Memorandum of Conversation, by the Secretary of State
The British Ambassador,75 together with the Soviet Ambassador, called at my request. I reviewed the course of my conversations with the eight Senators on post-war security plans and principles76 and said that I was now ready to proceed with informal talks with the British and the Russians and that I had called them in to ask that they request their Governments to fix a date, as early as might be convenient, for these conferences to begin. I added that this Government would be ready as soon as the other two Governments were. I summed up the American attitude toward the post-war security problem from the political and every other standpoint that might be a factor in the success of the undertaking. They both seemed gratified and said they would communicate with their Governments.
I then reviewed the Chinese angle and made a most earnest appeal to each of their Governments, through them, to let China sit in the [Page 638]conferences.77 They said they would present this matter fully to their respective Governments.
I did not give them the provisions of this Government’s draft of the proposed security organization78 but suggested that each of the Governments bring its respective draft and let them all be considered together at the opening of this informal conference. This suggestion seemed to be acceptable to them.
- Viscount Halifax.↩
Secretary Hull, meeting with the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations in executive session on March 22, 1944, indicated that the Department of State was ready to confer with the Committee on a number of postwar plans, especially an international organization to maintain peace and security. He invited the Committee to set up a special committee (non-partisan) to confer with him from time to time. Four informal meetings were held with the four Democratic and four Republican members of the committee on April 25, May 2, 12, and 29.
Meeting with the leading members of the House of Representatives on June 2, Secretary Hull covered virtually the same ground as during his first conference with the eight Senators and gave each one a copy of the United States draft proposals for an international organization. The series of consultations was interrupted by the recess of Congress but was resumed later in the summer.
For additional information on these Congressional meetings, see The Memoirs of Cordell Hull, vol. ii, pp. 1658–1670, and Postwar Foreign Policy Preparation, pp. 260–267.↩
On May 30 the Chinese Ambassador (Wei) called at the request of the Secretary, who repeated to him his remarks to the British and Soviet Ambassadors about admitting China to the Conference. (Memorandum of conversation, May 30, 1944, filed under 840.50/3813.)
The Ambassador in the Soviet Union was instructed in telegram 1387 of June 1, midnight, to emphasize, in any conversations with the Soviet officials on that subject, the desirability of including Chinese in the preliminary discussions (500.CC/55a).↩
- For text of the April 29 draft of a “Possible Plan for a General International Organization”, see Postwar Foreign Policy Preparation, p. 582. For a statement to the press by President Roosevelt on June 15 concerning the development of the “Possible Plan” up to that time, see post, p. 642.↩