U.S. Stand on Genocide Puzzles U.N. Delegates; Criticism Voiced
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U.S. Stand on Genocide Puzzles U.N. Delegates; Criticism Voiced

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Severe criticism of the United States was voiced among United Nations delegates here today over a statement issued last night by the American delegation indicating that the United States may not only abstain from ratifying the U.N. convention outlawing genocide, but looks with disapproval on “propaganda” in this country in favor of the convention.

The statement was issued by Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., chief of the U.S. delegation, following adoption by the U.N. General Assembly of a resolution reiterating its appeal to all states to accelerate their ratification of, or accession to, the genocide pact. The resolution requested the U.N. Secretary General “to continue to take all necessary measures designed to insure the widest possible diffusion of the nature, contents and purposes of the convention.”

The vote on the resolution was 50 to 0, with the American delegation voting in favor of the resolution, but making clear that its vote on the subject would not bind the United States to take action on the convention at any given time. So far, 41 nations have acceded to or ratified the treaty, but the United States is not among them. The Senate is still to pass upon the pact and there is strong opposition to it on the part of many Senators.


Neither the State Department nor any member of the American delegation to the United Nations was willing today to clarify what Mr. Lodge meant by declaring that the United States does not interpret the U.N. resolution on genocide “as authorizing propaganda in the United States” in relation to this resolution. Delegates of countries which support the genocide pact insisted that this part of Mr. Lodge’s statement was an attempt at censorship.

A spokesman for the U.N. Secretary General emphasized that since Mr. Lodge made his statement outside of the United Nations, no cognizance could be taken of it by the UN. The statement reads as follows:

“The United States voted for the resolution concerning genocide as the best way of showing that the United States abhors the crime of genocide. Our vote is not a commitment as to the timing of action by the United States on the genocide convention, either on behalf of the executive or legislative branch. Neither is it a judgment against possible reservations designed to clarify the convention and assure its conformity with the United States Federal system of justice.

“Furthermore, the United States does not interpret the resolution as authorizing propaganda in the United States in relation to a matter pending before the United States Senate.”

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