500.CC/52: Telegram

The Ambassador in the United Kingdom (Winant) to the Secretary of State

Netherland series [No.] 6. From Schoenfeld.82 Referring to Churchill’s advocacy of a world council comprising four or five largest states and the Secretary’s declaration that the United States was ready to discuss the organization of an international security body. Foreign Minister Van Kleffens83 in an authorized statement distributed yesterday by the Netherlands press agency in London said that he does not believe it likely that an attempt will be made to place exclusive control of post-war world affairs in the hands of America, Britain, China and Russia, and, it is assumed, of France when restored. No such step, he said, could count on the active support of the smaller powers with an aggregate population of scores of millions.

Although too early for him to express an opinion on the plan, details of which are not disclosed, Van Kleffens said there are certain considerations which will be vital for the smaller powers in any event. Experience gained in this and previous wars shows that actual conduct of operations is a matter for very few, but it is a very different thing when it comes to the shaping or execution of policy when there is no actual warfare. Smaller states are made to feel the burden of war no less and often more acutely than the greatest powers; it seems therefore reasonable that they should have their due voice in attempts to prevent war; no such burden without representation. He did not advocate that all smaller nations should be at all times represented on all organs of postwar setup but a system of rotation could be devised allowing them to take turns side by side with the larger powers who if desired would have permanent representation. [Schoenfeld.]

  1. Rudolf E. Schoenfeld, Chargé at the American Embassy near the Netherlands Government in Exile, established in England.
  2. Eelco N. van Kleffens, Netherlands Minister for Foreign Affairs.