Lot 60 D 224

The Secretary of State’s Special Assistant ( Pasvolsky ) to the Secretary of State

Memorandum for the Secretary

Subject: Trusteeship and Colonial Problems

There are attached1 four copies of each of the following two documents:

Document, elated March 9, 1943, entitled, “Draft of a Declaration by the United Nations on National Independence.”
Document, dated April 15, 1943, entitled, “International Trusteeship.”

The proposed Declaration is intended to draw a clear line of demarcation between, on the one hand, the treatment to be accorded to dependent areas detached from the enemy countries after the last war and to such areas as may be similarly detached from our present enemies; and, on the other hand, the treatment of colonial areas proper. It is suggested that an International Trusteeship Administration be set up for the first category of dependent areas. The second category would be left undisturbed, except that the colonial powers would proclaim certain specified principles, in accordance with which they would administer their dependent areas. There would also be set up regional commissions for collaboration, with regard to some aspects of colonial administration, between the colonial powers and certain other powers having substantial interest in each of the regions.

The President has read this draft. You discussed it with Mr. Eden when he was in Washington, and he was given a copy.2

The International Trusteeship draft was prepared in the Division of Political Studies on the basis of an extended consideration of the problem by the Political Committee and by the Subcommittee on International Organization.

Leo Pasvolsky
[Attachment 1]

Draft Declaration


Declaration by the United Nations on National Independence

In the Declaration signed on January 1, 1942, the United Nations pledged themselves to a complete victory in this war for the preservation [Page 718] of liberty, independence, human rights and justice. They also proclaimed their resolve to attain, for themselves and for the human race as a whole, the objectives stated in the Joint Declaration of President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill dated August 14, 1941, known—from the region in which it was formulated—as the Atlantic Charter. That Charter sets forth certain fundamental principles and purposes, applicable to all nations and to all peoples, among which are the following:

Respect for the rights of all peoples to choose the form of government under which they will live;

Restoration of sovereign rights and self-government to those who have been forcibly deprived of them; and

Establishment of a peace which will afford to all nations the means of dwelling in safety within their own boundaries, and which will afford assurance that all the men in all the lands may live out their lives in freedom from fear and want.

By their adoption of the Atlantic Charter as an integral part of the Declaration of January 1, 1942, the 31 United Nations have thus affirmed their determination that the independence of those nations which now possess independence shall be maintained; that the independence of those nations which have been forcibly deprived of independence shall be restored; that opportunity to achieve independence for those peoples who aspire to independence shall be preserved, respected, and made more effective; and that, in general, resolute efforts will be made to create a system of world security which will provide for all nations and all peoples greater assurance of stable peace and greater facilities for material advancement.

The carrying out of these pledges imposes important responsibilities upon those peoples who possess or who are seeking to regain independence and upon all peoples who aspire to independent status. The particular pledge that peoples who aspire to independence shall be given an opportunity to acquire independent status is, therefore, in varying degrees, of concern to all of the United Nations and to all nations and peoples which now, or which may hereafter, cooperate in carrying forward and applying the provisions of the Atlantic Charter. The effectuation of that pledge requires that all such nations and peoples collaborate to that end with each other to the fullest practicable extent. Accordingly, the United Nations hereby make the following Declaration:


It is the duty and the purpose of those of the United Nations which have, owing to past events, become charged with responsibilities for the future of colonial areas to cooperate fully with the peoples [Page 719] of such areas toward their becoming qualified for independent national status. While some colonial peoples are far advanced along this road, the development and resources of others are not yet such as to enable them to assume and discharge the responsibilities of government without danger to themselves and to others. It is, accordingly, the duty and the purpose of each nation having political ties with colonial peoples:
To give its colonial peoples protection, encouragement, moral support and material aid and to make continuous efforts toward their political, economic, social, and educational advancement;
To make available to qualified persons among the colonial peoples to the fullest possible extent positions in the various branches of the local governmental organization;
To grant progressively to the colonial peoples such measure of self-government as they are capable of maintaining in the light of the various stages of their development toward independence;
To fix, at the earliest practicable moment, dates upon which the colonial peoples shall be accorded the status of full independence within a system of general security; and
To pursue policies under which the natural resources of colonial territories shall be developed, organized and marketed in the interest of the peoples concerned and of the world as a whole.
It is incumbent upon all peoples that aspire to independence to exert themselves in every feasible way to prepare and equip themselves for independence—socially, economically, and politically—to the end that they may, as soon as possible, be able to create, conduct and maintain, for, by and of themselves, efficient structures of stable self-government based on sound principles of social and political morality. In the present moment of world emergency, the capacity and desire of such peoples for the enjoyment of freedom can best be demonstrated by their contribution now toward the defeat of the Axis foes of all freedom and independence.
The carrying out of the policies above declared will necessarily call for much and continuous consultation and collaboration between and among the nations which are directly responsible for the future of various colonial areas and other nations which have substantial interests in the regions in which such areas are located. In order to provide an effective medium for such consultation and collaboration, there shall be created in each region, by agreement of the nations thus concerned, a commission on which each of those nations shall be represented and in the work of which the various colonial peoples concerned shall have appropriate opportunity to participate and to have or to achieve representation.
[Page 720]


As a result of the last war, peoples in several areas still unprepared for full independence were released from political ties with nations formerly responsible for them. Other peoples in like status may be similarly released from their former political ties as a result of this war. It is the purpose of the United Nations to assume with respect to all such peoples a special responsibility, analogous to that of a trustee or fiduciary. The United Nations hereby recognize it as their duty to give the fullest cooperation to such peoples in their efforts to prepare themselves for independence through political, economic, social, and moral advancement—and eventually to arrange for their assumption of independent status. To this end, they recognize it as their duty to observe in the case of such peoples each of the policies, obligations and methods hereinbefore set forth for observance by independent countries toward their own colonial peoples.
In order to carry out effectively the purposes and functions described in the preceding paragraph, the United Nations propose to establish, as soon as circumstances permit, an International Trusteeship Administration composed of representatives of the United Nations and of all other nations which now, or which may hereafter, cooperate in carrying forward and applying the provisions of the Atlantic Charter. The administration will operate through regional councils composed of representatives of the nations having major interests in the respective regions. The machinery of each council will be so designed as to give the peoples of the territories held in trust in its region full opportunity to be associated with its work.
[Attachment 2]

Memorandum on International Trusteeship


P 123–c 3

International Trusteeship

I. In order to promote international security and the general well-being of all peoples, the non-self-governing colonies and territories which as a consequence of the war of 1914–18, and of the war of 1939–, have ceased to be under the sovereignty of the States which formerly governed them, and which are not yet ready for self-government, shall be placed under an international trusteeship.

The authority for the trusteeship shall be vested provisionally in the Executive Authority of the United Nations and finally in the Executive [Page 721] Authority of the International Organization which shall delegate execution and supervision of the Trusteeship to a separate Supervisory Council for each region. These councils shall be set up provisionally by the United Nations and finally by the Executive Authority of the International Organization.

II. The objective of the international trusteeship is self-government for these dependent areas under conditions which provide guarantees of basic human rights, safeguard the economic interests of all elements of the population, and promote the security and general well-being of the international community. The objective of self-government may be deemed to be attained if a dependent area, conformable to the wishes of its people decides to stand alone as independent, or is granted autonomy and self-government possibly in association with nearby states or through voluntary federation with some independent state of its choice. The Executive Authority shall judge the fact of the establishment of such self-government to the general satisfaction of the inhabitants and the desirability of the termination of the trusteeship. The termination of the trusteeship shall involve acceptance of a bill of rights. The Executive Authority shall determine if the autonomy and self-government granted the dependent people is of such nature as to entitle it to membership in the International Organization.

III. The following purposes shall guide the international supervision and local administration:

For the dependent peoples:
preparation and education for self-government.
protection from exploitation, and promotion of economic and social justice.
development of the resources of the area to improve the economic well-being of the people on the highest possible self-sustaining basis.
For the general well-being of the world:
establishment and maintenance of non-discriminatory commercial treatment.
promotion of equality of economic opportunity, consistent with the safeguarding of the interests of the local inhabitants.
contribution to general security.

IV. The following machinery shall carry out the foregoing purposes:

Executive Authority

The appropriate Executive Authority of the International Organization shall be the final authority for the establishment and maintenance of the trusteeship. The Executive Authority shall have the [Page 722] right to require any matter to be referred to it which in its judgment affects the basic principles of the trusteeship or which affects the peaceful relations between nations. It shall be within the power of the Executive Authority to adjust the areas included within the various regions and the composition and jurisdiction of the Supervisory Councils thereover, having regard to changes which experience may show to be desirable.

The Executive Authority shall maintain a permanent office with a staff of experts and shall keep itself informed of the work of the Supervisory Councils. The Executive Authority shall have the right of inspection in the dependent areas.

Supervisory Council

A separate Supervisory Council shall exercise the international trusteeship over the peoples placed under its trusteeship in each area. The Supervisory Councils may be composed of representatives from states having general security interests in the region, from self-governing states in the region, as and in such number as may be determined by the Executive Authority and, in certain cases, from states to which responsibility has been delegated for exercising administrative authority over the dependent peoples.

Each Supervisory Council, acting on behalf of the Executive Authority and in consultation with each territorial Administration, shall promote the development of the territories within its area both in the interests of the inhabitants and of the rest of the world. It shall in particular (a) assure that the terms of the charter under which the territory is administered are effectively carried out, (b) examine for approval or disapproval all public or private projects involving developments of more than local character, (c) assure that the principle of non-discrimination in commercial treatment is applied, and the promotion of equality of economic opportunity is undertaken, in a manner which safeguards the long-run interests of the inhabitants, and (d) assure that emigration and immigration shall be regulated in the interest of the inhabitants of the area. Each Supervisory Council shall make an annual report together with recommendations to the Executive Authority on the various territories under its supervision. It shall also report to the Executive Authority promptly any situation which affects the peaceful relations of the territories or any failure of the Administration to carry out its obligations. The Executive Authority shall decide the time and manner of the publication of these reports.

The inhabitants shall have the right to petition directly to the Supervisory Council, subject to such regulations or conditions as the [Page 723] Supervisory Council shall prescribe subject to the approval of the Executive Authority.


Each Supervisory Council shall be assisted by a Secretariat which shall include individuals trained in administration of dependent areas, and specialists in the fields of education, public works, administration of justice, health, nutrition, etc. Each Secretariat shall include a field staff.


Unless and until other arrangements are made by the Executive Authority, these dependent peoples shall be administered by an administrative agency which shall be appointed by the Executive Authority and shall be subject to the direction and control of the Supervisory Council.

The Administration in each territory shall exercise its authority according to a Charter which shall set forth the duties, responsibilities and powers deemed by the Executive Authority to be most suitable to the stage of development of the peoples in that territory, having regard to social and economic conditions and to factors affecting general security.

The local inhabitants shall be assimilated in the administrative and technical services to the fullest practicable extent. In territories where the Executive Authority or a Supervisory Council exercises trusteeship directly over any territory, such administrative and technical positions shall be open to qualified nationals of all states comprising the United Nations.

The Administration in each territory shall submit an annual report to the Regional Supervisory Council on the manner in which it has fulfilled its functions, attaching thereto copies of its accounts and of the measures adopted in the territory during the year. The report will be examined by the Supervisory Council in the presence of an accredited representative from the territorial government who shall be prepared to supply any supplementary information requested by the Council. The Executive Authority shall determine the time and manner of the publication of the report.

V. Operations of the trusteeship machinery.

a. For the dependent peoples

It shall be the tasks of the Administration under the direction of the Supervisory Council to provide justice in the courts, to assure civil liberties, to provide equality of economic opportunities, and to further education for self-government.

[Page 724]

In the dependent areas which the Axis powers have temporarily occupied, the Supervisory Council and the Administration shall harmonize restoration of previous property rights of foreign nationals with greater economic opportunity for the local inhabitants.

In providing for improved labor standards, health and the general social welfare of the inhabitants, the Supervisory Council and the Administration shall have the assistance of the International Labor Organization and other technical bodies of the International Organization.

b. For the general well-being of the world

With due regard to the importance of furthering freedom of economic opportunity among nations, and with due regard to any general economic arrangement that may be evolved by the International Organization, the Administration in each territory shall:

Grant to the members of the International Organization nondiscriminatory commercial treatment and equality of economic opportunity; subject to the safeguarding by the Executive Authority of the interests of the local inhabitants;
Avoid and prevent practices which lead to excessive prices or monopoly of raw materials;
Cooperate with plans for local and international development recommended by the Supervisory Council.

The dependent areas shall be administered in such a manner as to contribute to the general security of the world. No military, naval or air bases or defense forces may be established except as agreed upon by the Executive Authority as being in the interest of such general security.

VI. Budget.

The expenses of the various supervisory Councils and Secretariats shall be provided for in the budget of the International Organization. The Executive Authority, upon the basis of estimates submitted by the Supervisory Councils, shall fix the budgets for their work.

The administrative expenses of the territorial government shall be defrayed so far as possible from revenues of the territory under administration. In territories where the Trusteeship is directly administered by the Executive Authority or a Supervisory Council, the costs of administration, above the revenues of the territory, shall be borne in a manner to be determined by the Executive Authority.

In territories administered under trusteeship by a single state, the costs of administration above the revenues of the territory shall be borne jointly by the administering state and the International Organization in proportions to be determined by the Executive Authority. However, the administering state shall defray the salaries of its nationals on the administrative staff.

[Page 725]

In instances where the revenues of the territory may exceed the costs of administration, the surplus shall be utilized in that territory to expedite the attainment of the purposes of trusteeship.

[Annex I to Attachment 2]

The trusteeship shall apply to the following classes of territories:

The present mandated territories which resulted from the war of 1914–18, and which have not in the meantime attained full independent status:
  • Type “A” Mandates:
    • Palestine and Trans-Jordan (British)
    • Syria and Lebanon (formerly French)
  • Type “B” Mandates:
    • Tanganyika (British)
    • Ruanda–Urundi (Belgian)
    • Cameroons (French)
    • Cameroons (British)
    • Togo (French)
    • Togo (British)
  • Type “C” Mandates:
    • Southwest Africa (Union of South Africa)
    • New Guinea (Australian)
    • Western Samoa (New Zealand)
    • Nauru (British Empire mandate administered by Australia)
    • Marshall, Caroline, and Marianas islands in the Pacific north of the Equator (Japanese)
Territories which might be detached from Italy:
  • Eritrea, Italian Somaliland, Libya, Pantelleria
Territories which might be detached from Japan:
  • Korea, Pescadores, Formosa, and acquired or claimed, non-mandated islands (such as Marcus Island, and the Spratly Islands).

[Annex II to Attachment 2]

Various areas, such as islands in the Pacific and certain strategic points in other parts of the world should be treated primarily from the standpoint of their importance in an international security system and as commercial airports for the inter-continental air transportation service of the future. Some of these areas may best be administered by particular powers; others by direct administration of the international organization; others by inclusion under the trusteeship for a regional area. The Authority of the United Nations provisionally and [Page 726] the Executive Authority of the International Organization finally shall determine the disposition of such areas.

[Annex III to Attachment 2]

Supervisory Councils and Territorial Dispositions

north pacific region

Regional Supervisory Council.—Members: China, Russia and the United States.

Territorial Dispositions

Korea: To be temporarily administered by the Council, anticipating independence probably with close economic ties with China.

Pescadores: Conditional upon security arrangements to be administered by the Council.

Formosa: Conditional upon security arrangements to be administered by China.

South Sakhalin: Status and disposition uncertain, pending consideration. If security so requires, the disposition of the Luchu Islands in that regard remains for consideration.

south pacific region

Regional Supervisory Council.—Members: Australia, New Zealand, China, Great Britain, the Netherlands, the Philippines, and the United States, probably seated at Manila, France might later be represented on the Council if French administration over Indo-China is restored.

Territorial Dispositions

New Guinea (now under Australian Mandate):

Western Samoa (now under New Zealand Mandate):

Nauru (now under British Empire Mandate):

These to be administered under the trusteeship by present controlling authorities.

Pacific Islands formerly under Japanese Mandate: Status to depend upon security arrangements.

Note: Further Pacific Dispositions

Marcus Island: Status and disposition uncertain, pending consideration. If security so requires the disposition of the Bonin Islands and the Vulcan Islands in that regard remains for consideration.

north and east africa region

Regional Supervisory Council.—Members: Great Britain, France, Egypt, and subject to reservation, Ethiopia, and possibly Turkey and Greece. Italy’s future participation is tentatively not precluded. The seat might be at Cairo or Alexandria.

[Page 727]

Territorial Dispositions

Libya: To be placed under direct administration by the Council.


Italian Somaliland:

Recommendations as to their administrative status remain under consideration.

Pantelleria: Status and disposition uncertain, pending further consideration.

west africa region

Regional Supervisory Council.—Members: Great Britain, France, Liberia, Belgium and (possibly) Portugal and Spain. The seat might be at Buea or Douala.

Territorial Dispositions

Togoland (now under British Mandate):

Togoland (now under French Mandate):

Cameroons (now under British Mandate):

Cameroons (now under French Mandate):

To be administered directly by the Council.

south africa region

Regional Supervisory Council.—Members: Union of South Africa, Belgium, Great Britain, France, Portugal, with seat at Johannesburg or Pretoria.

Territorial Dispositions

Tanganyika (now under British Mandate):

Ruanda–Urundi (now under Belgian Mandate):

To be placed under direct administration by the Council.

Southwest Africa (now under Union of South Africa Mandate): To be assimilated into the Union of South Africa with encouragement of a federal relationship if upon further study this appears feasible because of close political and economic ties.

middle and near east region

No regional supervisory council is contemplated.

Territorial Dispositions

Palestine: to be placed temporarily under a special international trusteeship, possibly composed of Great Britain, United States, Turkey, and perhaps others. The United Nations are to be considered bound by internationally accepted principles and commitments emerging out of the present situation rather than by former mandate provisions, or be prior national promises.

Syria and Lebanon to be independent (as one state or two): they may temporarily require a special trusteeship.

Trans-Jordan: Status yet to be determined.

[Page 728]

It is accepted that the United Nations are to be regarded as inheritors of all mandates, and it is assumed that the present mandates will terminate with the adoption of this plan.

  1. The attachments were not filed with the source text of Pasvolsky’s memorandum. They have been supplied from other folders in Lot 60 D 224.
  2. See Foreign Relations, 1943, vol. iii, pp. 31, 37, 40.
  3. This paper is also identified as P–I.O. 29–1 and as T 169–b.