Memorandum by the Secretary of State to President Roosevelt 98

We have developed the following plans for handling the forthcoming discussions with the British, Russians, and Chinese on the subject of international organization and security:

Plan for discussions

The discussions, which are scheduled to begin on August 2, are envisaged as an informal interchange of views at a high diplomatic level, relating both to basic policies and to technical questions. It is contemplated that the order of the discussions will follow three phases: (1) consideration of basic policies; (2) detailed technical discussions in separate groups, based on the discussion of basic policies; and (3) further consideration of basic policies in the light of the detailed technical discussions.

The topics to be discussed fall naturally into three broad categories: (1) the structure and establishment of the proposed international organization, (2) arrangements for pacific settlement of disputes, and (3) security arrangements. The detailed discussions would be conducted in three separate sections corresponding to these categories, as indicated in the attached tentative agenda.

Assignments of American group

The Secretary of State would be the senior American representative. He would have general direction of the proceedings and would preside over the first and third phases of the discussions.

The Under Secretary of State would head the American group responsible for the detailed technical discussions and would be chairman of the third section, to which the detailed technical discussions of security arrangements is assigned.

It is contemplated that, in the American-British-Soviet phase of the discussions, a British official would be chairman of the first section and a Soviet official would be chairman of the second section. In the American-British-Chinese phase, a Chinese official would be chairman of the second group.

The American group would be assigned to the three sections as follows:

First section: Messrs, Bowman,99 Grew,1 and Pasvolsky.

[Page 648]

Second section: Messrs. Hackworth,2 Hornbeck,3 and Cohen.4

Third section: Messrs. Stettinius, Dunn and Wilson,5 Admirals Hepburn,6 Willson7 and Train,8 and Generals Embick,9 Strong10 and Fairchild.11

Members of all sections and Assistant Secretary of State Long12 would be present at the first and third phases of the discussions.

Advisers and Secretariat

The American group would have advisers and a secretariat to assist them in preparation for and in the conduct of the discussions. Arrangements would be made for the assignment of Army and Navy officers to the secretariat. This secretariat would also function as the secretariat for the discussions. The advisers would be Mr. Notter and officers of the four geographic offices of the Department. Mr. Alger Hiss13 would act as executive secretary.


Tentative arrangements have been made for using Dumbarton Oaks in Georgetown, the former estate of Mr. Robert Woods Bliss, now the property of Harvard University, as headquarters for the discussions.

Meetings might be held there for a few hours in the latter part of each morning and afternoon, with luncheon and perhaps tea being served. There would be a few offices available for consultation and immediate drafting needs, but the groups representing the other nations would presumably do the major part of their separate drafting in their own embassies before and after the daily meetings.

Preparatory period

The members of the American group would immediately organize themselves in three committees, corresponding to the three sections. Mr. Stettinius would take general charge of the necessary preparations [Page 649] for the discussions and would look to Mr. Pasvolsky as responsible for the activities of the first committee; Mr. Hackworth for the second; land Mr. Dunn for the third. We are planning to have the entire group meet once a week with the Secretary of State. There would also be a small informal steering committee, both for the period of preparation and of actual discussions. It would be under the chairmanship of the Secretary with Mr. Stettinius as vice chairman. Its members would be Messrs. Dunn, Hackworth, Pasvolsky, Admiral Willson and General Strong.

I hope that these arrangements meet with your approval.


Tentative Agenda

The structure and establishment of the proposed international organization:
General structure and scope of the organization.
Membership, functions, powers, and voting procedures of a general assembly.
Membership, functions, powers, and voting procedures of a smaller executive body (executive council).
Administration and secretariat of the organization.
Arrangements for coordination of economic and other functional activities and agencies, and the relation of such agencies and of any regional arrangements to the general organization.
Procedure of establishment and inauguration of the organization.
Arrangements for pacific settlement of disputes.
Methods of pacific settlement.
Procedures, regional and otherwise, outside the central organization.
Procedures in the council and in the assembly.
The structure and functions of the Court of Justice.
Security arrangements.
Scope and character of joint action with respect to
Determination of threats to or breaches of the peace;
Prevention or suppression of such threats or breaches;
Enforcement of decisions.
Methods of joint action.
Not involving use of armed forces.
Involving use of armed forces.
Arrangements for provision of armed forces and facilities.
Relationship to mutual defense and regional systems.
Arrangements for the regulation of armaments and the manufacture and traffic in arms.
Structure and functions of an armaments and security commission.
Interim arrangements pending the effective functioning in the field of security of the general organization.
  1. Copy obtained from the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library, Hyde Park, N. Y. Memorandum handed to President Roosevelt by Secretary Hull on July 12, 1944. At the same time he handed the President a draft of the Tentative Proposals completed on July 6, which had been constructed along the lines approved by the President on February 3, and those embodied in the draft of April 29, previously submitted to the President. The July 6 draft, however, included proposals on economic and social cooperation and on international trusteeship to which only a reference had been made in the “Possible Plan” of December 29, 1943. See Tentative Proposals of July 18, p. 653.
  2. Isaiah Bowman, Adviser to the Secretary of State.
  3. Joseph C. Grew, Director of the Office of Far Eastern Affairs.
  4. Green H. Hackworth, Legal Adviser.
  5. Stanley K. Hornbeck, Special Assistant to the Secretary of State for postwar problems and plans.
  6. Benjamin V. Cohen, General Counsel, Office of War Mobilization.
  7. Edwin C. Wilson, Director of the Office of Special Political Affairs.
  8. Adm. Arthur J. Hepburn, Department of the Navy, Chairman of the General Board of the Navy Department.
  9. Vice Adm. Russell Willson, member of the Joint Strategic Survey Committee in the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
  10. Rear Adm. Harold C. Train, Department of the Navy, member of the Joint Post-War Committee in the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
  11. Lt. Gen. Stanley D. Embick, Department of the Army, member of the Joint Strategic Survey Committee.
  12. Maj. Gen. George V. Strong, Department of the Army, member of the Joint Post-War Committee in the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
  13. Maj. Gen. Muir S. Fairchild, U. S. Army Air Forces, member of the Joint Strategic Survey Committee.
  14. Breckinridge Long.
  15. Alger Hiss, Special Assistant to the Director, Office of Special Political Affairs.