740.0011 (European War 1939)/12–1941

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

The drafts, (1) Joint Declaration and (2) Memorandum of Agreement: Supreme War Council, were completed today during a conference in the Secretary’s office, at which were present the Secretary, Mr. Berle,6 Mr. Hackworth,7 Mr. Dunn,8 Mr. Feis,9 Mr. Pasvolsky,10 Mr. Hamilton, and Mr. Savage. The two papers were sent by the Secretary to the White House at one o’clock.11 With them he sent a copy of my memorandum of December 17, 1941 containing a brief sketch of the Supreme War Council of 1917–1918.12

Just before the Secretary left for lunch at one o’clock he asked me to prepare before Cabinet meeting at two, a memorandum13 setting out the high points of these two papers.

The Secretary called Mr. Berle, Mr. Hackworth and me in about four o’clock this afternoon to say that these two papers had been [Page 3] discussed at the Cabinet meeting. There seemed to be general approval of them. The President mentioned only one point about which he had hesitancy. This was about the constitutionality of the Joint Declaration, having in mind especially the agreement not to con elude a separate armistice, or cease hostilities except by common agreement.

This question was discussed for some time and it was generally felt that there was no real doubt as to the constitutionality of the provisions. The Secretary suggested, however, that the provision might well be taken from the Joint Declaration, which would be signed by many countries, and placed in the draft regarding the Supreme War Council, which would be signed by four countries. Mr. Welles,14 who came in during the discussion, suggested also that the first paragraph be changed to contain an enumeration of the titles of the heads of the four governments. Mr. Hornbeck15 had also suggested ill writing that the term “world-wide” be removed from the Joint Declaration.

These three changes were made in the two papers and they were taken by Mr. Berle to the White House at six p.m.,16 to be substituted in place of the two papers the Secretary had taken over to the Cabinet meeting.

Carlton Savage
  1. Adolf A. Berle, Jr., Assistant Secretary of State.
  2. Green H. Hackworth, Legal Adviser.
  3. James Clement Dunn, Adviser on Political Relations.
  4. Herbert Feis, Adviser on International Economic Affairs.
  5. Leo Pasvolsky, Chief of the Division of Special Research, and Special Assistant to the Secretary of State.
  6. See memorandum by the Secretary of State to President Roosevelt, infra.
  7. Not printed.
  8. Supra.
  9. Sumner Welles, Under Secretary of State.
  10. Stanley K. Hornbeck, Adviser on Political Relations.
  11. Post, p. 6.