Roosevelt Papers: Telegram

The Under Secretary of State (Stettinius) to the President1

top secret

Supplementing yesterday’s wire on voting procedure,2 it may be helpful for you to have before you the exact text of the formula which is now being studied by the three governments as a possible solution. You will note the size of the majority vote is left blank. The Russians want 51 percent and the British want two-thirds.

“C. Voting

Each member of the Security Council should have one vote.
Decisions with, respect to the following matters should be taken by blank majority vote including the concurring votes of the permanent members of the Security Council:
All decisions coming under section VIII-B, entitled ‘Determination of Threats to the Peace, Acts of Aggression, or any Breaches of the Peace, and Action with Respect Thereto’, and under Section VIII-C, entitled ‘Regional Arrangements’.
All matters relating to [disarmament]3 and regulation of armaments.
Recommendations to the General Assembly with regard to admission of new members, suspension and restoration of rights of membership, and expulsion of members.
Establishment by the Security Council of its subsidiary bodies or agencies.
Decisions under Section VIII-A, entitled ‘Pacific Settlement of Disputes’, should be taken by blank majority including the concurring votes of the permanent members of the council, but excluding the votes of such member or members of the council as are parties to the dispute.
All other decisions should be taken by blank majority vote.”

The result of adopting this procedure would be that consideration and recommendations with regard to pacific settlement of disputes referred to in numbered paragraph three above would be taken without the vote of the party to the dispute even if that party happens to be a permanent member of the council and that consideration and decisions as to enforcement action of any kind would require the unanimous consent of all the permanent members of the council, whether or not one of them is involved.

[Page 427]

In view of the fact that this, if accepted, would represent a substantial concession to the Soviet point of view, we feel that we would be justified in trying to obtain their consent to the two-thirds majority vote.

Could we have your views as soon as convenient, both as regards the formula in the text and the size of majority vote?

E[dward] S[tetttnius]
Under Secretary of State
  1. Delivered to the White House Map Room; forwarded to Roosevelt at Quebec as telegram No. MR-out-10. Roosevelt discussed the subject matter of this telegram with Churchill on two different occasions on September 15. See ante, p. 362.
  2. Supra.
  3. Brackets appear in the source text.
  4. This telegram was initialed on Stettinius’ behalf by G. Hayden Raynor.