Adaptable as they are, Soviet diplomats doubtless learned a useful lesson from last week's U.N. deliberations: tyranny may be beyond the reach of the U.N. but a breach of parliamentary manners is risky business.

Russia's trouble began when Soviet First Deputy Foreign Minister Vasily V. Kuznetsov made the mistake of trying to crack the whip over the General Assembly. At issue was the Security Council seat to be vacated at year's end by Yugoslavia in accordance with a "gentlemen's agreement" devised in 1955 to break a 35-ballot deadlock between Yugoslavia and the...

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