Memorandum of Conversation, by Mr. Roy Veatch of the Office of Foreign Relief and Rehabilitation Operations

Participants: Mr. Acheson and Mr. Noel Hall, British Minister.

Following the meeting with the British, Soviet and Chinese Ambassadors on February 17, Mr. Hall mentioned again his proposal that Mr. Acheson and Lord Halifax attempt to reach an agreement within the next day or two on this point,27 which appeared now to be the major factor holding up progress with the plan for a United Nations agency.

Mr. Hall agreed that it would be essential for the four Powers to be in agreement on this and on other points when the actual conference of the United Nations meets to consider the proposal. He seemed certain that, therefore, the British Government would be prepared to reach agreement with the other three great Powers on the question of membership of the Policy Committee in advance of the conference. He said that his Government did not want to commit itself now because it felt that the other three Powers might wish to reconsider the matter after this Government had received comments on the draft from the rest of the United Nations. If these comments created no new situation, then, presumably, the three Powers would hold their position on the membership of the Policy Committee and [Page 878] the British Government would have to go along with that plan. He said that if this Government would be willing to proceed on this basis he was sure that the British Government would be willing to pledge itself to reach an agreement on this point with the other three at a meeting of the four a few days in advance of the conference.

  1. i.e. membership of the Policy Committee.