W. Tapley Bennet joined the United States Foreign Service in 1941 and was part of the United States delegation to the United Nations Charter Conference in San Francisco. In 1951, he was appointed as Deputy Director to the Office of South American Affairs, and in 1957, he acted as Counsellor and Minister in United States Embassies in Rome, Italy; Vienna, Austria; and Athens, Greece. From 1965-1966, he was the United States Ambassador to the Dominican Republic, and in 1966, to Portugal. In 1972, he served concurrently as Ambassador to the United Nations Security Council and Deputy United States Representative to the United Nations.
This interview, conducted on 24 July 1990, during Mr. Bennett's retirement, focused on his experience as a young delegate to the United Nations Conference on International Organization in San Francisco in 1945. He gave particular insight into the controversy surrounding certain States' eligibility for Membership at the time, the United States relationships with Latin American countries and Nelson Rockefeller's early involvement with the Organization. Mr. Bennett also discussed Kurt Waldheim's election as United Nations Secretary-General.