740.0011 Moscow/8½

The British Embassy to the Department of State

No. 612

His Majesty’s Embassy enclose the text of an amendment which His Majesty’s Government desire to offer to the draft 4-Power Declaration.36a The proposed amendment has been approved by the Cabinet in London after consultation with the Governments of His Majesty’s [Page 532] Dominions. Unless the United States Government sees any objection, His Majesty’s Government propose to communicate it to the Soviet Government.

[Enclosure 1]

British Amendments to Draft Four-Power Declaration

The Governments of the United States, the United Kingdom, the Soviet Russian Union and China, united in their determination, in accordance with the declaration by the United Nations of January 1st, 1942 and subsequent declarations to continue hostilities against those Axis powers with which they respectively are at war until such powers have laid down their arms on the basis of unconditional surrender, conscious of their responsibilities to secure liberation of themselves and the people allied with them from the menace of aggression; recognizing the necessity of ensuring a rapid and orderly transition from war to peace and of establishing and maintaining international peace and security with the least diversion of the world’s human and economic resources for armaments, jointly declare

That their United action pledged for the prosecution of the war will be continued for the organization and maintenance of peace and security.
That those of them at war with a common enemy will act together in all matters relating to the surrender and disarmament of that enemy, and to any occupation of enemy territory and liberation, of other States held by that enemy.
That they will take all measures deemed by them to be necessary to provide against any violation of the terms imposed upon the enemy.
That they recognise the necessity of establishing at the earliest practicable date a general international organization based on the principle of sovereign equality of all nations for the maintenance of international peace and security in which all peace-loving nations, great and small, may play their parts.
That for the purpose of maintaining international peace and security pending the re-establishment of law and order and the inauguration of a general system of security they will consult one another and as occasion requires with other members of the United Nations, with a view to joint action on behalf of the community of nations.
That in connection with the foregoing purpose they will establish a technical commission to advise them on the military problems involved including the composition and strength of the forces available in an emergency arising from a threat to peace.
That they will not employ their military forces within the territories of other States except for the purposes envisaged in this declaration and after joint consultation and agreement.
That they will confer and cooperate with one another and with other members of the United Nations to bring about a practicable general agreement with respect to the regulation of armaments in the post-war period.
[Enclosure 2]

Observations by the Foreign Office on the British Amendments to the Draft Four-Power Declaration

Paragraph 2: The re-draft is designed to meet the susceptibilities of the European Allies and scarcely alters the sense. The words “of the territory” should be inserted after the word “liberation”.

Paragraph 3: The original American phrase “the requirements imposed upon their present enemies” might be held to mean that we proposed at some early date to make friends with the latter. “Requirements” is rather vague and “terms” seems to meet the case better.

Paragraph 4: There was at first a tendency here to think the words “sovereign equality” might unduly encourage the pretensions of the smaller Powers, but the Dominions were, broadly speaking, in favour of keeping them in. We should like to temper the doctrine of sovereign equality to the extent of adding the words “in which all the peace-loving nations, great and small, may play their part”. This would avoid the criticism that we were intending at some early stage to admit the ex-enemy powers into our new system on a footing of equality. It also implies that some nations may have a greater part to play than others.

Paragraph 5: The American draft is open to the interpretation of inaugurating a sort of four-power dictatorship. This point was especially stressed by the Dominion Governments. Our formula is designed to suggest a middle way. It does not exclude consultation between the four powers only, but is a little weaker than the American in form in that it says “with a view to joint action” instead of “act jointly”. We believe this is the minimum which would be willingly accepted by the smaller powers.

Paragraph 7: Remains as in American draft but its implication ought to be examined at the Conference. Should we and the Americans, for instance, be barred from operating in France or Holland except after consultation with the Russians, and would the Russians be unable to advance into Poland or Roumania except after consultation with us?

Paragraph 8: Our addition is designed to make the declaration more palatable to the smaller powers.

  1. See draft printed on p. 522, and footnote 25.