Memorandum by Mr. Leo Pasvolsky, Special Assistant to the Secretary of State

Our discussions and exchanges of views with the British on the subject of United Nations Organization and of organized international relations in general have been taking place mainly in the following three fields:

Maintenance of Peace and Security
Economic Collaboration
Treatment of Dependent Areas

There are indicated below the principal developments in each of these fields and the status of discussion, in so far as they have come to my knowledge.

I. Maintenance of Peace and Security

In 1942 the British proposed to us a joint study of a possible revision of the Statute of the Permanent Court of International Justice,22 as a first step toward an examination of the whole question of a future international organization. We replied that we considered the study to be premature pending an opportunity for a full examination of the general subject of international organization, and the matter was dropped.
Following the Casablanca Conference,23 Prime Minister Churchill, in an informal memorandum to the President, indicated some of his ideas as to the general character of an international organization for the maintenance of peace and security. His basic thought was that there should be created three regional organizations, in Europe, in the Far East, and in the Western Hemisphere, which should constitute the three pillars of a superstructure of some sort of a world-wide organization. He amplified this thought in a conversation at a small luncheon at the British Embassy in May, 1943, and in a public address.24
In July, 1943, the British proposed to us and to the Soviet Government the creation of a European Commission25 which was to [Page 628] coordinate the execution of surrender or armistice terms imposed on the enemy and was also to assume far-reaching functions with respect to long-range European arrangements in fields of security and economic integration. We replied that we could agree to the creation of such a body for dealing with the enemy powers, but that we opposed entrusting to such a body long-range peace-time functions. This document became the basis of the discussion at the Moscow Conference26 which resulted in the creation of the European Advisory Commission.
At the Quebec Conference in August,27 the President and the Secretary discussed with Mr. Churchill and Mr. Eden our draft of a four-nation declaration. This draft was subsequently communicated to the Soviet and Chinese Governments and eventually became the Moscow Declaration.
The Protocol of the Moscow Conference provided that the United States, the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union would undertake exchanges of views, in Washington in the first instance, as regards the establishment of an international organization for the maintenance of peace and security, envisaged in paragraph 4 of the Moscow Declaration. Shortly after the conference, the British Government began pressing us for the inauguration of such exchanges of views.28 The matter remained in abeyance until the beginning of February, when the Secretary instructed Mr. Dunn and me to inform the British and Soviet Embassies,29 for communication to their governments, that we should like to proceed by way of an exchange of documents setting forth the tentative views of each government as to the nature and functions of the projected organization. A week later, we handed the British and the Russians a list of topics30 on which we are preparing studies, and received in return a similar list from the British.31 We have had no word from the Russians. The present status is that we [Page 629] are nearing the completion of the documents to be exchanged; the British have informed us that they are likewise hard at work; and we assume that the Russians, too, are working.
During a recent visit to Washington of Mr. J. Ward of the Foreign Office, he and Col. Walker (Washington representative of the British Post-Hostilities Committee) proposed to us an exchange of views on problems of immediate post-war security arrangements including use of international bases, use of force, etc.33 It was agreed that we would first exchange a list of the problems to be examined and then proceed, as possible, with an exchange of documents. Mr. Ward was to report to his superiors. We have heard nothing further about this matter, but work is in progress here.
Shortly before Mr. Ward’s visit, the British Embassy gave us informally a paper34 on the future organization of security forces, in which an argument was made in favor of regional security police arrangements. In the course of our discussion, Mr. Ward indicated that the thought in London has now shifted somewhat and is beginning to move in favor of world-wide rather than merely regional arrangements for this purpose.
I have no information as to what discussion took place at Cairo and Teheran.35

II. Economic Collaboration

Prior to the convocation of the Conference on Food and Agriculture,36 our principal economic discussions with the British related to the creation of a relief and rehabilitation organization37 and to repeated efforts on their part to begin consultations under Article VII of the Mutual Aid Agreement.38 In this latter connection, monetary discussions were begun toward the end of 1942 and commercial policy discussions in September, 1943.39
In accepting our invitation to the Conference on Food and Agriculture, the British expressed open dissatisfaction over the fact that we did not consult them prior to making the decision to convoke such a conference and suggested that there be created a small steering committee of the principal United Nations to plan future steps. The Russians expressed a similar view as to the need for prior consultation and planning.40
The monetary discussions were carried on sporadically until September 1943, when they were undertaken very intensively during the visit of Lord Keynes.41 The result was a draft joint statement of basic principles,42 which contained many points of disagreement. Most of these have now been ironed out by cable. The draft is being currently discussed with the Soviet experts.
On the same occasion, a brief discussion took place on the subject of a bank for reconstruction and development.43 The British promised to give us their views on the subject after their return to London, We have not as yet heard from them.
In September and October, 1943, we had a four-week discussion, under the terms of Article VII, with a large British group of experts on commercial policy, commodity policy, cartels, and full employment measures. The result was a comprehensive agreed statement,44 which indicated the problems that still needed to be explored by both sides. It was agreed that discussions would be resumed, possibly in February of this year.45 In December 1943, the British Embassy inquired as to whether or not we intended to resume discussions as planned. We asked in turn whether the British would be ready by that time.46 The Embassy had no knowledge, but undertook to find out. We have had no word from them since, except for an informal indication that the British preferred to wait until they had discussed these matters with the Dominions.47 Such discussions took place at the end of February. In the meantime, in January and February of this year we had similar discussions with the Canadians.48 The present status is that the British are to tell us when they are ready to resume discussions. We can accommodate ourselves to any date they set.
At the time of arranging for Article VII discussions with the British, we issued a similar invitation to Soviet Russia and China.49 No reply having been received from the Soviet Government, the Secretary raised the question at the Moscow Conference.50 At the same time, bearing in mind the views expressed by the British and Soviet Government at the time that invitations were issued to the Food Conference, the Secretary proposed the creation of a small committee for joint planning of United Nations activities in the economic field. No decision was reached.
The President’s recent messages to Prime Minister Churchill and Marshal Stalin51 reinforced the Moscow proposal and carried it a step further. The reaction from London so far indicates somewhat divided counsels in the British Government.52 The reply from Moscow is favorable.52a
The President apparently had some conversations on this subject at Teheran,53 on which I have no information.
My information is incomplete on the status of our aviation and oil discussions.54

III. Treatment of Dependent Areas

At the beginning of 1943, the Secretary had some conversations with Lord Halifax55 regarding post-war international arrangements for the treatment of colonial and other dependent areas.56 As a result of these conversations, the Foreign Office communicated to us a paper57 setting forth their ideas some of which were at variance with ours. These ideas were somewhat later amplified in a speech by Col. Stanley, the Secretary of State for Colonies.58 In an attempt to reconcile the two points of view, we incorporated some [Page 632] of the British ideas in our draft declaration of March 9, 1943,59 a copy of which was given to Mr. Eden during his visit to Washington.
The Secretary made several attempts to discuss the draft of March 9 with Mr. Eden at Quebec and Moscow,60 but without much success. Mr. Eden did indicate, however, that the British cannot agree to a promise of independence for all dependent areas, but prefer to foreshadow a development toward self-government.
In September, 1943, Mr. Ronald of the Foreign Office raised with us the question of the future status of Italian colonies in Africa.61 In the course of a long discussion, it developed that neither our studies of this question nor those made in London were adequate. It was accordingly arranged that an agreed questionnaire would be drawn up as a basis for further studies. This was done, and appropriate studies are under way both in London and here.62 In revising the first draft of the questionnaire, the Foreign Office brought in the question of trusteeship arrangements and of the mandate system.63 This was the first time that they showed any willingness to examine these problems.
Leo Pasvolsky
  1. For correspondence on this subject, see Foreign Relations, 1942, vol. i, pp. 39 ff.
  2. Documentation on the Casablanca Conference, January 14–24, 1943, is scheduled for publication in a subsequent volume of Foreign Relations.
  3. For summaries of the memorandum of February 2, 1943, by Prime Minister Churchill to President Roosevelt, and his views expressed at a luncheon at the British Embassy on May 22, see The Memoirs of Cordell Bull, vol. ii, pp. 1640–1641; for his radio address of March 21, 1943, on postwar plans, see the New York Times, March 22, p. 4, col. 1. See also Winston S. Churchill, The Second World War: The Hinge of Fate (Boston, 1950), pp. 711–712 and 802–807.
  4. For correspondence on the establishment of the European Advisory Commission, see Foreign Relations, 1943, vol. i, pp. 801 ff.
  5. For documentation on the Tripartite Conference of Foreign Ministers at Moscow, October 18–November 1, 1943, see Foreign Relations, 1943, vol. i, pp. 513 ff.
  6. Documentation on the First Quebec Conference, August 17–24, 1943, is scheduled for publication in a subsequent volume of Foreign Relations. For “Tentative Draft of a Joint Four-Power Declaration” and a summary account of the Conference, see Postwar Foreign Policy Preparation, pp. 553 and 187–189, respectively; see also The Memoirs of Cordell Hull, vol. ii, pp. 1237–1239, and Ruth B. Russell, History of the United Nations Charter (the Brookings Institution, Washington, 1958), pp. 116–124.
  7. On November 26, 1943, the British Embassy compared notes, orally, with the Department on questions of procedure in connection with this Government’s proposal of November 18, if the other three Governments concurred, to announce that the four parties to the Moscow Declaration would welcome adherence by all peace-loving states to the statement in paragraph 4 of the Declaration. The Embassy was informed that some exchange of views could begin within a reasonably short time, as soon as the United States had “something definite to propose.” (Postwar Foreign Policy Preparation, p. 247.)
  8. See telegram 276, February 10, 9 p.m., to Moscow, repeated to London as 1043, p. 622.
  9. See memorandum by Mr. Leo Pasvolsky, February 19, p. 625.
  10. See memorandum by Mr. Leo Pasvolsky, February 16, p. 623.
  11. Memorandum of conversation with Departmental officials on January 29, 1944, not printed. The proposed exchange of views did not take place as another plan came under consideration in the spring of 1944.
  12. Memorandum entitled “Post-war World Security: Possible Military Organisation”, handed to Mr. Harley Notter, Adviser, Office of Special Political Affairs, by Mr. Gore-Booth of the British Embassy on December 18, 1943, not printed; for summary, see The Memoirs of Cordell Hull, vol. ii, p. 1649.
  13. See Foreign Relations, The Conferences at Cairo and Tehran, 1943, index entry on “International security, postwar”, p. 912.
  14. For correspondence on the United Nations Conference on Food and Agriculture, Hot Springs, Virginia, May 18–June 3, 1943, see Foreign Relations, 1943, vol. i, pp. 820 ff.
  15. For correspondence on the agreement establishing the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration signed on November 9, 1943, see ibid., pp. 851 ff.
  16. For correspondence on discussions of countries signatory to Article VII of the Lend-Lease Agreement between the United States and the United Kingdom signed February 23, 1942, see Foreign Relations, 1943, vol. i, pp. 1099 ff.; for text of the Lend-Lease Agreement, see Department of State Executive Agreement Series No. 241, or 56 Stat. (pt. 2) 1433.
  17. See Foreign Relations, 1942, vol. i, pp. 163 ff., and ibid., 1943, vol. i, pp. 1054 ff. and pp. 1099 ff.
  18. See telegrams 1713, March 10, 1943, 7 p.m., from London, and 186, March 21, 1943, 1 p.m., from Moscow, Foreign Relations, 1943, vol. i, pp. 821 and 822, respectively.
  19. John Maynard Keynes, Economic Adviser to the British Government.
  20. For text, see Foreign Relations, 1943, vol. i, p. 1084.
  21. See minutes of meeting with British experts on proposal for a United Nations Bank for Reconstruction and Development, October 11, 1943, ibid., p. 1092.
  22. See Annex 9 to the Secret Protocol of the Tripartite Conference in Moscow, ibid., p. 763.
  23. See vol. ii, pp. 1 ff.
  24. See telegram 56, January 4, 5 p.m., from London, ibid., p. 1.
  25. See telegram 2389, March 24, 3 p.m., from London, ibid., p. 25.
  26. See instruction 3801, March 2, to London, ibid., p. 18.
  27. See telegram 791, September 3, 1943, 5 p.m., to Moscow, Foreign Relations, 1943, vol. i, p. 1111; memorandum handed to the Chinese Ambassador on September 4, 1943, not printed.
  28. See summary of proceedings of the fourth session of the Tripartite Conference, October 22, 1943, 4 p.m., Foreign Relations, 1943, vol. i, p. 604.
  29. Telegram 476, February 23, to Prime Minister Churchill (identical message to Stalin), vol. ii, p. 14.
  30. See telegram 1973, March 10, ibid., 9 p.m., from London, p. 23.
  31. See unnumbered telegram dated March 10, from Moscow, ibid., p. 22.
  32. See Foreign Relations, The Conferences at Cairo and Tehran, 1943, pp. 530531, and 875.
  33. For correspondence on discussions regarding international civil aviation, and the Conference at Chicago, November 1–December 7, 1944, see vol. ii, pp. 355 ff. For correspondence on Anglo-American petroleum discussions and unperfected agreement signed August 8, 1944, see vol. iii, pp. 94 ff.
  34. British Ambassador in the United States.
  35. For memoranda of conversations of March 22, 27, and 29, 1943, on this subject, see Foreign Relations, 1943, vol. iii, pp. 28, 36, and 40, respectively.
  36. “Draft of Joint Declaration of Colonial Policy”, handed to Secretary Hull by the British Ambassador on February 4, 1943; see ibid., p. 31, footnote 47.
  37. For speech by Col. Oliver Stanley, in the British House of Commons, July 13, 1943, see Parliamentary Debates, House of Commons, 5th series, vol. 391, col. 47.
  38. For U.S. draft of a declaration by the United Nations on national independence, March 9, 1943 (submitted to President Roosevelt on March 17), see Foreign Relations, 1943, vol. i, p. 747.
  39. For summary of conversation of Secretary Hull with Foreign Secretary Eden at Quebec on August 21, 1943, see The Memoirs of Cordell Hull, vol. ii, p. 1236; for Mr. Hull’s remarks on introducing the March 9 declaration at the Moscow Conference, and Mr. Eden’s reply, see the summary of the proceedings of the eleventh session, October 29, 4 p.m., Foreign Relations, 1943, vol. i, pp. 662, 666667.
  40. Memorandum of conversation of Nigel Ronald, of the British Foreign Office, with Mr. Pasvolsky, September 26, 1943, not printed.
  41. Copies of British studies dated June 13, 1944, were submitted to the Department (not printed).
  42. Draft questionnaire of December 14, 1943, not printed.