Memorandum by the Secretary of State to President Roosevelt 2
I transmit herewith for your consideration a statement of the basic ideas which might be embodied in a constitution of an international organization for the maintenance of peace and security, to be established in accordance with the provisions of the Atlantic Charter,3 of Point 4 of the Moscow Declaration,4 and of the Congressional Resolutions.5 The statement was prepared by our group working on the problems of international organization.6 Attached to the statement is a memorandum on the principal obligations which would have to be assumed by the members of the projected international organization.[Page 615]
The drafters of the statement recommend
- That there should be a small Executive Council with adequate powers and adequate means to investigate conditions, situations and disputes likely to impair security or to lead to a breach of the peace; to recommend measures for the adjustment of such conditions, situations and disputes; to employ the processes of mediation, conciliation, arbitration, etc., for the settlement of disputes; to prescribe the terms of settlement where other procedures have failed; to enforce its decisions; and to repress acts or threats of aggression;
- That there should be a General Assembly, composed of all member states, whose principal functions and powers should relate to the setting up of a general framework of policy, the development of international law, and the promotion of international cooperation in general;
- That there should be an International Court of Justice; and
- That, as needed, there should be created or brought within the framework of the international organization agencies for cooperation in economic and social activities, for trusteeship responsibilities, and for other appropriate purposes.
The drafters have not been able to reach definitive conclusions on a number of crucial questions which are presented in the statement in the form of alternatives. These are indicated on pages 3, 4 and 5.
The entire plan is based on two central assumptions:
- First, that the four major powers will pledge themselves and will consider themselves morally bound not to go to war against each other or against any other nation, and to cooperate with each other and with other peace-loving states in maintaining the peace; and
- Second, that each of them will maintain adequate forces and will be willing to use such forces as circumstances require to prevent or suppress all cases of aggression.
I hope that at our meeting tomorrow you will find it possible to discuss these matters with us.
- Copy obtained from the Library of Congress, Manuscripts Division, papers of Mr. Leo Pasvolsky, Special Assistant to the Secretary of State. President Roosevelt gave the draft his general approval and initialled the memorandum “OK FDR” at a meeting at the White House on February 3, 1944, attended by Secretary Hull and some of his “consulting group” (a group which began in the summer of 1943 to accompany the Secretary to the White House for Presidential discussions). See notes by Mr. Pasvolsky on that meeting, infra. ↩
- Joint statement by President Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, August 14, 1941; for text, see Foreign Relations, 1941, vol. i, p. 367.↩
- Joint Four Nation Declaration on General Security, signed at Moscow, October 30, 1943, ibid., 1943, vol. i, p. 755.↩
- For the Fulbright Resolution, September 21, 1943, and the Connally Resolution, November 5, 1943, see Senate Document No. 123, 81st Cong., 1st sess.: A Decade of American Foreign Policy, Basic Documents, 1941–49 (Washington, Government Printing Office, 1950), pp. 9 and 14, respectively.↩
- The statement was prepared by the Informal Political Agenda Group which decided at its first meeting on December 9, 1943, after the negotiation of the Moscow Declaration to prepare a draft of basic proposals on this subject for recommendation to the Secretary. The draft was completed on December 23 (the Group’s tenth meeting) and submitted to President Roosevelt in response to his request of Secretary Hull for the Department’s latest ideas on international organization, made at luncheon on December 21, directly after the President’s return from the Conferences at Cairo and Tehran where the question was discussed with the British Prime Minister (Churchill) and the Chairman of the Council of Commissars of the Soviet Union (Stalin): see Foreign Relations, The Conferences at Cairo and Tehran, 1943. For additional information on preparation of the statement, see Department of State, Postwar Foreign Policy Preparation, pp. 246 ff.↩
- Brackets throughout this document appear in the original.↩