/ Dated May 13. (Ibid., Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 300, Agency Files, USUN, Vol. VI)

6. Soviets. Jakobson said Sovs posture was it too early to take position on various candidates. This was legitimate answer since in a sense it was too early. In his view, Sov first preference was U Thant who they hoped would be drafted. When time for decision came, Jakobson believed Sovs would support him. Kekkonen had raised question with Sovs in February and if they had objections they could have said so.

7. French. Jakobson said French position similar to Sovs. While they would prefer another term for U Thant they could never oppose a qualified Finnish candidate. On the whole, Jakobson thought French were passive as were British.

8. Bush briefed Jakobson on his May 24 talk with Thant (USUN 1378)/4/ and said SYG understood US felt free to consider other candidates.

/4/ In telegram 1378 from USUN, May 25, Bush reported that U Thant had assured him that he would not be a candidate for another term, and had said as much on two recent occasions. (Ibid., Box 301, Agency Files, USUN, Vol. VI)

9. Comment: Unfortunately USUN 1626 crossed State 108833 as reported USUN 1626,/5/ we are attracted to names on working level UK list as well as order of preference with exception of Guyer.

/5/ Telegram 1626 from USUN, June 17, reported on a meeting on June 16 in which U.S. and British Mission officers discussed potential candidates for Secretary-General. (Ibid., Vol. VII) Telegram 108833 to USUN, June 18, proposed that Bush follow up on his informal consultations with his British counterpart about the search for a new Secretary-General. (Ibid., RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, UN 8–3)

We concur with Dept’s strategy para 7 State 108833. Our object should be to work closely with UK to encourage others to think seriously about choosing new SYG. It would help if US and UK were now to be more outspoken in their conviction U Thant’s decision final and we actively considering various possible successors with view to electing successor at 26th GA. Without endorsing any particular candidate, we should seek to create political climate which excludes possible draft of Thant. To this end, believe we should actively work on attractive employment offer to Thant and seek his acceptance prior to 26th GA.

Sovs have recently muted their assertions Jakobson unacceptable to Arabs. We agree Jakobson is current front runner and given Finnish efforts with Arabs latter may ultimately be effectively neutralized. Jakobson still has lot of work to do with Asians, Africans and LA’s. There is big gap between sympathy or non-opposition and declared support. Should latter materialize on meaningful scale, Jakobson stands chance of maneuvering Sovs and French into acquiescence.

For reasons previously reported, we believe both Adam Malik of Indonesia and former Pres Frei of Chile would be outstanding candidates if they would be interested in running. (Assessment of Embassies Djakarta and Santiago would be welcome.)

There have been indications that, in event U Thant not available, Ceylonese PermRep Amerasinghe is second choice of Arabs. Fact that he is Asian, has strong administrative background, and is basically pro-West, yet nominee of left-leaning developing country are assets that make him second strongest current candidate. We must bear in mind that there is considerable resistance beneath surface to another European SYG. Waldheim of Austria is definitely dark horse at this stage. We also concur chances of Makonnen of Ethiopia appear to be nil.


220. Telegram From the Mission to the United Nations to the Department of State/1/

New York, June 29, 1971, 2238Z.

/1/ Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, UN 8–3. Confidential. Repeated to Addis Ababa.

1747. Subj: Bush–Makonnen Talk June 28.

1. Ethiopian candidate for SYG Endalkachew Makonnen called on Bush June 28. Makonnen said one did not campaign for office of SYG as in other contests and that he had made it clear he was candidate only in event U Thant not available for another term.

2. Bush said he was very pleased to make Makonnen’s acquaintance. As result U Thant’s confirmation that he did not intend to serve beyond his present term, Bush said he had informed SYG that US took him at his word and that we actively considering qualified replacement. We had not decided in favor of any candidate at this stage. Makonnen said this was wise since if US were to come out in favor of a particular candidate too soon this could be a liability.

3. Makonnen said he had been very pleased at action of OAU. President had noted Makonnen was only announced African candidate and stated he was certain this fact would be taken into account within spirit of African solidarity when time for election came. Makonnen said he did not wish to have formal OAU endorsement since he did not wish to appear to be regional candidate. On other hand, President’s statement meant that there would be no other African candidate.

4. In reply to question, Makonnen said some African Moslem states had certain reservations because of Ethiopia’s ties with Israel. However, he did not think this would be serious problem. Soviets were somewhat cool because of close relations between US and Ethiopia but here again Makonnen did not think this would be serious liability.

5. Makonnen raised possibility of meeting Secretary with whom he served on South West Africa committee. Bush explained, while he was certain Secretary would be happy to see his former colleague, such a step could be misconstrued. Makonnen readily agreed. Bush suggested he see Asst Secretaries De Palma and Newsom and Makonnen said he would be most happy to do [so] and requested appointments for July 2./2/

/2/ A memorandum of conversation of Makonnen’s meeting with Assistant Secretary De Palma is ibid.


221. Circular Telegram From the Department of State to Certain Posts/1/

Washington, July 2, 1971, 2049Z.

/1/ Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, UN 8–3. Secret; Exdis. Drafted by Armitage and Hartley; cleared in draft by Ambassador Bush; cleared by Daniel Goott, William Witman, Masters, Curran, B.A. Poole, Assistant Secretary Sisco, and Pedersen; and approved by Assistant Secretary De Palma. Sent to Abidjan, Accra, Amman, Addis Ababa, Ankara, Athens, Bangkok, Beirut, Belgrade, Bogota, Brussels, Bucharest, Buenos Aires, Canberra, Caracas, Dakar, Djakarta, Dublin, Freetown, The Hague, Islamabad, Kinshasa, Kuala Lumpur, Lagos, Managua, Manila, Mexico City, Monrovia, Nairobi, New Delhi, Ottawa, Rabat, Rio de Janeiro, Rome, Tokyo, Tunis, and Wellington. Repeated to London and USUN.

119761. Subj: Successor to U Thant.

1. FYI. Dept concerned that despite U Thant’s recent reiteration of earlier statement he not candidate for reappointment, there still is disposition to question finality Thant’s decision and assume he would, as in 1966, respond to draft. Many UN members therefore appear inclined take easiest way out and not address themselves to question of suitable successor. This situation raises possibility that opportunity may go by default to appoint well qualified successor who would bring to crucial and difficult SYG post greater vigor and administrative/managerial ability than U Thant has demonstrated. End FYI.

2. We do not wish to make any formal approach to governments at this time but we do want to encourage others to accept as fact need to find successor to U Thant and to stimulate them to active consideration of problem. As informal occasion arises to raise subject with official of responsible level or to respond to queries, you should draw on following to discuss SYG question:

(a) US has good reason to take at face value U Thant’s statements to press on January 18 and June 3 and to conference of Non-Governmental Organizations on May 25 that his decision not to be candidate for reappointment is final (his term expires at end 1971). It is our understanding that he has taken this line also with delegates who are pressing him to allow himself to be drafted.

(b) US has so far taken no firm position on successor to U Thant, and we have little indication of views of other UN members. However, we believe time has come to search for best qualified candidate. Obviously, to be successful candidate must be acceptable to UN membership generally and to five permanent members of Security Council, and development of necessary consensus takes time and active effort. If such consensus is to develop over next few months, other UN members will have to begin soon to give serious consideration to question of finding best qualified successor.

(c) We also place great stress on need for SYG with outstanding qualifications as statesman and with managerial talent to weld Secretariat into effective organization and to attack UN’s serious financial problems. We view candidate’s ability as far outweighing any regional consideration.

(d) We are aware of only three announced candidates. (1) Most active is Max Jakobson who has endorsement of Scandinavian countries and for whom soundings have been taken with number of governments. Some question of Arab attitudes toward him have been raised, but as far as we know no formal objections have yet been voiced. He appears to enjoy considerable degree of respect among UN colleagues as effective mediator and conciliator. He has had long experience in UN matters and has been Finland’s permanent representative since 1965.

(2) Hamilton Shirley Amerasinghe (Ceylon) has recently been endorsed by his Government but we do not know how many other governments, either Asian or other, have been approached on his behalf./2/ Amerasinghe is career civil servant who has served as permanent secretary in Ministry of Finance and External Affairs, High Commissioner to India and since 1967 as Ceylon Permanent Representative to the UN. He has handled competently the thorny chore of Chairman of the UN Committee on Peaceful Uses of the Seabed.

/2/ Amerasinghe announced that he was not a candidate for UN Secretary-General on July 6. (Telegram 2010 from Colombo, July 9; ibid.)

(3) Endalkachew Makonnen has been Ethiopian Minister of Communications since 1969 and was Ethiopian Permanent Representative to UN 1966–1969. He has the endorsement of his government but we are not aware of official representations on his behalf. President of OAU summit meeting noted Makonnen candidacy but summit did not endorse it.

(4) Former Austrian Foreign Minister Waldheim, recently defeated in his bid for Austrian Presidency, and now Austria’s UN rep, while not a formal candidate has let it be known he would be available for SYG post.

(e) Among others whose names have surfaced as possible SYG is UN High Commissioner for Refugees Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan (Iran) who has also served with UNESCO. Dept has as yet no basis to weigh measure of his support. We also believe it possible Latin American candidate could yet develop.

(f) If host government official volunteers any views Dept would be interested.

3.For Kuala Lumpur: You should reply to MFA inquiry reported Kuala Lumpur 2241/3/ above lines, adding that Dept gratified know GOM currently considering its position this matter and would appreciate being kept informed GOM thinking as it develops.

/3/ Dated June 18. (Ibid., UN 8–1)

4. For London: You should inform FonOff that we are doing this to stimulate other governments to become more actively concerned with SYG problem.


222. Memorandum From Marshall Wright of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)/1/

Washington, September 9, 1971.

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 301, Agency Files, USUN, Vol. VII. Confidential. Sent for information. Kissinger’s handwritten note in the margin reads: "Marshall--Let’s do what is possible to get rid of Thant. HK"

Conversation with Max Jakobson, Candidate to Succeed U Thant as UN Secretary General

I lunched yesterday with Max Jakobson and Cabot Lodge. As you know, Jakobson is the Finnish Representative to the United Nations and an active candidate to succeed U Thant. I thought you would be interested in the following items that came out of the conversation:

1. Jakobson says that at the recent Scandinavian Foreign Ministers Conference there was unanimous agreement to give his candidacy vigorous support. Significantly, the Swedes went along without any reservations whatever. This appears to mean that the Soviet effort to float Gunnar Jarring’s candidacy has come to naught.

2. Jakobson says he considers it positive that Peking favors his candidacy. He said that in the last month or so Peking officials have expressed to three foreign ambassadors (French, Canadian, and one other) the expectation that Jakobson would be acceptable. Jakobson said this squared with earlier indications from Peking. He added, however, that Peking consistently takes the position that until such time as it occupies a seat in the United Nations no commitment or firm expression of Chinese policy is possible. According to Jakobson, the Chinese have also given clear indications that they do not want U Thant’s term extended.

3. Jakobson is convinced, and so is Finnish President Kekkonen, that the Soviets will not take their opposition to his candidacy to the point of a veto. Kekkonen discussed the Jakobson candidacy with Kosygin and Brezhnev earlier this year, and in August with the new Soviet Ambassador to Finland. The Finns attach importance to the fact that on neither occasion did the Soviets seize the clear opportunity to express overt, much less inflexible, opposition to Jakobson. Jakobson believes that the Soviets will continue to try to defeat his candidacy, but that if it comes to the point where only a veto will prevent his success, the Soviets will acquiesce. Jakobson believes that the Soviet opposition to him is based more upon bilateral considerations, and general Soviet concern for Finland as a model for Eastern European states seeking a more independent position, than upon personal considerations.

Jakobson thinks that the way of advancing his candidacy is to try to get one or more non-permanent members of the Security Council to precipitate consideration of the succession to U Thant. In that connection he thinks it would not be premature for us discreetly to encourage Belgium, Japan, Italy, and Argentina to think along those lines. Jakobson believes that when the Big Four get around to meeting on the succession question, it would be best if France were the country to put forward his name. He says that possibility is being actively pursued with the French Government.

Jakobson believes that if Communist China enters the UN before the succession matter is taken up, it will help his candidacy. He is not certain of the effect upon his candidacy of a U.S. victory on Chirep, but is worried that this might encourage an extension of U Thant’s term on the argument that the succession matter should not be settled until the PRC has taken its seat. Incidentally, Jakobson professes to be completely certain that Peking will refuse to come to the UN while Taipei is represented there.


I liked Jakobson. He is against us on the Chirep issue, and does not try to soften that fact. He is obviously a man of strength and conviction and could, I believe, be counted upon to give some much needed purposeful direction to the UN if he succeeds U Thant.

I do, however, continue to be concerned at the failure of the international community to come to grips with the problem of selecting a successor for U Thant. I very much fear that unless we can get some momentum into this, the end result will be an extension for U Thant, whether or not he really wants it. I will be talking to George Bush and Sam DePalma about this./2/

/2/ A meeting on September 9 between Jakobson and Bush is described in telegram 2627 from USUN, September 10. (Ibid., RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, UN 8–3)

223. Telegram From the Department of State to the Mission to the United Nations/1/

Washington, September 22, 1971, 0117Z.

/1/ Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, UN 8–3. Confidential. Drafted by Herz, cleared in draft by Assistant Secretary Charles A. Meyer, cleared by Fisher, and approved by Herz. Repeated to Santiago and London.

173993. Subj: Succession to U Thant. Ref: Santiago 4854./2/

/2/ Dated September 20. (Ibid.)

1. Chilean Ambassador Letelier called on Asst Sec Meyer and Acting Asst Sec Herz (IO) Sept 21 to inform us that Chile is putting forward candidacy of Felipe Herrera Lane as candidate for SYG. He said Chile is approaching LA’s and US at this stage with purpose of establishing Herrera as Latin American rather than Chilean candidate.

2. Letelier said GOC had been canvassing selected LA’s quietly for some time on general question of Chile putting forward a candidate, envisaging alternatives of Herrera, Santa Cruz and Valdez. He said responses had been sufficiently encouraging with respect to Herrera that last Friday GOC decided to launch more widespread and official initiative. Specifically, GOC is asking our reaction to "idea of regional candidate, idea of a Chilean and idea of Herrera."

3. Meyer said that without reference to any country or individual, his bureau would welcome the idea of a Latin American candidate. Herz broadened this by saying we welcome all nominations of qualified candidates and certainly will give candidacy of Herrera all due consideration. However, our general position is that most important is that next SYG be well qualified and that regional considerations should be secondary.

4. Herz asked when GOC expects to have results of its current canvass, and Letelier said he thought it would be in about one week. He agreed to let us know of LA endorsements received. Herz explained we are not in a position to encourage hopes of endorsement of any candidate at this time. As is usual with major powers, we will proceed more slowly than many other members to define our position or choice of candidate./3/

/3/ Herrera’s candidacy was formally announced at the United Nations on September 28. (Airgram A–1453, September 28; ibid.)


224. Telegram From the Mission to the United Nations to the Department of State/1/

New York, October 5, 1971, 0003Z.

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 302, Agency Files, USUN, Vol. VIII. Secret; Exdis.

3132. Subj: Successor to U Thant.

1. Summary. It is now accepted that U Thant is serious about his decision to retire and that even Sovs have come to this conclusion. It is also widely believed that even though Sovs have now accepted fact that their first choice is not available, they either have not decided on an alternative or if they have they are not prepared to discuss the matter with us at this stage. Jakobson of Finland remains the front runner. Chile is very active on behalf of Herrera and his candidacy is rapidly gaining support among Latin Americans. Jarring’s name frequently mentioned by some Arabs and some Africans. Other declared and non-declared candidacies are not prospering, although Waldheim remains ready move in if Jakobson collapses. End summary.

2. Based on discussions with a number of key dels, it is now widely accepted that Gromyko arrived with instructions to press U Thant hard to accept a third term. Firmness of SYG’s negative response appears to have taken Sovs aback. Presumably they will now begin to assess alternatives and will look about for successor who, in their view, would be most likely to fulfill their ideal, e.g., an administrative official who sees his role as limited to carrying out decisions of SC and GA and who is careful to avoid political initiatives. It is assumed Sovs will keep options open for immediate future but that they will be prepared to discuss successor with US prior to end of 26th GA Dec 21.

3. Jakobson remains front runner. He is generally regarded as most capable candidate under discussion, and he has public backing of Nordic countries as well as tacit support of UK. Sovs have not excluded possibility that they ultimately might acquiesce in his appointment. Arabs as a group have not taken a unified public decision against him, although several are known to oppose him because of his Jewish faith. Jakobson says he has reason to believe Peking supports him and further believes it would not be possible for Sovs to formally veto a Finn in SC.

4. Within last few days, Chile has launched a campaign on behalf of Herrera. Even some conservative (Nicaragua, for example) Latin Americans who could be expected to take a reserved attitude toward a candidate sponsored by Allende govt, are enthusiastic at thought a Latin American would succeed U Thant. LA group endorsement, once acquired, [for] Herrera could lead rapidly to support among other LDCs. Chilean campaign theme is that Afro-Asian bloc has "veto" of its own in GA and Bloc could and will "veto" Jakobson regardless favorable SC action. Assume Chileans will push this line vigorously at late Oct Ministerial level meeting of "77" (now nearly 100) non-aligned in Lima.

5. Some dels suspect Sovs may settle on Waldheim of Austria as man closest to their ideal. On other hand, Waldheim is generally regarded as lacking sufficient stature and drive to be taken seriously. Nevertheless, if Jakobson cannot make it, Sovs and others might turn to Waldheim.

6. Jarring remains most frequently discussed dark horse, usually in terms two-year interim appointment, because of his age. There no indication he seeking post or that Swedes’ support for Jakobson diminished by rumors of support for Jarring.

7. It is rumored that Peru is willing to sponsor its PermRep De Cuellar but at present he does not appear to be a formal candidate.

8. Amerasinghe of Ceylon apparently has taken himself out of race.

9. Makkonen of Ethiopia does not appear to have a chance of obtaining backing of Africans particularly now that Masmoudi of Tunisia has emerged as an additional if undeclared African candidate.

10. Until recently Mexico not interested in fielding a candidate although names of Carrillo Flores, Garcia Robles and Cuevas Cancino had been occasionally mentioned, especially Garcia Robles. Now appears Pres Echeverria may tout his predecessor during former’s upcoming UN visit.

11. Comment: We need to define our position quickly on Herrera. If for any reason we do not wish to see him chosen, we should take steps to prevent LA group endorsement, perhaps via Brazilian Govt. Once endorsed by entire group, we would not wish to pay price of offending our hemisphere neighbors by opposing their choice. We also cannot count on Sovs to bail us out. When asked if Sovs could conceivably take an LA, one key Sov official said probably not, unless he were Chilean or Mexican.

12. Many dels are looking over shoulders to Peking. Jakobson’s belief that PRC supports him is significant factor in his favor, but Peking may be more attracted by a Chilean with GOC support, adding further urgency for us to move.

13. French remain adamant on having SYG who speaks French. They are unlikely actually veto a candidate agreed upon by USSR and US, but they could cause problems and may have to be handled with care.


225. Telegram From the Department of State to Certain Posts in the American Republics/1/

Washington, October 20, 1971, 1622Z.

/1/ Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, UN 8–3. Secret; Exdis; Priority. Drafted by Herz; cleared by Crimmins, Flanigan, and Miller; and approved by Assistant Secretary De Palma. Sent to Asuncion, Bogota, Brasilia, Caracas, La Paz, Managua, San Jose, Tegucigalpa, and USUN.

198753. Subject: SYG--Candidacy of Herrera. For the Ambassador.

1. FYI. From a number of recent indications we have strong impression that candidacy of Felipe Herrera (Chile) has picked up momentum recently, with number of apparently firm commitments from LA countries including Argentina, and with few if any LA’s ready to demur or dissent. We believe there exists a real possibility that a LA consensus or near-consensus could be achieved during meeting of Latin Americans in New York next week. LA’s may also pick up support of Afro-Asians at current Lima Conference.

2. We have been ostensibly neutral on Herrera candidacy while it appeared doubtful that he could obtain broad LA support, but it now becomes necessary that we show our hand carefully but somewhat more clearly. Fact is that we regard Herrera as generally unappealing candidate for number of reasons including his erratic and self-serving performance in the IDB and the implications of a Chilean acceding to post of SYG at this particular juncture. End FYI.

3. For action posts in LA: You should seek early opportunity to see FonMin and tell him that we have been watching Herrera candidacy and wonder if Latin America does not have others to propose who would have greater stature as leaders and statesmen. While we recognize that Herrera has many fine qualities, they do not appear to measure up to those of the best that Latin America could offer, and we would find it difficult to support him for SYG. You may add, likewise in deep confidence, that another factor is that for obvious reasons which FonMin will understand we would find it difficult at this time to support a candidate sponsored by the Chilean Government. You may note that we have the definite impression that the GOC purpose in advancing the candidacy is to enhance its prestige and respectability.

4. For USUN: As opportunities arise in discussions with trusted LA delegates in New York, you should express view that it would be helpful if there were an outstanding Latin American candidate. If reference is made by others to Herrera, you should ask whether in their view he measures up to the best LA has to offer. We do not wish to say outright that we would oppose Herrera, but you should not discourage any impression that we are unenthusiastic about him.

5. USUN should also tell UK what we are doing, and that we think it desirable to take action prior to the Latin American caucus which may take place sometime during week of November 1. British also have assets in Latin America and may wish to reinforce what we are doing. You should also explain to Jakobson how we see the situation and encourage him to use whatever influence Scandinavians can exert among the Latins to try to counter the Herrera boom.


226. Memorandum From Marshall Wright and Arnold Nachmanoff of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)/1/

Washington, November 2, 1971.

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 302, Agency Files, USUN, Vol. VIII. Secret. Sent for information. Kissinger’s handwritten note in the margin reads: "Unless this strategy crystallizes another Latin candidate. HK."

Successor for U Thant

State is concerned that the candidacy of Felipe Herrera of Chile is gaining momentum. He is not a particularly attractive figure, from the US point of view. He was somewhat self-serving as President of the

Inter-American Development Bank and a poor manager to boot. These personal considerations are enough to disqualify him. The fact that he is being actively pushed by the Chilean Government has a double aspect. First, it is, of course, an additional reason for being against him since Herrera’s election would give further respectability and influence to the Allende Government. But, second, it makes it difficult for us to focus other people on his lack of qualifications, for our opposition will be deemed to rest on his Chilean nationality.

Herrera is very popular with the Latins, both because of the personal and financial patronage he was able to dispense as head of the IDB, and because he is considered a "developmentalist". Moreover, Latin pride in having a regional contender for the UN SYG post is an important factor which may outweigh any concerns they may have about the fact that he is Allende’s candidate. There is therefore a serious possibility that the Latins may unite around Herrera and induce other LDC’s--for example, at the Group of 77 meeting in Lima--to form a bloc around Herrera as a Third World candidate.

A Latin American caucus is meeting in New York this week. In an attempt to prevent the crystallization of a firm consensus behind Herrera, State is instructing approaches to key LA Foreign Ministers. Our Ambassadors will question Herrera’s stature, ask if LA does not have better candidates, and say that the US would have difficulty supporting a candidate sponsored by the Chilean Government. USUN will also throw cold water on Herrera with trusted LA delegates, though somewhat less explicitly. We will also keep the British and Max Jakobson informed and encourage them to discreetly further the cause. Hopefully, these steps will be carried out with some subtlety and discretion, since there are risks that US opposition to Herrera would be resented and gain sympathy for him.

We fully agree that some action should be taken to prevent a Latin-LDC consensus from forming around Herrera, and, in fact, we helped stimulate State to move. While risks are involved, we think the dangers of inaction--and letting his boomlet grow--are substantially greater.

227. Telegram From the Mission to the United Nations to the Department of State/1/

New York, November 3, 1971, 0056Z.

/1/ Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, UN 8–3. Secret; Exdis.

3999. For the Secretary from Ambassador Bush. Subj: SYG Candidacy of Herrera.

1. Based on recent conversation with friendly LAs here, including Costa Rican chairman of LA group, I have concluded that Chile is on the verge of obtaining the endorsement of the Latin American group for Felipe Herrera’s candidacy. Even our natural allies on this subject are being pulled in the direction of supporting Herrera out of pride at the thought of a Latin American SYG. Some don’t like it but will go along.

2. This project is picking up so much steam that it is my considered judgment we should face the issue squarely now. Our dilemma can only get worse. Accordingly, I recommend that I be authorized to inform the PermRep of Chile, in response to his written request for support, the US would be happy to see a well-qualified Latin American as SYG. I do not happen to know Mr. Herrera personally, but I think honesty requires me to say that, given the current status of US-Chilean relations, there is no way in which the US could support a Chilean for the post of SYG.

3. Comment: Such a line will, of course, produce an adverse reaction. However, in my judgment, it is preferable to having to come out against Herrera or another Chilean (Valdez, Santa Cruz) at a somewhat later stage after formal LA group endorsement. This matter is urgent. The Dept may have other alternative ways to suggest to obtain the desired result. However in my view the above-mentioned course is the best. We might also be prepared to state that we would be happy to consider other qualified LA aspirants such as Guyer (Argentina), Cuevas Cancino (Mexico) or Perez de Cuellar (Peru).

4. Chile will be upset, but some other LAs will sigh with relief.

5. UK PermRep Colin Crowe in informal talk Nov 2 also believes above is best course at this date.


228. Telegram From the Department of State to the Mission to the United Nations/1/

Washington, November 4, 1971, 2228Z.

/1/ Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, UN 8–3. Secret; Immediate; Exdis. Drafted by Assistant Secretary De Palma; cleared by Crimmins, Pedersen, Armitage, and Executive Secretary Eliot; and approved by Secretary Rogers. Repeated to Asuncion, Bogota, Brasilia, Caracas, La Paz, Managua, San Jose, Santiago, and Tegucigalpa.

201677. Subject: SYG Candidacy of Herrera. Ref: USUN 3999./2/

/2/ Document 227.

1. We agree Latin Group likely become solidly committed to Herrera and that unless we spike his candidacy now cost to us will increase. You should accordingly immediately inform orally PermReps of Argentina, Costa Rica and Nicaragua that US regretfully cannot support Herrera and that out of consideration for Herrera, whom we hold in high regard, we have felt it advisable to convey our decision without delay. You may say that we believe SYG should be someone with more direct UN experience. We are actively considering current SYG candidacies with this as a major consideration. As far as Chile itself is concerned we have noted that it has already obtained a number of important positions and honors recently in UN System.

2. Request you not allude to status US-Chilean relations as reason. Chile and others will naturally assume this to be the case but we do not wish to enable them to attribute it to us because such quotation could more easily be exploited against us.

3. We understand Chilean PermRep and Herrera have asked to see you Nov 5 p.m. We leave it to your discretion how much of above you wish to convey to them. Suggest you also inform promptly UK and Venezuelan PermReps. You may add, with Latins with whom you have already discussed Herrera candidacy, that Chile has already obtained more than its share of honors in UN system (e.g., Horowitz, Secretary PAHO; Valdez, Deputy Administrator UNDP; Santa Cruz, President FAO Council 1970–71 and President FAO 25th Anniversary meeting; 2 Resident Representatives; Garcia, President LA Region for WMO. Santiago is site of ECLA and Economic Research Institute for LA. UNICEF, UNDP, UPU, UNCTAD and PAHO bodies have met in Santiago since 1969). If asked whether we would consider some other Latin American, you may reiterate we believe it would be good to have outstanding Latin candidate, but you should avoid naming any because we do not wish to imply we would support another specific Latin American in present circumstances./3/

/3/ Bush replied that this telegram reached him too late to contact other Permanent Representatives before attending a Cabinet meeting in Washington. He agreed that prompt action should be taken to stop the Herrera candidacy. He had been impressed by Latin American leaders who said that the United States could be anti-Allende without appearing to be anti-Herrera. Bush therefore repeated his recommendation in telegram 3999 that Chile be informed that the United States could not, under the present circumstances, support a Chilean candidate for UN Secretary-General. (Telegram 4055 from USUN, November 5; National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, UN 8–3)

For Santiago: Upon receipt confirmation that Chilean UN Del has been informed, we will provide guidance for your use if queried by FonOff.


229. Telegram From the Department of State to the Mission to the United Nations/1/

Washington, November 5, 1971, 1843Z.

/1/ Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, UN 8–3. Secret; Immediate; Exdis. Drafted by Pedersen; cleared by Assistant Secretary De Palma, Crimmins, and Eliot; and approved by Secretary Rogers.

202225. For Amb. Bush from Secretary. Subj: SYG Candidacy of Herrera. Ref: USUN 4055./2/

/2/ See footnote 3, Document 228.

I agree with your observation that an anti-Herrera posture would be likely to cause us difficulty with other Latin Americans owing to his general popularity with them. At same time a directly anti-Chilean posture would cause adverse political reactions from a substantial part of Latin America. Our objective must be to make it clear that Chile’s candidate cannot succeed before it acquires further head of steam but at same time to minimize political repercussions in Latin America that may develop from this decision either as result of overtly anti-Chilean or an anti-Herrera position.

We thus do not want to say directly to Chileans that our opposition is based on current status of US-Chile relations; direct statement of this sort could unnecessarily be exploited by Chile among many segments of public opinion in Latin America. If others draw conclusion that this is our fundamental reason, as they undoubtedly will, that would give us considerably less difficulty.

Whatever we say in our initial reply, it is also clear that our opposition will become publicly known and a matter of contention. Easiest position to take would be that we cannot support Herrera because we favor another candidate (Jakobson). However because overt support of Jakobson would have negative impact on his chances we do not wish to do this. We do not believe on other hand that we will be able to stand for long on position before press or even other diplomats of simply being unable to support him without adducing any reasons. Fact that Chile has already received number of UN posts and other high honors is acceptable and politically uncontentious reason for not supporting Chilean candidacy. It may be that this would be enough. Additionally uncontentious reason which was designed not to be anti-Herrera but pro other candidates, however, would be that one of our considerations is desirability of direct UN experience.

Reason we suggested you speak to Argentines, Nicaraguans and Costa Ricans before you saw Chile also was to assure that word reached Chilean Del prior to your appointment so as to lessen somewhat direct confrontation aspects that might stem from response initially to them. We hope you can still do this.

I would leave it to your own discretion as to how much you wish to say to Chileans or others about reasons at this point, with the above objectives in mind. Formula of saying we "cannot support Chile’s proposal re SYG suggestion" is also satisfactory. Our assumption has been that Latin American group is half actively and half passively in support of Herrera and that we face difficult problem with Latin Americans as a whole. Our objective in talking to committee members should therefore be to seek to avoid their coming to us with a group position, to which we would have to take exception.

We anticipate we may receive press queries as our position seeps out to the press. If asked, you should limit reply to statement confirming that we have expressed our reservations regarding Chilean candidacy and decline all further comment on grounds it would not be helpful in present circumstances.


230. Telegram From the Mission to the United Nations to the Department of State/1/

New York, November 6, 1971, 0220Z.

/1/ Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, UN 8–3. Secret; Priority; Exdis. Repeated to Asuncion, Bogota, Buenos Aires, Brasilia, Caracas, La Paz, San Jose, Santiago, and Tegucigalpa.

4079. Subj: SYG Candidacy of Herrera.

1. Summary: Acting in accordance with scenario agreed to by Dept, Bush late afternoon Nov 5 informed Herrera, who was accompanied by Chilean PermRep Diaz Casanueva, that US cannot support Chile’s proposal re SYG succession. Chileans did not appear very surprised. Herrera sought to draw connection between US decision on his candidacy and problem of copper companies, saying this would unfortunately be viewed in Chile as "first direct political consequence of disagreement on economic issue." Bush said this might be Herrera’s conclusion, but that it was not what he had said or implied. End summary.

2. Final Dept instructions concerning Herrera SYG candidacy were received during General Comite mtg which did not end until 6:15 PM on inscription of item on protection of diplomatic missions. On receipt instructions, Bush arranged to re-schedule mtg with Chilean PermRep originally set for 5:30, and to meet briefly beforehand with Argentina, Costa Rica and Nicaragua Ambs (LA SC members and LA group Pres respectively). Attempt was made to see Chilean Amb alone, but he arrived with Herrera in tow.

3. Ortiz de Rozas (Argentina), when informed of our decision to tell Chileans that we could not support their proposal, said this came as no surprise to him. He said his own instructions had been to individually support Herrera, as result of Argentine desire to maintain best possible relations with Chile, and due to Pres Lanusse’s decision to respond positively to a request he received from Allende. However, Ortiz said, he had opposed suggestion that LA group "endorse" Herrera’s or any other candidacy as improper and dangerous precedent. Ortiz noted that when LA group met to discuss Herrera candidacy about half expressed active support, other half reserved their positions, although some of these were believed sympathetic. Ortiz welcomed US decision to level with Chileans right away, before additional support for Herrera developed, and US was faced with possible necessity to veto. On other hand, he urged that US make it known that inability to support this particular candidacy did not constitute opposition to any and all LA candidates, predicting that Chileans would seek to portray US attitude as 1) anti-Chilean, and 2) anti-Latin American. Bush assured Ortiz that this was not case, and that he believed there had to be other strong candidates from Latin America whom Security Council should have opportunity to consider.

4. Bush subsequently conferred briefly with Sevilla-Sacasa (Nicaragua) and with Molina (Costa Rica), neither of whom was in slightest surprised by news. In fact they seemed almost elated that US was going to get them [out?] of position of unenthusiastic support for Herrera. Sevilla-Sacasa had clearly been prepared for this development by phone call from Pres Somoza (Managua 2547)./2/ Both agreed that US decision to inform Chileans promptly was wise and thought this would help avoid misunderstandings.

/2/ Dated November 3. (Ibid.)

5. Diaz Casanueva and Herrera arrived at USUN at 6:45, Pol Couns and LA adviser were present during thirty-five minute mtg. After introductory courtesies, Bush told Chileans that he believed in and hoped they would appreciate frankness. Bush said USG had given most careful consideration to the matter and had come to the irrevocable conclusion that it could not support Chile’s proposal re SYG succession. Bush said that he did not wish to enter into details of basis for this decision, but that it had not been arrived at lightly. Bush said although this was, unfortunately, first personal meeting with Herrera, he felt they knew each other from the many mutual friends they had. We were well aware of the high regard in which Herrera was held not only in the US, but throughout Latin America. Herrera asked if he understood correctly that US was not opposed to him personally, and Bush assured him that this was indeed the case.

6. Diaz (who took very little part in conversation), asked if it could therefore be deduced that US decision was based on Herrera’s Chilean nationality and patronage, and on US discontent with recent developments in Chile. Bush replied that he wished to make it very very clear that we were not making any connections between any issues on which the US and Chilean Governments disagreed, and a decision which concerned the United Nations. Bush said that of course we would not be so naive as to pretend that recent Chilean actions affecting US investments had not had significant, and understandably adverse, effects on US public opinion. And USG, as a democracy, could not be indifferent to such public opinion. Bush asked what were views of Chilean people, as opposed perhaps to government. American people, he said, were not anti-Chilean, and respected right of these, or any other people, to freely decide for themselves their form of government. Were Chilean people now anti-American?

7. Herrea answered. He said Chilean people continued to hold Americans in high regard. At same time, Chilean people believed in their own government and in its efforts to reform their society to make it better. The people approve of the GOC’s decisions with respect to nation’s resources, and copper was the principal resource. Herrera noted that constitutional amendment permitting expropriation was unanimously adopted by "Congress" which was not even controlled by Allende regime. Herrera said that unfortunately he thought USG had tended to characterize everything Chile was doing as unfriendly, and anti-American, because of the understandable discontent of the copper companies, their stockholders, and taxpayers who faced possibility of having to make up the losses. Herrera noted that this was not first time US had adopted negative view of an entire country because it disagreed with some of its policies. Bush said he wished that he could agree copper expropriation was only issue which divided us, and asked if Herrera had read some of statements that Chilean representatives had made in UN? Herrera said he had not, because he had not been following UN deliberations closely. Bush recommended he do so.

8. Herrera then said that in context of this conversation he felt he had to make some observation about likely reaction in Chile to US decision not to support him. He said situation would have been same were it some other Chilean than he. Herrera believed that Chilean public would interpret this as direct consequence of US discontent with copper situation. He added that this would, in fact, be considered as first political consequence of a disagreement on purely economic issue. Some would view it as a US political sanction against a country which believed it was only exercising its rights. Bush said that if such were conclusion which GOC attempted to draw, it would be most unfortunate. This might be Herrera’s conclusion, but it was not what Bush had either said or implied.

9. As discussion drew to close, both Diaz Casanueva and Herrera thanked Bush for his candor in explaining US position to them. Much as they regretted hearing it, they said, they appreciated being told and being told promptly. Bush in turn said he regretted that his first meeting with Herrera proved to be occasion for transmission of understandably unwelcome news, and appreciated spirit in which news had been received. He said that he was convinced USG was searching for ways to improve our relations with Chile, and hoped that this decision would not set back this objective./3/

/3/ The Department elaborated on its reasons for rejecting Herrera’s candidacy in circular telegram 204711 to all posts in the American Republics, November 10. (Ibid.)


231. Memorandum From Marshall Wright of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)/1/

Washington, November 10, 1971.

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 302, Agency Files, USUN, Vol. VIII. Confidential. Sent for action.

New UN Secretary General

We are at the point of decision on a successor for U Thant. His latest illness has put an end to the talk about an extension for him. We have told the Latinos that we are not going to accept Herrera. The consultations between the Permanent Security Council members have, in fact, already begun„and will formally begin within the next few days.

Finland’s Jakobson is State’s candidate. Unless they are instructed otherwise, everything they do from here on in will be directed toward his selection. Is that what we want?

I know privately that George Bush is not enamored of Jakobson. Nor am I. In view of his rock hard attitude on Chirep and the fact that he is, to a considerable extent, presenting himself as the PRC candidate, I wonder if he really deserves our unalloyed support.

I am not suggesting that we should try to sink him, or even that we stall if the other Permanent Security Council members reach a consensus upon him. But why should we be cooperating so faithfully? So far I know, Waldheim would be at least as acceptable to us as Jakobson. And if neither of them made it, Sadruddin Aga Khan might emerge as a compromise, and I should think that would be altogether to our liking. Finally, if the Latinos do come up (as they might) with a good man, ought we not to at least be in the posture of being able to give him serious consideration?

It seems clear that the Soviets don’t want Jakobson, but also don’t want to be forced to say so. There may, in that situation, be the makings of an agreement on some other candidate.

In short, it is my instinct that we ought to pull back on this one and play it very cool until we have at least had the first round of consultations. I am, however, deterred from pushing this view because I have a suspicion that you want Jakobson. If that suspicion is correct, so be it. If it is incorrect we should have a conversation right away about the U.S. approach to the problem of finding a successor for U Thant.

Let State take the lead.

Come see me./2/

/2/ Neither option is checked. Kissinger’s handwritten note at the end of the memorandum reads: "I have no interest in Jakobson. I am against Herrera. I would prefer Sadruddin Khan."

232. Telegram From the Mission to the United Nations to the Department of State/1/

New York, November 19, 1971, 0201Z.

/1/ Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, UN 8–3. Confidential; Exdis. Repeated to Santiago, Buenos Aires, Brasilia, San Jose, and Caracas.

4349. Subj: SYG Succession„Herrera Candidacy. Ref: USUN 4319./2/

/2/ Telegram 4319 from USUN described a meeting of Latin American representatives on November 17 in which Chilean Representative Diaz Casanueva read a statement denouncing the U.S. "preemptive veto" of Herrera’s candidacy and Bush’s undiplomatic behavior. Venezuelan Representative Andres Aguilar assured Bush that most other Latin American representatives accepted his explanation. (Ibid.)

1. Meeting with Diaz Casanueva (Chile) cited para 6 reftel/3/ took place in UN corridors before Nov 18 AM meeting of General Comite. Chilean MisOff Carrasco was with Casanueva and LA adviser with Bush. Bush said he appreciated frank telecon with Diaz Casanueva last night and welcomed opportunity to discuss matter further. Bush recalled his personal desire expressed at Nov 5 meeting with Herrera present to do everything in his power to maintain open, cordial and frank contacts with Chilean Perm Rep in hope that through such candid dialogue the two could contribute to betterment of US-Chilean relations. Diaz Casanueva said he fully reciprocated these views and wished to assure Bush that nothing in statement of the Govt of Chile concerning proposal of Herrera for SYG was in any way meant to be personally critical of Bush.

/3/ In this paragraph, Bush noted that he hoped to have a personal talk with Diaz Casanueva in order to build a "personal relationship where problems are frankly discussed."

2. Bush said he was happy to hear this but that such a conclusion was difficult to draw from terminology employed in statement, particularly charges in final para that "groundlessness of US position, undiplomatic behavior evidenced in this matter", etc., justify GOC’s decision to continue lending support to Herrera proposal. Diaz Casanueva said Bush misunderstood meaning of this accusation which was not at him but at a govt (the US) which had decided to publicly embarrass a distinguished individual for whom it professed high regard by announcing a US position publicly, when nothing was said about such an announcement during an ostensibly private and privileged conversation. Diaz Casanueva contended that Chilean statement was made necessary by this breach of accepted practice which could only furthermore be interpreted as a deliberate discrimination against Herrera because of his Chilean nationality. Bush expressed his astonishment at this conclusion, saying US authorities in NY and Wash had made no announcement concerning Herrera candidacy. They had only reacted when forced to do so by press queries motivated by widespread rumors in UN corridors, and presumably elsewhere, that US had "vetoed" Herrera. Diaz Casanueva also took issue with Bush having informed Argentine, Costa Rican and Nicaraguan Ambs of US decision. Bush said he had informed them as they were members of so-called working group for Herrera candidacy and LA group Pres and SC members. This was intended only as courtesy and not to embarrass Herrera or Chilean Govt. Diaz Casanueva said this was unfortunate because one or more of them had evidently made the information public "as was to be expected."

3. Going back to language of statement Diaz Casanueva said it was nothing but factual summary of developments, which, out of consideration for US side, avoided any reference to discussion of the copper problem or to Bush’s complaints about tone of Chilean UN speeches. Bush recalled that such mention would have been highly inappropriate since Bush had at the time made it clear US decision re SYG proposal was not related to US-Chilean differences over copper mines or to Chilean Del’s attitudes at the UN. Bush observed that statement also failed to mention that both Diaz Casanueva and Herrera had welcomed Bush’s frankness on Nov 5 and had thanked him for it. Bush was forced to terminate meeting on somewhat inconclusive basis when he was called into General Comite.

4. Diaz Casanueva asked LA adviser to remain for further discussion. Although remaining seemingly affable, Diaz Casanueva took harder tone in defending Chilean statement. He argued impropriety of US making known a decision which constituted interference in affairs of LA group. He claimed SC members should not make their position on candidatures known until SC was actually seized of question. He reiterated complaint that US had deliberately torpedoed the LA candidate by its announced non-support. LA adviser replied that it had been made abundantly clear US only made its position known to Chileans and those designated to work with them out of consideration for Herrera and in belief our LA friends would prefer not to be misled. Notion that SC members, and particularly permanent members, could not discuss candidacies outside of SC was manifestly untenable. Finally, US spokesman had not taken initiative to make US position public but had been compelled to respond to queries. Diaz Casanueva then recalled Herrera’s remarks on evening of Nov 5 that US decision re his candidacy would be interpreted in Chile as the US "first political reprisal against Chile for our differences in the economic field" and said this was indeed the case. LA adviser reminded Diaz Casanueva that in response to this remark of Herrera Bush had expressed hope such an unwarranted conclusion would not be arrived at and that these words had been Herrera’s and not Bush’s. USG had sought to make it clear it is anxious to pursue every avenue that could lead to better relations and that our candid explanation of our position on Chile proposal re the SYG succession was part of this effort. Both Chileans smiled and acknowledged US officials had tried to draw such a distinction but that the general public in Chile and elsewhere were not gullible. They interpreted our action as retaliation pure and simple.

5. Later during morning Bush saw LA group Pres Molina and told him of his conversation with Chilean Amb. Molina said that during LA group meeting Nov 17 Ortiz de Rozas (Argentina) and others had made clear that US position on Herrera was not a rejection of all LA candidates and was not consequently anti-LA. Molina added "don’t worry about this, everyone understands why you had to do what you did."

6. Subsequently, Chilean Amb’s wife (who sits in Third Comite) told Bush that Chilean letter was not intended as personal attack on him and that the LA Pres, Costa Rica’s Amb Molina was to blame for making US decision public. Bush said he was surprised because first public mention we had seen was in press report from Buenos Aires. She insisted this was not the case saying with great self-assurance that it was Costa Rica who had put out the story.


233. Telegram From the Mission to the United Nations to the Department of State/1/

New York, November 23, 1971, 0202Z.

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 302, Agency Files, USUN, Vol. VIII. Secret; Exdis. Repeated to Bogota, San Jose, and Santiago.

4444. SYG Succession„Herrera Candidacy.

1. During luncheon with MisOffs PermReps Espinosa (Colombia) and Molina (Costa Rica) raised question of SYG succession, and Herrera candidacy as one aspect of this question. Espinosa did most of speaking, using measured, detached tone throughout. Both PermReps said question was now most urgent, and, while most members of UN realized issue had first to be resolved by five permanent members of SC and then by SC as a whole, it was of burning interest to all members. Insofar as LA group was concerned, Herrera candidacy, and its apparent progress until it was shot down by US, had encouraged widespread hopes of seeing a Latin American in the job. Espinosa said that he was personally good friend of Herrera’s, as was his president, and he considered Herrera well qualified to hold the job. However, he could understand that under present circumstances US would not be able to support a candidate put forward by Chilean Govt, particularly at very moment when Chileans were entertaining Castro. Molina said Espinosa had exactly explained his own views.

2. Espinosa went on to say that US should anticipate continued Chilean efforts to press Herrera candidacy. Chileans would redouble their efforts to secure Sov and PRC support for him, in hope that US would finally have to veto or accept him if all other candidates run into either Sov or PRC opposition. Espinosa thought that US would be well advised to consider putting together list of alternative LA candidates, and he said we should not have any trouble finding ten or even twenty names of distinguished Latinos whom we could offer for SC consideration. This would demonstrate validity of our claim that our attitude on Herrera candidacy was not manifestation of an anti-LA attitude.


234. Memorandum From Marshall Wright of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)/1/

Washington, November 30, 1971.

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 302, Agency Files, USUN, Vol. VIII. Secret. Sent for action. The memorandum bears the handwritten note: "OBE."

Succession to U Thant

Attached is a cable, initialed by Secretary Rogers, for which State is seeking clearance./2/ It instructs USUN to begin a round of consultations looking toward the selection of a new Secretary General. We would first approach the Soviets for a general discussion of candidates intended primarily to do three things: (1) ascertain the Soviet attitude toward Jakobson, (2) indicate that Herrera is not acceptable to us, and (3) get Soviet agreement to intensive bilateral consultations among the five permanent members in an effort to reach agreement before the General Assembly adjourns.

/2/ Attached but not printed.

If this goes reasonably well, we would then have the UK or the Norwegians convey to the Chinese delegate our general position and our readiness to discuss the SYG succession directly with the Chinese.

Simultaneously we would start informal talks with friendly non-permanent Security Council members such as Argentina, Belgium, Italy, Japan, and Nicaragua.

The whole purpose of this approach is to get the succession matter off dead center, and to push the Jakobson candidacy to a point where the Soviets or the French (who are also luke warm, at best, on Jakobson) must either fish or cut bait. We would not, however, express direct support of Jakobson.

Despite my misgivings on Jakobson, I think we should clear this cable. We do need to settle the succession matter, and it is now languishing. If Jakobson is acceptable to the other permanent members, then he should be acceptable to us. If he is not acceptable to the other permanent members then it is high time for us and others to get on with the job of finding an alternative.

As to the PRC aspect of the consultations, this cable does not commit us to anything and you will have an opportunity to shape our approach to the PRC as you see fit before this scenario would bring us into the initial contact with them.


That you clear the attached cable./3/

/3/ Neither the approve nor disapprove option is checked.

235. Telegram From the Mission to the United Nations to the Department of State/1/

New York, December 1, 1971, 0122Z.

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 303, Agency Files, USUN, Vol. IX. Secret; Exdis. Repeated to Georgetown.

4657. Subj: SYG Succession: Ramphal Candidacy. Ref: USUN 4564./2/

/2/ Telegram 4564 from USUN described a November 26 meeting between Bush and Talbot, in which Talbot first mentioned that S.S. Ramphal was a candidate for Secretary-General. Talbot planned to approach other Permanent Members and requested that his meeting with Bush be considered "exploratory and confidential" until further notice. (Ibid., RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, UN 8–3)

1. Guyanan Perm Rep Talbot called on Bush Nov 30 to deliver S.S. Ramphal’s curriculum vitae and report on his meetings with other four permanent members of SC.

2. Talbot said he had discussed Ramphal’s availability for post of SYG with the other SC members along lines of his discussion with Bush (reftel). PRC Perm Rep Huang Hua said PRC was completely uncommitted on this question at this time, but Talbot had definite impression Chinese were giving thought to the question of SYG succession. Malik (USSR) said he would be glad to add Ramphal’s name to list of ten or so names currently being talked about. Malik noted, however, there was no U (for U Thant) on this list. Malik reportedly voiced opinion Thant might accept interim reappointment. UK Del allegedly received suggestion of Ramphal’s name with interest. Talbot did not report any French reaction.

3. Bush said Malik was being consistent in continuing to talk about Thant staying on. Unfortunately, Soviets continue to be evasive despite fact time was getting short. Bush said he was personally pleased to add Ramphal’s name to list of potential candidates. He told Talbot he would forward curriculum vitae to Dept and assured Talbot he would carefully consider Ramphal’s qualifications.

4. Copy curriculum vitae pouched Dept attention IO./3/ Available biographic information on Ramphal requested.

/3/ Not found.


236. Telegram From the Mission to the United Nations to the Department of State/1/

New York, December 2, 1971, 0111Z.

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 303, Agency Files, USUN, Vol. IX. Secret; Nodis; Noforn.

4688. Subject: Successor to U Thant„Bush/Malik Mtg Dec 1.

1. Summary. In meeting with Soviet PermRep Malik, latter confirmed USSR opposed to Jakobson, still advocated five-power appeal to U Thant to accept interim appointment, agreed US and USSR should approach France with a view to arranging five power meeting to discuss candidates.

2. As follow-up to talk USUN 4654/2/ Malik had lunch with Bush Dec 1. Issraelyan and Newlin present. Most of meeting devoted to getting Soviets to agree to procedure for consultations among five permanent members of SC.

/2/ In telegram 4654, December 1, Bush reported that Malik had met with Thant on November 30 in an effort to persuade him to continue to serve for an interim period. (Ibid.)

3. Bush said he had been reflecting on Malik’s cryptic remark Nov 30 that the US horse was just as dead as the Soviet horse (i.e. Thant). Malik said, "Your white horse is dead, I don’t know about your dark horse since I don’t know who he is." When further sparring established beyond doubt Soviets referring to Jakobson, Bush denied that Jakobson was the US candidate. There were numerous well qualified candidates and Jakobson was among them; however, it was not true that the US was pushing him.

4. When Bush inquired why the Soviets were opposed to Jakobson (at one point when Jakobson’s name was mentioned Malik drew a large X in the air) Issraelyan said he was opposed by an important group in the UN. We pointed out that we were unaware that the Arabs, as a group, had taken a formal position. Malik asserted this was the case.

5. Bush then suggested procedure whereby five would meet without publicity. Each could submit list of names. All five lists would then be amalgamated into a master list. Copies of master list would then be distributed to each of five and names unacceptable to any del would have line drawn through them. Host would then take marked lists and make new master list containing only names of those who were acceptable to all five. This would begin process of weeding out clearly unacceptable candidates without putting the onus on any delegation for striking off a name. After list reduced to manageable size five could go on to express preference.

6. At first Malik and Issraelyan did not understand suggested procedure. They agreed five should meet. However, each of five should put forward one candidate for consideration. Malik said he would propose U Thant. (After above procedure was explained twice, Soviets gave impression they might consider it.)

7. Bush made clear idea of interim appointment for U Thant was non-starter. U Thant had definitively taken himself out of the race and was ill with a bleeding ulcer. US believed time had come for a change and we took him at his word that he would retire. We would not join in any appeal that he stay on.

8. Bush and Malik finally agreed that they would jointly approach Kosciusko-Morizet (France) and suggest that he seek to arrange unpublicized five power meeting for purpose of discussing candidates. Malik said Sovs had proposed bilateral meeting to PRC but had received no reply.

9. Bush later reported above to Crowe (UK) who had seen Malik as well as PRC (septel). UK informed Soviets that they considered Jakobson best qualified. Malik did not go as far with Crowe as to declare Jakobson a "dead horse"; he took line it was difficult to support someone who was opposed by an important group. UK agreed with approach to French but doubted that PRC would agree to meet with the four.

10. Comment: Bush will approach Kosciusko-Morizet at SC meeting Dec 2. From initial comments of PRC we doubt that they will agree to attend five power meeting. If they refuse, four could then meet quietly to seek to reach agreement while at same time setting up some procedure for bilateral talks with PRC. We understand Mwaanga as current chairman of African group will approach all of five permanent members to urge that they get on with consultations on new SYG.


237. Telegram From the Department of State to the Mission to the United Nations/1/

Washington, December 4, 1971, 1649Z.

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 303, Agency Files, USUN, Vol. IX. Secret; Priority; Nodis. Drafted by Herz and Pedersen, cleared by Robert H. Miller, and approved by Secretary Rogers.

219420. From the Secretary for Ambassador Bush. Subj: Successor to U Thant. Ref: (A) USUN 4688, (B) USUN 4713, (C) USUN 4743./2/

/2/ Telegram 4688 is Document 236. Telegram 4713 from USUN described a meeting among Bush, Crowe, and Kosciusko-Morizet in which the latter was asked to arrange an informal meeting of representatives of the Permanent Members in order to limit the field of candidates. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, UN 8–3) In telegram 4743 from USUN, Bush informed the Department that Kosciusko-Morizet had offered to host the Five-Power meeting at this residence on December 6 at 10 a.m. (Ibid.)

1. Your general approach to the Five-Power meeting on Dec 6 as per ref C is approved. You should attempt to treat this as preliminary exchange of views on qualifications we are interested in and of information we have on various candidates, so that we have better feel of positions of other perm members before we go further. This may be difficult in view of idea of lists suggested as per refs A and B, but you might say that any formal procedure at this stage risks depriving the Five of fruitful interchange of views that should benefit the selection process. We would prefer not to proceed with elimination approach as we fear it would result in most of strongest candidates being eliminated early.

2. We agree with you that Jakobson’s candidacy is in trouble but we are not yet certain that Sovs will declare themselves to be directly against him. We wish to prevent Soviets from simply hiding behind supposed Arab positions and to compel them either to assume public onus for having blackballed him or to back away. Until they do come out directly against him you should continue to seek to keep him in forefront without directly endorsing him.

3. Agree with your proposed strategy in para 3 of ref C re U Thant./3/ We should continue to point out why in our view he is simply not available. By treating him as a non-candidate, you should try to remove justification for Soviet blackballing the man they believe to be our candidate.

/3/ This paragraph expressed the hope that the meeting would rule out any prospect of an interim appointment for U Thant.

4. As for desirable qualifications of the next SYG, you might say we think he should

A) Have personal capacity to handle political requirements of position;

B) Possess administrative and leadership qualities needed to assert control over secretariat activities, personnel and UN financial problem;

C) Have considerable UN experience;

D) Be chosen on basis personal capabilities and contributions, not on basis regional candidacies or rotation. (We interpret this last point to mean that neither a European nor an Asian should be excluded from consideration because those continents have furnished previous SYG’s);

E) Be elected for full term in order to begin dealing effectively with crisis of confidence afflicting UN.

5. When names of candidates are discussed, you can say we have heard of six serious candidacies: Amerasinghe, Herrera, Jakobson, Makonnen, Sadruddin Aga Khan and Waldheim. Masmoudi, Terence, Djermakoye, Jarring, Strong, and more recently Ramphal, have also been referred to, but we do not regard them as candidates. Of the candidates we understand the situation to be:

A) Amerasinghe. Good UN experience as Ceylonese Permanent Rep and doing a good job as chairman of the Seabeds Committee. However, he seems to have attracted little support in Asia or elsewhere and does not seem to be a leading candidate.

B) Herrera. As we have already indicated directly to Chile, we could not support his candidacy, though we have good regard for him personally and had been instrumental in his election to IDB. We believe possibility exists that some outstanding Latin American candidate may yet emerge.

C) Jakobson. The first and most active candidate. Highly respected in the UN. From a neutral European country and therefore presumably politically acceptable. Has a good combination of UN experience and administrative qualities. Rumored to be objected to by some Arabs but none have told us so and we are confident there is no agreed Arab view. Probably has wider personal support than any other candidate.

D) Makonnen. Experienced in UN, having been on SC during 1967–8; also twice Cabinet Minister in Ethiopia. Personally well liked. Seems to have attracted little support in Africa or elsewhere.

E) Sadruddin Aga Khan. Not an active candidate, but clearly interested. We believe he has done an excellent job as High Commissionor for Refugees. He has attractive personal qualities. His general acceptability and support are not known.

F) Waldheim. Experienced as Permanent Rep to UN twice, as Austrian Foreign Minister, and almost President of Austria. From a neutral European country and therefore presumably politically acceptable. His name does not appear to have aroused either discernable support or opposition.

G) Of others mentioned, we have following info: It is not clear what support Masmoudi, Terence and Djermakoye have, but their names have not generated any appreciable interest. Strong has many attractive qualities, but we have no reason to believe he is really a candidate and he has little UN political experience. We have reason to believe Jarring is not interested, even for short period. Ramphal has just recently been mentioned and we have no views.

6. Foregoing might be used at the meeting to elicit views of others and to encourage discussion of candidacies on the basis of their relative merits. When you come to Jakobson you should of course try to avoid saying anything that could make the Soviets lock themselves into a negative position. In this connection the line you took with Malik as per para 4 ref A was exactly right. If burden can be placed on Soviets to prove that Arab "group" (rather than one group of some Arabs) opposes Jakobson, the argument will be on a plane where Soviets would have to assume the onus themselves.

7. Following are preliminary comments, for your own information, on contingency if Jakobson is knocked out of the race and will have to try to steer discussions in favor of one or two other candidates.

A) Agree with para 4 A ref C that Sadruddin could make relatively appealing candidate from our point of view although he is untried in political position. Believe he may be regarded as Western-oriented and as such unlikely to attract Soviet and Chinese support. Indians may also present problem, though we do not know.

B) Waldheim has no opponents. This is his greatest asset as potential fallback, but from our point of view also his greatest liability as SYG since he is unlikely to take actions that would make him enemies. However we could live with him and he would be better than any Afro-Asians now apparent with possible exception of Sadruddin.

C) We think Mexicans probably would not make Carillo Flores available, though we would be willing to make a try if situation makes this desirable. We would not like Garcia Robles and believe Cuevas would not be strong SYG.

D) Agree that Hambro’s nationality militates against him, although he would be high on our list if there were any possibility.

E) As for Guyer, while we recognize he has done a good job on East Pakistan relief we have impression that he is not cool under pressure and doubt whether he is experienced enough for SYG position. Would appreciate your pouching us personality profile that would allow more reasoned assessment of his strong and weak points.


238. Telegram From the Mission to the United Nations to the Department of State/1/

New York, December 7, 1971, 0612Z.

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 303, Agency Files, USUN, Vol. IX. Secret; Priority; Nodis. "Eyes Only" was added by hand.

4812. Subj: SYG.

1. Summary. First Five Power meeting to consider successor to U Thant took place at French residence Dec 6. Malik (USSR) proposed U Thant be elected to new full term or be asked to stay on for one or two years. He not attracted to names on list and one candidate opposed by regional group. Crowe (UK) said U Thant had repeatedly stated his intention to retire even before his health collapsed, UK took him at his word, and it would be wrong to ask him to stay on against his will. Moreover, lame duck interim SYG could not tackle vigorously UN’s budgetary and administrative problems. Bush said US views closely paralleled UK’s. Huang Hua (PRC) said his del still consulting as many UN dels as possible in order to ascertain their views. He recognized five perm members of SC have special responsibilities under the Charter but their views are not absolute and they must be careful not to have their decision challenged. Huang Hua said he willing to continue Five Power consultations as well as to enter into bilateral consultations with other four on this question. Kosciusko-Morizet (France) noted there no agreement among Five on Soviet suggestion concerning U Thant. Five agreed to let press know they had held meeting on SYG question but would not reveal date and place of next meeting or answer questions as to what was discussed. For atmospherics of Sino-Soviet relations, see septel. End Summary.

2. At invitation French PermRep Kosciusko-Morizet (K-M), five perm members of SC, each accompanied by one adviser, met at French residence 10:00 AM Dec 6 to initiate informal private consultations on successor to U Thant. Huang Hua was accompanied only by young French-speaking interpreter. K-M and Malik also had interpreters present (in addition to respective advisers) and Chinese interpreter’s French was translated into English by French interpreter. Group met around dining table with Malik, Bush, Crowe and Huang Hua clockwise around K-M.

3. K-M asked if any del wished to make a proposal. After short silence he said in bilateral discussions idea had been expressed that U Thant might extend for one or two years as interim solution. If this not possible, then there would have to be election of new SYG to full term. K-M asked if there were comments. When no one volunteered he invited Malik, immediately on his left, to speak.

4. Malik said there was widespread sentiment that U Thant continue either for full or interim term. USSR was flexible and could accept either alternative. If interim solution adopted, he proposed Five literally begin immediately to consult on successor so that by time interim appointment expired, there would be agreement on new SYG. Although it would be immodest to say he knew views of all 131 members and of other four perm members, Sovs had concluded overwhelming majority favored such a solution.

5. Two views prevailed: (A) U Thant was well known and there was no opposition to his continuation; (B) none of other candidates on the preliminary list elicited general enthusiasm. As for health, not even those present around table were free from ailments and it naive to expect U Thant to be 100 percent fit as an astronaut. Drafters of Charter made mistake in not providing for two week vacation for SYG. Malik felt silent majority of UN would support annual vacation for SYG which would enable him to recuperate from his heavy schedule.

6. Some spread rumors U Thant not strong in dealing with deficit and administrative problems. This was unfair. SYG had heavy schedule dealing with major world problems and administrative and fiscal burdens fell to subordinates. From beginning UN in these two fields had been dominated by British and US so before criticism levelled at U Thant, these two countries should engage in self-criticism. In sum, Malik supported K-M’s considerations concerning U Thant.

7. K-M then said he did not intend to follow any rigid order of speakers and asked if anyone wished to take floor. Crowe then spoke. Since Malik raised U Thant, this matter should be settled straight away. After 10 years on the job, there was no doubt he was loved, wise and experienced. In January, May, July and September he had said with increasing emphasis that he would not run again. UK took his words at face value. Ten years in such a taxing job was as much as one man could stand. It would not be right to force him to continue against his will. Moreover, he had had two collapses this year and was suffering and weak.

8. As for interim solution, U Thant would be a lame duck as in fact he has been for some time. As such, he would not be in position to deal effectively with staggering budgetary and administrative problems or plan for long term. Although SYG is a political figure, he is also chief administrative officer and is forced to spend a great deal of time on finances and administration. It was not fair to U Thant or to UN not to take him at his word. There was list of present and possible candidates and it would be possible to find well-qualified successor from among them.

9. Bush said US views were well known and paralleled UK’s. U Thant told Bush personally that he did not want to continue and US convinced this is the case. US sensed mood among other members that it was time to get on with appointment of new SYG. Many smaller members are so concerned that they are considering submitting GA res urging Five to get on with the job. US strongly supported position of UK. Bush hoped at next meeting the Five could get on with discharging their Charter responsibilities. He also hoped discussions would be kept in confidence.

10. Huang Hua said this was first time PRC taking part in UN work. There were many things Chinese del did not know well. After their arrival, they were contacted by several delegations who gave their views on new SYG. PRC then began to consult certain others dels to hear their opinions. Basically, if the 5 perm members have a decisive voice, this right to speak is not absolute. Five should be very prudent in this respect, otherwise their right to speak would be faced with challenges.

11. Chinese del desired have contacts with many other dels on this subject. During contacts thus far, Chinese del did not commit themselves or take any stand. PRC would also like to know the views of the other 4 since they are more knowledgeable about the work of the SYG and which candidate could best do the job.

12. The Chinese del agreed to continue informal, private, Five-Power consultations. PRC was also disposed, Huang Hua said, to have bilateral contacts with other four permanent members.

13. K-M, summing up, said there was a divergence of views among the Five concerning U Thant. For the moment, there was no decision. (Malik interjected there was no final decision.)

14. It was agreed to hold next meeting Thursday, December 9, at 9:30 am at French Mission. It was agreed Five would make public fact that they had held their first meeting. It was further agreed they would not reveal date and place of next meeting and would restrict contents of meeting on strict need to know. Five agreed they would not brief any other party.

15. Malik then said if US and UK were opposed to U Thant, they should propose another candidate. Names of candidates already in the field did not inspire widespread enthusiasm and it should be remembered a large regional group was opposed to one candidate.


239. Telegram From the Mission to the United Nations to the Department of State/1/

New York, December 10, 1971, 0344Z.

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 303, Agency Files, USUN, Vol. IX. Secret; Nodis.

4895. SYG.

1. Summary. At second meeting of the Five Dec 9 progress was made when U Thant and Herrera eliminated as candidates. Malik pressed hard to have Five approach U Thant to enquire, if permanent members asked him to stay on for interim period, would he accept. UK and US declined join such an appeal on basis U Thant’s clear position and state of his health. PRC rep said based on wide consultations his del believed number of dels were not in agreement U Thant should be asked to accept interim appointment. Soviet and French Reps said they would report foregoing to their govts. PRC said it would be in position support Herrera and asked about US position. Bush confirmed US had informed Chile it not in position support Herrera. Bush urged other dels to state views on specific names when asked as he had done on Herrera. Five agreed they would refuse all public comment on meetings other than to confirm that consultations were continuing. Next meeting 9:15 AM Dec 13. End summary.

2. Participants and procedural arrangements same as at first meeting (USUN 4812)./2/ First 45 minutes taken up with long complaint by Malik over squib in New York Times reporting that the Five had held their first meeting to discuss successor to U Thant. Malik said his del favored continuation of U Thant’s term as did overwhelming majority of UN members. Therefore for US to inform press that Five were discussing successor was distortion of Soviet position similar to leaks which had occurred during Four Power talks on ME.

/2/ Document 238.

3. Bush denied US had violated agreement reached at previous meeting. Five had agreed to announce that their first meeting on SYG item had taken place and had committed themselves not to reveal what took place in meeting. Eleven months ago U Thant said he would not stay on and US thought meeting was to agree on new SYG.

4. Malik then went on at length how U Thant had sent up trial balloon in January but UK and US hate him so they launched campaign to compel him to reiterate his intention to retire. If Five came to conclusion U Thant should continue for six to twelve months he was certain SYG would agree.

5. Crowe (UK) spoke next and denied UK and US hate U Thant. He repeated UK position on U Thant given at previous meeting and said since U Thant doesn’t want to stay on Five should not ask him to do so. Crowe then handed around informal list of candidates (Amerasinghe, Cuevas Cancino, Djermakoye, Herrera, Jakobson, Jarring, Makonnen, Manescu, Rahnema, Ramphal, Garcia Robles, Sadruddin, Terence, Waldheim). UK thought there were a number of capable candidates and that Jakobson was well qualified. Crowe proposed Five go through names and give views as to which ones any participant did not like or did not regard as a serious candidate.

6. Bush said he had heard name of Guyer which could be added to list on understanding this was not by way of US sponsorship.

7. Malik said only two names before group were U Thant and Jakobson. He supported Kosciusko-Morizet’s suggestion at previous meeting on requesting U Thant to remain if Anglo-Saxons would agree. Huang Hua asked if Kosciusko-Morizet had officially proposed U Thant at December 6 meeting. Kosciusko-Morizet replied he had not. Soviets he said, thought U Thant candidature possible and best solution might be to ask him. France was not opposed to a U Thant candidacy.

8. Huang Hua then reiterated PRC’s position on proper role of the Five vis-Ã-vis the general membership using almost verbatim the same language he used at the first meeting. During consultations with others, PRC had not committed itself to any candidate whatsoever. PRC had heard US was opposed to Herrera and of course question of extension of U Thant had come up. In opinion PRC, Five should be extremely cautious whether in taking steps in favor of U Thant or against Herrera, otherwise they might have regrets.

9. Huang Hua summed up PRC views as follows: (A) Quite a few dels were not in agreement with renewal or prolongation of U Thant’s mandate because he had held post for ten years and impression would be created successor could not be agreed upon; (B) some favor a European candidate. Since post twice held by Europeans, it might be advisable successor come neither from Europe nor Asia. However, this was not simple geographic question. Herrera was an example. If this candidate qualified, PRC would take geography into consideration.

10. Bush noted Malik at previous meeting had said one candidate opposed by a regional group. Which candidate did he mean? Malik replied he had mentioned no name.

11. Crowe agreed with Huang Hua’s remarks on U Thant. He urged Five discuss candidates with view eliminating unacceptable or non-serious candidates. Otherwise, SC meeting should be called and voting should begin.

12. Kosciusko-Morizet said there two possibilities. Five could approach U Thant as Malik suggested. Second possibility would be to accept fact some participants took position in no case could they accept U Thant extension.

13. Malik said if Five could not reach consensus as in past, then there should be alternative procedure. USSR believed overwhelming majority wanted U Thant to remain. Should this be put to vote in GA? Should Five wash their hands of problem? Even if GA passed res each participant could veto in SC. Among Africans and Asians no one defended geographic approach. Perhaps only way would be to have vote in GA.

14. Huang Hua said PRC did not put geographic considerations first and foremost. Qualities of candidate had to be taken into account. This did not prevent Five from taking account views of some members who favored geographic concept. Huang Hua said if Malik made official proposal to have GA vote he would consider it. In meantime, five permanent members should consult other delegations and in this way consensus of Five would better satisfy general membership.

15. Huang Hua noted time was limited but Five should try to reach desired consensus. If one were to extend U Thant, this would disappoint others who waiting for solution. In event Five did not reach agreement soon, question of special GA would arise. Special GA not worthwhile even for economic reasons. As for Herrera, even though US had expressed different views, could group consider them definite? Could Herrera still be taken into consideration? Many attach importance to this candidacy and PRC would be able to support idea of Herrera’s candidacy.

16. Kosciusko-Morizet said all agreed it desirable to avoid resumed GA. On geographic question, there did not seem to be major differences. SYG should be person best qualified. On procedure, Five should continue consultations in order to reach a consensus which would be backed by SC and GA.

17. Crowe agreed on need for consensus. Perhaps names of U Thant, Jakobson, and Herrera should be sent to SC where secret ballots would be cast in closed session. Trygve Lie had been extended by GA in 1950 but this not good procedure.

18. Bush then gave US criteria for SYG in para 4 State 219420./3/ We too opposed resumed GA. If Five deadlock, next move should be to SC and not GA. Bush asked if he replied to Huang Hua’s question on Herrera would others be prepared to answer questions about candidates.

/3/ Document 237.

19. Malik said without clarification of positions of other four on his proposal for approach to U Thant to see if he would be willing to extend for six months, Five could not progress. Perhaps Kosciusko-Morizet could ask SYG. Of course, if US, UK and PRC reject proposal he would advise USSR.

20. Crowe and Bush said they were not prepared to have U Thant or anyone else serve for six months.

21. Kosciusko-Morizet said one point had been settled. On question whether Five could agree continuation of U Thant was excluded, UK and US replied "yes" and PRC replied many dels considered extension not advisable.

22. Malik said three resolutely opposed to U Thant. How should Five now proceed in view of fact at least 90 members were in favor of U Thant extending.

23. Kosciusko-Morizet said France did not have instructions on any one candidate and was very open. He would report today’s development and maybe later he could be more precise. Next time perhaps those candidates who stood no real chance could be eliminated from the list without revealing who eliminated them. Five could then consider names remaining.

24. Crowe supported this idea and said perhaps group should forward two or three names to SC.

25. Malik recalled PRC statement it not committed to any candidate. Did the PRC support Herrera?

26. Huang Hua replied PRC in favor of Herrera candidacy and presented it to consideration of other four.

27. Bush said he would reply to earlier question and he hoped next time others would also answer questions on candidates. Before PRC del arrived, US informed Chile privately US not able support Herrera’s candidacy. This came out in Latin American press and we confirmed it. Malik said only thing wrong was that decision appeared in the press.

28. Five then agreed they would limit comment to press to "consultations are going on." Five agreed to respond with no comment to all enquiries about frequency, place of meetings and to all request for information about discussions themselves.

29. Next meeting 9:15 A.M. December 13.


240. Telegram From the Mission to the United Nations to the Department of State/1/

New York, December 11, 1971, 0026Z.

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 303, Agency Files, USUN, Vol. IX. Secret; Exdis. Repeated to Bucharest.

4929. Subj: Manescu Candidacy for SYG. Summary: Bogdan (Romania) informed De Palma Manescu candidacy not yet official pending reaction Five powers. PRC was non-committal while Sovs had evaded direct reply. He personally doubted time had yet arrived when Manescu could be viewed as realistic candidate but asked for official US reaction. End summary.

1. At lunch Dec 10 Amb Bogdan (Romania) informed De Palma that Manescu candidacy is not yet official and that his govt is engaged in active consultations to ascertain prospects before deciding whether to make it official. He said that very informal soundings undertaken some weeks ago had revealed certain interest in a Manescu bid but that his govt is now confining its approaches to five permanent members. PRC has commented favorably but without any commitment and Sovs evaded reaction by saying they still hoped U Thant might stay on. He did not know if UK and French had yet been approached.

2. When asked if he personally felt international situation had evolved sufficiently to make Manescu candidacy realistic, Bogdan replied he doubted it, but the very fact that candidacy could be given objective consideration was significant. He said Sovs probably not inclined "reward" Manescu just now, but that socialist countries as a whole would avoid appearing to blackball him.

3. Bogdan added that, in his personal view, Sovs would have to regard possibility of Manescu in SYG office as advantageous to them, citing as example fact that "such a SYG could not have spoken out as much as U Thant did on Czech affair." But, he added, Sovs may weigh other factors as well.

4. After citing qualities US thinks important for any SYG, De Palma said US is not actually committed to any candidate although we have naturally formed certain impressions about qualities of previously known candidates. Bogdan interjected he knew US could not support Herrera and was favorably disposed toward Jakobson. De Palma added that he personally felt that mere floating of a Manescu candidacy was an indication of favorable trend in international affairs even if it should develop that time had not yet come when it could be pressed to successful result.

5. In conclusion, De Palma said that, given value US attaches to its good relations with Romania, we would want to give careful consideration to Romanian approach. He asked if in fact Romania wished to have official US reply now or preferred to take further soundings first. After some hesitation, Bogdan replied he thought official US reaction would be appreciated even if it went no further than De Palma’s personal remarks. De Palma undertook to provide reaction as soon as possible.


241. Telegram From the Mission to the United Nations to the Department of State/1/

New York, December 14, 1971, 0539Z.

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 303, Agency Files, USUN, Vol. IX. Confidential; Exdis. Repeated to Georgetown.

4998. SYG Succession: Ramphal Availability. Ref: USUN 4657./2/

/2/ Document 235.

1. Min State Ramphal called on Bush Dec 13 to discuss SYG succession. Ramphal was accompanied by Perm Rep Talbot and Guyana Amb to Venezuela Anne Jardim. LA adviser present.

2. Bush referred to meetings with Talbot, said Ramphal enjoyed high regard of some influential Americans and had impressive qualifications and asked if initial contacts by Talbot had led GOG and Ramphal to consider more formal candidacy. Ramphal said he wished explain background leading to decision by GOG to make him available for SYG position. Ramphal said suggestion initially made to him eighteen months ago by former Irish FonMin Sean McBride who also suggested possibility to PriMin Burnham. McBride and Burnham recommended that Ramphal availability be made known at some appropriate time close to end of Thant’s term. When repeated declarations of intentions to retire made Thant’s intentions clear, Burnham authorized quiet approaches concerning Ramphal’s availability, beginning with calls on SC perm members. PriMin Burnham had also contacted a cross section of heads of state and government mainly in nonaligned world. All of these approaches resulted in varying degrees of encouragement for a Ramphal candidacy.

3. On basis foregoing reactions Ramphal was urged to come to New York and make himself known to SC members and others. He has already met with PRC (Huang Hua) who reiterated well-known view they would not be party to secret deal by big powers but wished to discuss SYG succession with entire SC membership and others. Ramphal said Huang Hua seemed interested though noncommittal re his aspirations. Of SC perm members, French have been most reserved to date. Ramphal approaching SC non-perms, notably LAs, Africans and Italians, and he is going to approach such nonaligneds as Nigeria, Tanzania, Zambia, Yugoslavia and India to make them all aware he is available.

4. Ramphal asked Bush for US views on succession. Bush said we had been convinced for months Thant wished retire and had been urging others to give matter serious consideration. Bush said US was open-minded concerning various candidates and "known candidates" among whom we believed there were several excellent potential SYGs. Bush said US did not share views of Sovs and French that Thant should be pressed to stay on on interim basis and did not believe Thant wished do so.

5. Ramphal raised Herrera candidacy by saying he had gained impression in speaking to PRC that they "liked" Herrera and were to some extent likely be influenced by Chilean attitude. Huang Hua had hinted that Chilean endorsement of his name would be a factor in PRC’s deciding to support Ramphal. Ramphal had sounded out Chileans re Herrera and thought they were still thinking of him as a serious candidate. Guyanese assured Bush they were not going to try to obtain LA group endorsement, saying they were well aware selection of SYG could not be object of group rivalries.

6. At conclusion of meeting Bush urged Guyanese to remain in contact with him and told Ramphal he would henceforth assume latter’s name was among those SC should seriously consider in reaching its decision. Ramphal said he was not intending to make his position publicly known but he recognized that as his contacts with dels multiply chances of the press beginning to speculate on his intentions were becoming greater. Bush said he did not think such press speculation, which was inevitable, would be in any way harmful.


242. Telegram From the Department of State to the Mission to the United Nations/1/

Washington, December 16, 1971, 1601Z.

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 303, Agency Files, USUN, Vol. IX. Secret; Immediate; Exdis. Drafted by Assistant Secretary De Palma, cleared by Pedersen and Miller, and approved by Secretary Rogers.

226040. Subj: SYG. Ref: USUN 5067./2/

/2/ Telegram 5067 from USUN described the December 15 meeting of the Five. No decision was reached, and the next meeting was scheduled for December 16 at 9:30 a.m. (Ibid., RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, UN 8–3)

1. At Five Power meeting Dec. 16 you should endeavor to bring group to agree to submit no more than three names to SC. You should head group off from any discussion of order in which names would be listed or procedure to be used in SC in deciding order in which names would be put to vote and reserve your position on this matter.

2. You should work to assure that the three names sent to SC include Jakobson and Sadruddin unless latter is expressly ruled out by Soviets or PRC. Your comment at last meeting that Waldheim appeared qualified will be helpful in protecting our relationship with him should he be elected, and you should continue to take similar position. You should express reservation if anyone attempts summarize views on Waldheim to effect he appears have support of at least four permanent members. In that case you might say it is more accurate to say he is among top three candidates.

3. You should find opportunity refer to Soviet statements that Jakobson is opposed by "large and important group" and say that we have solid evidence to the contrary. Our information is that (A) Arab group has taken no position as such; (B) that we are satisfied that opposition of several members this group is at least balanced by support several others of group have expressed for Jakobson. Suggest you not again press Soviets to indicate whether they have ruled him out and concentrate instead on seeing to it that his name is among those presented to Council.

4. Suggest you seek to assure that names put before SC include Jakobson, Sadruddin and Waldheim. You should if at all possible head off inclusion Herrera by reiterating US view and seek UK support to exclude him. You should try to avoid Jarring on grounds he is not a candidate but not oppose inclusion Jarring if others insist. We see no point in including any other names and hope you can arrange with UK and France to keep others from being listed.

5. We would welcome your views, and those of UK and French, on tactics or procedures to avoid Waldheim’s name being put to vote first in SC.


243. Telegram From the Mission to the United Nations to the Department of State/1/

New York, December 17, 1971, 0655Z.

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 303, Agency Files, USUN, Vol. IX. Secret; Nodis.

5116. Subj: SYG.

1. Summary: Five Power meeting Dec 16 decided to send list of six names to private meeting of SC for secret balloting at 3:20 PM Friday, Dec 17. List consists of: Herrera, Jakobson, Jarring, Sadruddin, U Thant, Waldheim. Although US made clear our position on Herrera had not changed, PRC and USSR insisted that he be on list. PRC said its second choice was Jakobson. Both USSR and PRC objected to Sadruddin on grounds he is a prince. On Waldheim, Bush made it clear that, while no formal objections had been raised, he was not first choice of anyone. End summary.

2. Malik again announced Soviet support for Jarring and Waldheim. He pressed Chinese to react to latter name. Huang Hua eventually said that he had met Waldheim only yesterday. Chinese maintained their support for Herrera because he widely supported in LA. However, as second choice PRC could support Jakobson since he enjoyed support many African and Asian dels.

3. Kosciusko-Morizet said Chilean PermRep had advised him that if Herrera vetoed Chile would propose Valdes. K-M noted Valdes had reputation as excellent administrator.

4. Malik returned to his theme that no objection had been expressed concerning Waldheim by four dels at previous meeting and he pressed for PRC comment, Huang Hua asked for confirmation that four other participants had expressed no objection to Waldheim. Bush said Waldheim’s candidacy in UN had not aroused enthusiasm neither had it encountered significant objection. He believed it was necessary to include names of candidates about whom we had positive feelings.

5. K-M agreed saying it not enough to have a candidate against whom there no objection. A candidate for SYG should also have something in his favor. K-M thought Waldheim should be a reserve candidate. Crowe (UK) noted Waldheim was not first candidate of anyone around the table and objected to consensus on non-objectionable candidate.

6. Bush asked if there was any reaction to name of Sadruddin? Huang Hua said because he is a prince some dels don’t like him. In this respect he was not referring specifically to Soviets. Malik observed USSR and PRC had same attitude on this question.

7. Bush said US had tried to be frank on question of Herrera’s candidacy. However, if other dels felt strongly about him US would not try to keep his name from being included on the list of serious candidates.

8. It was finally agreed K-M should submit list of six names para 1 to SYG and to Pres SC with request for private meeting of SC afternoon Dec 17. Request would be made for secret ballot with different colored slips for perms and non-perms. Each name on list would be voted on separately but results would be announced only after voting had taken place on all names on the list to eliminate alphabetical advantage or disadvantage. Object of first ballot would be limited to seeing which candidate or candidates vetoed.

9. Next stage would permit non-perms to add any names they wished to the list. If names added, above procedure would be repeated. When list reduced to candidates certain not to be vetoed, balloting for election would begin with candidate receiving highest number of votes to be declared SC nominee. If there a tie, balloting on two names would be repeated.

10. Comment: We will need flexibility in voting. We and UK believe we should vote "yes" on Jakobson and Sadruddin in first round. Either US or UK vote "no" on U Thant if he appears likely to garner nine votes. Abstain on the remainder unless soundings show likelihood of nine votes coupled with no veto. In latter case either we or UK or both vote "no."

11. If Soviets veto Jakobson, we will try to organize support for Sadruddin. However, if Sadruddin vetoed, we will have to decide on a further fallback. In any case, we will need instructions should Soviets or another del insist on inclusion of Valdes./2/

/2/ Later in the day, Rogers advised Bush to seek an agreement on a preferential first ballot. Rogers recommended voting for either Jakobson or Sadruddin, against Herrera, Thant, or Jarring, and abstaining on Waldheim. (Telegram 226945 to USUN, December 17; ibid.)

12. Latest report is that U Thant will request his name not be on the list. Finns assure us Jarring will make similar request before the vote.


244. Telegram From the Mission to the United Nations to the Department of State/1/

New York, December 18, 1971, 0112Z.

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 303, Agency Files, USUN, Vol. IX. Secret; Priority; Nodis.

5149. Subj: SYG„Five Power Meeting Dec 18.

1. Summary: Five-Power meeting on SYG Dec 18 decided recommend vote by SC on four candidates who obtained seven or more SC votes Dec 17 (Herrera, Jakobson, Jarring, Waldheim), plus five others (Djermakoye, Ortiz de Rosas, Ramphal, Terence, Valdes), plus additional candidates who may be nominated by non-perms. Five decided recommend to SYG and SC Pres (A) one-by-one votes with results revealed only after all names voted on, (B) proceed to third ballot if more than one nominee gets nine votes without veto. French del consulting with SC Pres and non-perms over weekend. Non-perms Saturday added Rahnema to list and Terence asked name be deleted. In related development, Chinese told Finns they would continue veto Waldheim until end. End summary.

2. Five Powers held hour and half meeting at French Mission Dec 18 to prepare for SC balloting on SYG Dec 20.

3. Kosciusko-Morizet opened meeting by stressing need to avoid repeating long procedural wrangle and misunderstandings of previous day’s SC meeting. Suggested voting on candidates one by one, announcing results immediately after balloting on each name. First to receive nine votes without veto would be elected. Malik and Crowe initially agreed, former on grounds this would enable more selective use of veto.

4. After abortive K-M suggestion that Five attempt agree on one name, Huang Hua suggested retention of seven candidates of previous day’s SC meeting with some additions. K-M agreed this had advantages but suggested first explore other possibilities. Bush recommended elimination of those obtaining only few votes at Friday’s meeting, otherwise that meeting meaningless. Suggested at least listing top four and only then perhaps others in vote-rank order. Crowe and Huang agree. Malik supported Huang’s proposal that all seven be retained at same time as agreeing with Bush that Five should recognize that some among seven hopeless. Malik urged re-introduce seven names plus others proposed either by perm members or non-perms. Malik also urged adoption of lottery system (Ortiz de Rosas suggestion) to establish voting order.

5. Bush again pressed for vote-rank order list to which new names would be added. Also noted advisability of listing African, perhaps Terence.

6. K-M said if Five listed Dec 17’s four top names (Herrera, Jakobson, Jarring and Waldheim), they should also name others (perhaps Amerasinghe, Guyer, Ortiz de Rosas, Ramphal, Terence and Valdes). This followed by discussion among Five of possibility of first voting on entirely new list (excluding Dec 17’s slate), taking those with seven or more votes, adding to Dec 17’s four and then voting on new list. Malik then endorsed Bush’s earlier suggestion that rather than just repeating vote on Dec 17’s four, vote should be on list including new names as well as four. Recommended drawing lots for vote order.

7. Problem of criticism by non-perms raised several times during meeting. Malik, as K-M had done earlier, stressed need to avoid vulnerability to non-perms’ criticism. During meeting, Huang also underlined need for Five to be able give satisfactory explanations to non-perms.

8. K-M raised possibility that non-perms would object to Five attempting impose rule that nominees must obtain seven votes to keep names alive. Huang pointed out that at SC meeting two dels had suggested that all names with less than nine votes be eliminated, but he added his agreement on four-name procedure. Malik, however, was convinced that Five could defend procedure that eliminated names that had little support. Five then agreed retain only four of seven considered by SC Dec 17, but with acknowledgement that non-perms could re-introduce others.

9. K-M, who shifted ground repeatedly during meeting, said he would have preferred procedure under which SC at next meeting would start with new names, and vote on these; if any obtained nine votes without veto he would be elected, if none elected, then vote would be on old list again, beginning with Waldheim. Crowe and Malik agreed this had advantages, but Malik worried Five would look bad if unable to indicate any opinion on candidates. Thus, Five must come to SC with list. Also, if basic slate not concluded now, Sov del would be without sufficient instructions and would be obliged on Mon to veto or abstain on newly-announced candidates. Five, he said, must agree on four names plus others. Non-perms will understand principle that seven votes indicates popularity. Furthermore, any SC member can propose new names. Malik recalled confusion of Friday’s SC meeting, urged (A) that K-M inform SC Pres Taylor-Kamara of Five’s conclusions; (B) that SC Pres convene or otherwise inform non-perms to give them chance obtain instructions in advance of SC vote. All foregoing, Malik said, is wholly defensible.

10. In summarizing Malik’s proposal, K-M said results would be announced after vote on each name. Bush strongly questioned procedure, stating US del favored announcing only when voting on list completed. Malik countered that Bush’s procedure would only lead to repeat of Friday’s confusion. Malik also said his own procedure would enable perm members to be more selective with veto. After Bush again argued for voting through list before announcement, Huang Hua expressed agreement. Malik and Huang then engaged in low-keyed exchange on subject, climaxed by Malik’s flat statement that Bush–Huang procedure would violate UN Charter and SC rules of procedure and some country would require Bush and Huang to defend before ICJ.

K-M laid Malik allegation of illegality to rest, pointing out that SC is master of own procedures. He ended up supporting Bush and Huang. With continued negative noises from Malik, others concurred. Agreed also that if two on list obtain nine votes without veto, SC would proceed to third ballot.

11. Prior to above exchange, Bush, pursuant telcons with Dept and discussion with Jakobson, suggested possibility of open ballot revealing who cast vetoes (stating that non-perms might press for this). Suggestion was immediately and firmly opposed.

12. For names to be added to basic four, others agreed to Ramphal (Crowe’s suggestion), Valdes (K-M) and Ortiz de Rosas (K-M). After Bush repeated suggestion that African should be included, Five agreed to add Djermakoye (K-M) and Terence (Crowe). Crowe raised possibility of adding Makonnen, but others objected on grounds this would re-open all names previously dropped.

13. Following further discussion of means of preparing SC Pres as thoroughly as possible before meeting and of avoiding confusion from lack of time to obtain voting instructions, K-M summarized agreement that he would inform SYG and SC Pres that:

(A) Five agreed vote Mon on list of nine (Djermakoye, Herrera, Jakobson, Jarring, Ortiz de Rosas, Ramphal, Terence, Valdes, Waldheim), plus any names added by non-perms over weekend or on Mon./2/

/2/ Later that day, Bush was instructed to vote for Jakobson, Waldheim, or de Rozas and against Herrera or Valdez. (Telegram 227770 to USUN, December 18; ibid.)

(B) Non-perms would be informed ASAP, inviting additional nominations.

(C) Voting procedure: (I) One by one but with results announced only at end, (II) if more than one candidate obtained nine or more votes without veto names would be carried over to third ballot, (III) names would be listed alphabetically (although K-M noted that under circumstances order not significant).

14. Atmosphere of meeting. As foregoing indicates, meeting included virtually no discussion of attitudes toward individual candidates and most time spent on procedures. Although differences on procedure frequently expressed, there no sharp exchanges (with mild exception of Malik’s rather forced scolding of US–UK references to "small powers") and Huang and Malik even occasionally noted that they in agreement.

15. Late in afternoon, French Rep telephoned us to state that some non-perms (French MisOff said did not know which) had added name of Rahnema of Iran). In second call, French informed us that Terence, after expressing appreciation for having his name on list, asked that name be deleted.

16.Finns informed us also today that Chinese state that they would continue to veto Waldheim until very end.


245. Telegram From the Department of State to the Mission to the United Nations/1/

Washington, December 20, 1971, 1823Z.

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 303, Agency Files, USUN, Vol. IX. Secret; Flash; Nodis. Drafted by Herz; cleared by Pedersen, Assistant Secretary De Palma, and Fry; and approved by the Acting Secretary.

227889. Subj: SYG. Ref: A. State 227770, B. USUN 5149./2/

/2/ See Document 244 and footnote 2 thereto.

1. On further reflection, and in light of ref B, we think it will be safer for us to abstain on Ramphal, vote no on all candidates other than Jakobson, Waldheim, and Ortiz. There are too many unknowns in the equation and it is possible that unless we veto, Rahnema, for instance, might just squeak by with nine positive votes. We cannot be certain that others among Five will vote against him.

2. After this trial heat, it seems to us that we should accept voting on individual candidates, with results announced after each vote, even if you are unable to obtain order of voting that is most desirable from our point of view. Any candidate receiving nine votes (without veto) would be nominated, but it would be understood that otherwise top candidates could still be reconsidered.

3. You might also after the voting approach Malik and tell him we are puzzled by continued Soviet veto of Jakobson since it would seem that Finnish SYG could be attractive to him. You would of course counter the allegation that Arabs are against him by pointing out that Arabs are far from united and some important Arab countries either favor him or have said they can live with him. Purpose of this approach would be to smoke out Soviets whether they intend to veto Jakobson indefinitely.

4. As for Cuevas Cancino, while he is Western-oriented and even pro-American (in contrast to Garcia Robles) we think he would make a weak Secretary General and certainly less acceptable to us from that point of view than Ortiz or Waldheim, so would not wish to see him encouraged at this point.


246. Telegram From the Mission to the United Nations to the Department of State/1/

New York, December 21, 1971, 0250Z.

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 303, Agency Files, USUN, Vol. IX. Secret; Priority; Nodis.

5157. Subj: SYG„SC Second Ballot December 20. Ref: (A) USUN 5149; (B) State 227889./2/

/2/ Documents 244 and 245.

1. SC met for second round of balloting on SYG afternoon December 20. SC Pres Taylor-Kamara announced procedure as recommended by Five December 13 and list of nine candidates as reported reftel A, with addition of Amerasinghe (latter proposed by Japan at Amerasinghe’s request, according to Japanese del).

2. SC voted one by one on separate ballots through list of ten candidates. Results announced at end as follows:

Amerasinghe (4–6–5); Djermakoye (5–8–2);
Herrera (7–6–2); Jakobson (9–5 (including one veto)–1);
Jarring (7–4–4); Ortiz de Rozas (10–3 (one veto)–2);
Rahnema (3–8–4); Ramphal (3–7–5);
Valdes (7–5–3); Waldheim (11–2 (one veto)–2).

We voted per instructions reftel B.

3. SC Pres required to announce negative votes by permanent members only in those cases where candidates obtained at least nine votes. However, we subsequently learned authoritatively that each of ten candidates had at least one negative permanent member vote; in some cases, there were as many as four.

4. Following SC Pres’s request for guidance from SC members on next steps, Kosciusco-Morizet, supported by Malik, recommended 24 hours adjournment to permit consultations and new instructions. Bush was alone in urging one hour suspension prior to third round of balloting. After confused discussion of need to prime GA Pres for GA meeting on SYG Wednesday morning, SC agreed to adjourn SC until 5 PM Tuesday.

5. Five permanent members to meet 9:30 AM Tuesday.

6. Finns and Norwegians (Algaard) tell us they have firm assurances that PRC will continue to veto Waldheim to the bitter end.

7. However, prior to SC meeting Waldheim told Bush Austrians had spoken to Chinese in Peking and were assured that, although PRC felt obliged in first instance to support third world candidate (Herrera), if their preferred candidate could not be elected they would be prepared to support Waldheim on a later ballot. PRC FonOff said this position would be conveyed to PRC del, but that communications with Huang Hua were sometimes slow.

8. After the meeting Miglioulo (Italy) told us in confidence that Huang Hua had taken essentially the same line in a conversation with him. Miglioulo regretted fact that another vote had not been taken December 20 since it was his impression PRC would have removed veto against Waldheim.

9. UK del believes Ortiz de Rozas would make better SYG than Waldheim and is considering how to bring pressure to bear on Sovs to choose between Jakobson and Ortiz. UK believes K-M wishes to play kingmaker role and hopes French will work on Sovs, perhaps in addition to Syria and Somalia who presumably also support Ortiz de Rozas.

10. At Five Power meeting 9:30 AM December 21, we believe we should take position three candidates, no more no less, who obtained nine or more votes should be resubmitted. Sovs may, for tactical reasons, insist on inclusion of Jarring but believe we should resist. PRC might insist on Herrera and K-M on Valdes in which case list cannot be kept to three names but we should make valiant effort. Sovs will make much of the fact that Waldheim in two meetings has proved to be the front runner and has only one veto against him which should now be dropped so that will of majority is not frustrated, etc. At this point it will be interesting to see whether Finns/Norwegians or Austrians/Italians have best information on PRC intentions. (To date: Algaard has proven to be most accurate forecaster of PRC positions.) If PRC yields on Waldheim then he is clearly the next SYG.

11. On other hand, if PRC sticks to its line that geographic consideration should be taken into account and indicates support for Ortiz in addition to Jakobson, then there is a possibility that Sovs could be brought to swallow Ortiz de Rozas.

12. Finns here naturally are in a state. They profess dismay that US and UK "let them down" by voting for Waldheim and Ortiz. In spite of repeated probes at all levels, we have not revealed to them how we voted. Nevertheless, their analysis, obtained through the Secretariat, is as follows:

Waldheim—four perm members voted yes; PRC vetoed
Ortiz—four perm members voted yes; USSR vetoed
Jakobson—three perm members voted yes; USSR vetoed; French abstained
Jarring—three perm members voted yes; PRC and one unknown vetoed.

13. Finns are worried that we will make deal with Sovs and PRC at the expense of Jakobson.

14. Pursuant State 227889, after SC meeting Bush had private talk with Malik. Latter reiterated his "your beloved child is dead" theme.

15. Incidentally, French were furious when reproached by Finns for their suspected negative vote on December 17. French swear they abstained and Finns now accept this.


247. Telegram From the Mission to the United Nations to the Department of State/1/

New York, December 22, 1971, 0356Z.

/1/ Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 303, Agency Files, USUN, Vol. IX. Secret; Priority; Nodis.

5191. Subj: SYG.

1. Summary. In spite of firm assurances by Finns and Norwegians that PRC would continue to veto Waldheim indefinitely, SC voted to recommend him to GA on first ballot Dec 21 by vote of 11–1–3 (US, UK). Ortiz de Rozas was runner up with 12–3 (Soviet veto)–0. Jakobson received 9–5 (Soviet veto)–1. End summary.

2. At Five-Power meeting early Dec 21, Bush and Crowe (UK) advocated top three candidates who received nine or more votes be re-submitted to SC. We insisted all three candidates be considered on equal footing and expressed preference for Jakobson. Bush also made point that we thought composition of SC did not necessarily reflect strength of Jakobson in GA. Malik advocated all candidates who received seven or more votes be re-submitted. Huang Hua favored re-submission of "LA candidates" Herrera and Valdes. Kosciusko-Morizet said he could go either way.

3. During lone discussion Malik observed it did not matter much which candidates submitted or which procedure followed because results would be the same as previous ballots. Group finally decided send list of six candidates who obtained seven or more votes Dec 20 (Herrera, Jakobson, Jarring, Ortiz de Rozas, Valdes, Waldheim). First ballot would be same procedure as previous meeting (secret ballot with results announced after voting completed on all six). If no one recommended, next ballot would be by candidates in order of votes received and would have votes announced after voting completed on each candidate.

4. After above meeting adjourned, substance of Hillenbrand telephone call from Bermuda received instructing US to take action to be certain Waldheim not elected during voting Dec 21. On return to the Mission, Bush received telephone call from Sir Colin Crowe informing us that the Secretary and Sir Alec Douglas Home had agreed in above sense. Crowe noted that, US and UK, having voted for Waldheim Dec 20 could not now cast veto without fact becoming known. However, US and UK could switch to abstain if we were reasonably certain PRC would veto. This would reduce or hold down Waldheim vote and put Ortiz de Rozas ahead. It would also ensure Ortiz would be voted on first in second round. Bush then talked directly with the Secretary who agreed we should coordinate tactics with UK and Jakobson.

5. We next talked to Pastinen (Finland) and Algaard (Norway) who assured us that they had held long meeting with Huang Hua after Five-Power meeting reported above. Chinese reportedly gave them unequivocal assurances that they would continue to veto both Waldheim and Jarring indefinitely. Pursuant first Bush telcon with Secretary, Bush called Jakobson who confirmed this was Chinese position. Jakobson said "there is no question about it„the Chinese will veto Waldheim all the way through."

6. Bush agreed with Crowe that under these circumstances we would recommend that both of us abstain on Waldheim on first and second round. If no agreement reached at end of second ballot we would seek third round with vote by show of hands. (Suggestion was made UK ascertain PRC views directly but Crowe thought approach by him to Huang Hua would only arouse suspicion.) This position endorsed in second Bush telcon with the Secretary.

7. Just prior to SC meeting Bush encountered Algaard (Norway) who again stated in categoric terms that PRC would definitely continue to veto Waldheim. We also ascertained that Japan and Nicaragua would continue to vote for Jakobson and Bush urged Ortiz de Rozas to do likewise but latter was noncommittal.

8. When vote was read out we were surprised to learn that the one negative vote had not been that of a permanent member and, consequently, Waldheim had obtained the required majority. (If we and UK had maintained vote of previous day he would have obtained 13–1–1 on victory ballot.)

9. After the meeting Bush placed call to Waldheim but switchboard of Austrian Mission was jammed. Bush then conveyed congratulations to Mrs. Waldheim. Condolences were sent to Jakobson. Ortiz took defeat in stride and thanked Bush warmly for strong US support.

10. Malik circulating story that LA (Herrera, Valdes) would have been elected had it not been for intransigence of US. We are pointing out that it pity that the LA with the most votes (Ortiz who received 12 yes votes) was blocked by Soviet veto.

11. Miglioulo (Italy) told us after the vote that he was convinced Soviets would never have accepted Jakobson or Ortiz. If PRC had been equally adamant on Waldheim, it would have been necessary to look elsewhere (e.g. Jarring).

12. Comment: Italian and UK dels have been critical of Finnish campaign tactics which they consider, through design or overeagerness, to have resulted in inaccurate Finnish statements concerning positions of alleged supporters. Whatever the faults, if any, of Jakobson campaign, Finns by putting well-qualified candidate in the field early and maintaining him to the end helped ensure that Soviet first choice, U Thant, would not be re-elected.


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