711.00 Pres. Speech Oct. 5, 1937/4½

Memorandum by the Under Secretary of State (Welles)3

With relation to the suggestion contained in my memorandum of October 6, the President on October 8 expressed his belief that the matter might be handled in the following manner:

The question should be dealt with independently of any other conference, consultation, or exchange of views.
The first approach should be for the Government of the United States to indicate to every other government of the world its belief that international agreement should be had upon the five points listed on pages two and three of the memorandum of October 6, and this indication should be undertaken through diplomatic channels.
When replies are received to these original communications and it becomes thereby evident that an agreement is had as to the measure proposed, the United States would announce its willingness to the other governments to cooperate with a smaller group of powers in order that this smaller group might by common agreement elaborate the principles of international relationships and the standards of international conduct believed to be desirable and necessary. The United States to assume the responsibility of determining the membership of this smaller group.
When a determination is reached by this smaller group upon the questions submitted, the findings will be communicated by the United States through diplomatic channels to the other governments of the world not represented in the smaller group.
If it is then ascertained that the great majority of the governments of the world are in accord, it will be determined whether this agreement shall be ratified by means of a world conference called specifically for that purpose or whether formal agreement shall be arrived at through diplomatic channels.

  1. Photostatic copy obtained from the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library, Hyde Park, N. Y.