740.0011 (European War 1939)/12–3041

Memorandum by Mr. Carlton Savage, Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of State ( Long )

This morning the President sent back with his O. K. the attached Joint Declaration,43 in which had been incorporated the amendments suggested by the Soviet Government.

There was a conversation in the Secretary’s office this morning attended by the Secretary, Mr. Berle, Mr. Hackworth, Mr. Hornbeck, [Page 23] Mr. Hamilton, Mr. Ballantine, and Mr. Savage. It was decided to transmit immediately to the Governments listed in the Joint Declaration a copy of the Declaration asking, in response to the President’s request, immediate response so that the document could be made public on January 1. A telegram was sent today to Ambassador Biddle in London to take up the question with all the governments to which he is accredited.44 Telegrams to the same effect were sent to our Missions in the American Republics which had declared war against the Axis powers.45 Furthermore, a telegram was sent to our Minister at Ottawa, instructing him to present the Declaration to the Luxembourg Government.

The Secretary received the Chinese Ambassador today and handed him a copy of the Joint Declaration; the attached letter46 was sent to the Ambassador confirming the conversation.

Lord Halifax desired to insert the expression “social security” in the Declaration but since the President and Prime Minister Churchill desired not to make any changes in the Declaration, in view of the approval already given by the Soviet Government, Mr. Berle convinced Lord Halifax that his Government should recede from this position.

Lord Halifax also suggested that in the Declaration the title of Churchill should be given as “Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland”. This change was made. He also desired to make a change at the end of the document to enable organizations such as the Free French to sign. The Secretary did not feel that we could make any change without the approval of the President, so nothing was done on this point.

Carlton Savage
  1. Not printed. A handwritten marginal note on the attachment reads: “CH OK. It is approved now by Russia and W. S. C[hurchill] but not yet by China FDR Let[‘]s get it out on Jan. 1. That means speed FDR” the text of the draft declaration is identical with that signed on January 1, 1942 (post, p. 25) except for the correction of the title of Prime Minister Churchill as requested by Lord Halifax (see the final paragraph of this document), and the addition of the title, “Declaration by United Nations.” Mr. Hull records in his book that the title was suggested December 31 by President Roosevelt to Prime Minister Churchill and agreed to by the latter. (The Memoirs of Cordell Hull, vol. ii p. 1124.)
  2. Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Greece, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, and Yugoslavia.
  3. Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama had declared war.
  4. Not attached to the file copy, but see supra.