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(a) Statement by Ambassador Warren R. Austin, November 14, 1949 1


The representative of the Soviet Union has furnished this Committee with another exhibition of his verbal fireworks. His table thumping has twice inadvertently jarred the name plate of the United States from the table in front of me. All of us, I believe, will acknowledge his facility for creating flash and thunder, but our interest in the display was dulled a little by the number of times we have had to witness it. With only minor variations, the performance has been repeated at four successive General Assemblies.

In this General Assembly, the Soviet Union delegation, on the instruction of its government, charges that preparations for a new war are now being conducted in a number of countries and in particular in the United States and the United Kingdom. In its warmongering charges the Soviet Union departs from previous attacks upon "certain circles" and directs its accusations against governments, charging them with organizing aggressive blocs and pursuing aggressive aims. Today, we have listened to the representative of the Soviet Union expressing claims that propaganda for a new war is aided and abetted by the governments of the United States and the United Kingdom. These charges are coupled with a proposal for a new treaty among the five permanent members of the Security Council. The proposal is epitomized in the item on the agenda reading: "Condemnations of the preparations for a new war and the conclusion of a Five Power pact for the strengthening of peace.'

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The purport of the speech of the representative of the Soviet Union was to offer proof that the United States and the United Kingdom are interested in breaking the peace of the world. All of us deeply regret that the skill and energy employed by the Soviet Union to produce propaganda proposals are not employed in an effort at harmony. Name-calling does not promote constructive collaboration. Provocation does not contribute to friendly cooperation.

We find in this resolution ingredients of all the Soviet Union's provocative proposals of the last 4 years artfully put together so that adoption of any part of it could be claimed by its sponsor to be a condemnation of the United States, the United Kingdom, and the other states not named.

The question of the control of atomic energy as well as the prohibition of atomic weapons is now being considered by the Ad Hoc Political Committee. Therefore, I doubt that the Committee will want to be delayed by extensive consideration of the second paragraph of the Soviet resolution which refers to atomic weapons.

The Ad Hoc Committee has before it the report of the Atomic Energy Commission, which affords the benefit of 4 years' effort to achieve an effective, enforceable system of international control that would not only prohibit the destructive use of atomic energy but would safeguard complying states against the hazards of violations and That Committee also has before it a report on the consul


1 Statement made before Committee I on November 14, 1949, and released to the press by the United States delegation to the United Nations on the same date. Department of State Bulletin of November 28, 1949, pp. 801-808.

tations in progress among the six permanent members of the Atomic Energy Commission.

I am sure the Committee will agree that this vital issue needs to be considered in that setting rather than in relation to a vague paragraph that seeks to avoid effective control by deceptively promising prohibition.

I should, therefore, only like, at this time, to point out that this innocent, sweet-sounding paragraph constitutes continued resistance to the will of the General Assembly. It contains virtually the same ideas that were rejected by the Assembly at its last session by an overwhelming vote. It ignores the Assembly's finding that effective prohibition can be achieved only by placing all dangerous quantities of atomic materials and all facilities for making or using them in the hands of an international cooperative. This Soviet paragraph is a propaganda maneuver which I feel sure the Committee will want to reject in favor of the detailed, earnest study being given this subject in the Ad Hoc Committee. I believe we can be confident of the Ad Hoc Committee's ability to handle this issue constructively, and certainly we will not take the hazard of two committees opposed to each other in their views on the same subject.


The trickery of the paragraph on atomic energy is combined with slanderous accusations in the first paragraph to introduce a proposal for a five-power pact. By its own terms, this Soviet draft resolution is revealed to be an artificial olive branch surrounded by thorns. This talk of peace sounds more like war.

A proposal honestly intended as a "measure for strengthening peace" would never be placed in such a setting. Its sham and pretense is exposed by the fact that the five permanent members of the Security Council have already, by the Charter, obligated themselves to strengthen peace. In this speech we listened to this morning, that atmosphere carried through in the phrase which I think I am quoting correctly, "The threat of war has come into the public field”.

Under the Charter, the five permanent members of the Security Council have particular responsibility for maintaining peace and security. Their particular responsibility was recognized when they were accorded special voting privileges. The fact that one of these five-the Soviet Union-has ignored that particular responsibility and has abused that special privilege has been the principal barrier to constructive cooperation.

The principle of unanimity of the five permanent members of the Security Council is based on the assumption that they will cooperate toward a common goal of peace. But the Soviet Union has twisted that principle into a weapon of obstruction and sabotage of world peace.

At Yalta, at Potsdam, in the Allied Control Council, in the Council of Foreign Ministers, and in the long negotiations for peace treaties, the unanimity principle has been used by the Soviet Union, not to promote agreement but to delay settlements and to force concessions. And in the Security Council, a long list of vetoes provides evidence that Soviet cooperation is available only on Soviet terms and only for Soviet purposes.

Does the Soviet representative contend that a new pact would initiate a reversal of such policies? If it would, then such a pact is unnecessary. If it would not, then such a pact would be a futility. Confidence in Soviet pledges has been undermined by the experience of the past few years. To find cause for concern, it is not necessary to recall the Friendship Pact with Nazi Germany, or the Soviet nonagression pacts with Finland, Latvia, Esthonia, and Lithuania. We need only look at the long, unhappy list of broken Soviet pledges that has grown since we have been engaged in the common effort to create the United Nations.

You will recall the promises that free elections would be held in Poland, in Bulgaria, Hungary, and Rumania. In the case of Rumania. it was the present Soviet spokesman who went to Bucharest and delivered an ultimatum that the existing government should be replaced with a hand-picked pro-Soviet government within 2 hours and 5 minutes. This action occurred within 3 weeks after Premier Stalin had agreed with President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill that their governments would "jointly assist" these 3 ex-enemy countries to form governments "broadly represenative of all democratic elements" and pledged to hold free elections.

This melancholy pattern, I regret to say, has continued and spread. A Soviet agreement to withdraw troops from Iran at the end of the war was only fulfilled because the non-Soviet members of the Security Council stood together in demanding that the pledge finally be honored.


The depredation of Manchuria, the forced partition of Korea, guerrilla warfare waged against Greece, the threats to Turkey, the obliteration of freedom in Czechoslovakia, the ruthless destruction of all democratic opposition in Bulgaria, Hungary, and Rumania, and now, the subjugation of Poland to the point where a Marshal of the Red Army has been installed as that partitioned country's Minister of Defense-all these are power-grabbing actions by the Soviet Union that peaceful words cannot hide.

Less than a year ago my Government and others at this table were faced with the threat of force in an effort to drive us out of our position in Berlin, which we held by virtue of an agreement with the Soviet Union. In that case, even starvation was employed as a weapon of Soviet policy. We and others here stood firm against such tactics and they failed.

Our efforts at this Assembly to promote compliance with the treaties of peace with Hungary, Bulgaria, and Rumania have stimulated the Soviet spokesman to a vigorous demonstration of his highly developed art of denunciation. He has provided us with further evidence of Soviet disregard of ratified agreements which no longer fit the convenience of Soviet policy.

Since this Assembly began, we have seen still other treaties of friendship and alliance with Yugoslavia denounced and repudiated not only by the Soviet Union but by the other states which it still controls. These pressure tactics have been augmented by troop movements, border incidents, and an unrelenting rain of epithets.

This succession of events was referred to in a newspaper in my home state of Vermont, the Burlington Free Press, by the following headline: The Sound of Breaking Treaties Familiar as Street Noises.


Faced with these facts, the peace-loving nations have been compelled to seek other paths toward their goal of peace. They have had to face squarely the problem posed by Soviet insistence that everybody is out of step but the Cominform. The aggressively reactionary Soviet policies that have prevented the Cominform states from cooperating with the rest of the world have forced the rest of the world to promote collective security without them.

These collective efforts to strengthen international peace and security are the real objects of the Soviet Union's attack. You are asked to condemn the United States, the United Kingdom, and an unspecified number of other states because they are partners in such agreements as the Treaty of Rio de Janeiro, the North Atlantic Treaty, and the Mutual Defense Assistance Act. The Soviet Union thus wants you to condemn agreements which seek to advance the objectives of the United Nations. The existence of these agreements is a reassurance to all states having a similar aim and a similar purpose. Their purpose is peace.

None of the safeguards we have erected will ever be used unless there is a clear violation of peace which the Security Council is unable to prevent. None of these safeguards alter our hope that the Soviet Union will sometime join with the other members of the United Nations to strengthen collective security. That has been our hope since the first day we began planning the organization of the United Nations. It remains our hope today.


Only the Cominform countries have chosen to misinterpret the intent of our efforts. Cominform spokesmen branded the North Atlantic Treaty as an aggressive alliance even before it was drafted. They have clung to their preconceptions despite the assurances given on behalf of the American people. But, I urge them to consider these Congressional declarations-the Congress of the United States expresses the public policy of the United States, the policy of the people.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee, in presenting the North Atlantic Treaty to the United States Senate for ratification, made these statements which stand as an official declaration of intent:

"The basic objective of the treaty is to assist in achieving the primary purpose of the United Nations-the maintenance of peace and security.

"It has been conceived within the framework of the United Nations Charter with all the solemn obligations against aggressive action which that document imposes upon its members.

"If it can be called an alliance, it is an alliance only against war itself."

The Mutual Defense Assistance Act which is designed to support the aims of the North Atlantic Treaty, as passed by both Houses of our Congress and approved by President Truman, opens with these declarations:

"The Congress of the United States reaffirms the policy of the United States to achieve international peace and security through the

United Nations so that armed force shall not be used except in the common interest.

"In furnishing such military assistance, it remains the policy of the United States to continue to exert maximum efforts to obtain agreements to provide the United Nations with armed forces as contemplated in the Charter, agreements to achieve universal control of weapons of mass destruction, and universal regulation and reduction of armaments, including armed forces, under adequate safeguards to protect complying nations against violation and evasion."

Thus is declared the determination of the 150 million people of my country to do their part "to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war." No policy, no emotion stirs the American people so profoundly. The representative of the Soviet Union needs shed no more crocodile tears for the American taxpayers.

Their policy and their desire is to cooperate with all states-I repeat, Mr. Chairman, with all states-in the building of a universal system of collective security within the United Nations.

The Soviet proposal is not aimed at building a universal system of collective security within the United Nations. On the contrary, it points toward domination of world affairs by the major powers. This is an old objective of Soviet policy, but it shall not become an objective of United States policy.

We oppose this Soviet proposal because we believe the people of the world want more peace, not more pledges. We regard treaties as instruments of inviolable law and not as instruments of propaganda. We are opposed to treaties that render lip-service to important principles but then provide easy means of escape and evasion.

All members of the United Nations are bound to take effective collective measures for peace. They have been bound to do so from the first day they entered the United Nations. The people of the world want peace by action under the Charter. They do not want it in the form of domination by Five Major Powers. Peace is everybody's business.


Solving this problem of security on a universal basis within the United Nations requires increasing cooperation among all the member states. The United States believes in such cooperation and believes that through the United Nations it ultimately can be achieved. I should like to point out, particularly to the Cominform representatives, some evidence of our belief in cooperation and to assure them that in spite of the disappointing experiences of the past few years, we hold firmly to that belief.

During the war we sent a military mission to Moscow to transmit military and technological information to the Soviet forces. That service continued throughout the war despite a complete lack of reciprocal treatment from the Soviet Union.

Millions of dollars of medical supplies and civilian goods, sent from this country by unofficial relief agencies, supplemented UNRRA aid valued at 250 million dollars.

Military and civilian supplies sent to the Soviet Union under LendLease totalled approximately 11 billion dollars. This included equipment that has been invaluable to Soviet reconstruction-for example,

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