The Department of State to the Soviet Embassy


In the Soviet Government’s memorandum of December 29, 1942,14 transmitted to the Department of State by the Soviet Ambassador it was suggested that Article I of the draft plan for the establishment of a United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration should be so worded as to cover the following points:

“1. The activities of the Relief Administration under Article I should be based on the consent of the government of the state receiving relief as regards the forms these activities may take in a given state.

“The fulfillment of relief measures by the Administration should admit of ways by which the Government of the country receiving relief will take upon itself the whole responsibility for fulfilling these measures on its territory.”

The discussion between the Soviet Ambassador, the British Ambassador, the Chinese Ambassador, and the Assistant Secretary of State, Mr. Acheson, on January 11, 1943 brought out the following points which it is the purpose of this memorandum to confirm:

1. Paragraph 2 of Article IV of the draft includes the following statement; with respect to the powers of the Director General:

“In arranging for the procurement, transportation, and distribution of supplies and services, he and his representatives shall consult and collaborate with the appropriate authorities of the United Nations and shall, wherever practicable, use the facilities made available by such authorities.”

This sentence referred to “the appropriate authorities of the United Nations” rather than to the governments of territories receiving relief because of the desire to guard against embarrassment and difficulty which might arise if the Relief and Rehabilitation Administration should be required to consult and collaborate with, and to use the facilities of, the existing governments of former enemy territory during the war or early post-armistice period, or to have such relations with factional or contending governments in unsettled areas during these periods. In such cases the appropriate United Nations authority might be either the United Nations military authorities or United Nations civilian officials or agencies in control.

2. However, it was the clear understanding of those who drafted this provision that the appropriate authority of the United Nations [Page 861] in Soviet territory would be the Soviet Government and that it would be not only practicable but necessary for the Director General to rely upon the facilities made available by the Soviet Government. From this it follows that so far as the activities of the Relief and Rehabilitation Administration in Soviet territory are concerned they would be based upon the consent of the Soviet Government as regards the forms these activities might take. Furthermore, since the facilities made available by the Soviet Government would be used by the Director General the way would be open, under the present draft, for that Government to undertake the whole responsibility for carrying out relief and rehabilitation measures in its territory.

It is hoped that this explanation will meet the concern of the Soviet Government with respect to the matter under discussion.