840.50/1825

The Minister Counselor of the Canadian Legation ( Pearson ) to the Assistant Secretary of State ( Acheson )

Dear Mr. Acheson: May I refer to our discussion on April 8th concerning the association of Canada with the proposed United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration and my letter to you of that date on the same subject? You will recall that this letter informed you of the acceptance by the Canadian Government of the main constitutional provisions of the Draft Convention, on the understanding that their position in respect of certain matters arising out of the Convention could be accepted and suitably recorded by the Governments to be represented on the Central Committee of the proposed Administration.

In communicating to the Canadian Government the results of our conversation, I pointed out that you had mentioned a possible difficulty in formally recording these understandings now, arising out of the fact that all our previous correspondence and discussions concerning this matter in Washington had necessarily been informal, in view of the fact that the Draft Convention had not been circulated officially. Therefore, as you pointed out, any official Canadian communications to the State Department and to the other three Governments registering Canada’s position and requiring formal replies would put on record the fact that we had been consulted and had worked out an arrangement about this matter before certain other countries concerned had had the same opportunity. I therefore suggested to Ottawa a procedure which you felt might be satisfactory, namely, that the State Department would call a meeting as soon as possible of the Ambassadors of the United Kingdom, the U.S.S.R., and China and read to them my letter to you of April 8th. The minutes of this meeting would then record the agreement of the representatives of the four Governments on the points made by the Canadian Government as conditions to their acceptance of the Convention as now drafted. Later, when the Convention was officially circulated, the Canadian Government could, as part of the official observations which they will make thereon to the State Department, include the points which they have already made through the less formal procedure outlined above.

I have now heard from the Canadian authorities on this matter. They feel that they cannot ask the representatives of the four Powers on the Central Committee of U.N.R.R.A. to do more than note the views of the Canadian Government on the following two points: (a) that the four-Power pattern is not in principle an acceptable form of international organization, and (b) that representation on international [Page 901] bodies should, whenever possible, be determined on a functional basis. They hope, however, that in respect of the other two points, the agreement of the four Powers will not merely be recorded in the minutes of a meeting held to discuss this matter, but that this agreement might be conveyed in the name of those representatives by the State Department to the Canadian Government. These other two points are: (a) the Governments of the United States, United Kingdom, U.S.S.R., and China will use their best endeavours to secure the selection of a Canadian as Chairman of the proposed Committee on Supplies, and (b) they do not regard the proposed form of the Central Committee as a precedent in other connections.

It is hoped that, following the next four-Power meeting called to discuss this matter, these assurances could be conveyed in a memorandum from the State Department in reply to our memorandum of February 10th [9th]. This would close the matter promptly, without requiring the presentation of a formal note by the Canadian Government at this stage, and would avoid procedural difficulties which might arise if the necessary assurances were conveyed to the Canadian Government as part of a formal reply to Canadian official observations on the Draft Convention.

Another possible procedure would be that, when the draft is formally circulated by the Department of State to the United Nations, a covering letter sent therewith to Canada might note the Canadian views on the first two points referred to above and record the agreement of the four Governments on the other two.

Yours sincerely,

L. B. Pearson

[Copies of the draft agreement of March 25, 1943, and an explanatory memorandum (not printed), were transmitted on April 17 and April 21 by the Secretary of State for the information of chiefs of mission accredited to Governments comprising the United Nations and to Governments of the following nations associated with the United Nations in the war: Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Egypt, Iceland, Iran, Liberia, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela.]