Lot 60–D 224, Box 57: D.O./Conv.A/Doc. 2

Tentative Proposals by the United Kingdom for a General International Organization 26

Memorandum A: Scope and Nature of the Permanent Organisation

i. the principles and objects of the organisation

1.
The World Organisation will consist of independent States freely associated and working together for the better realisation of the common good of mankind.
2.
The principles and objects of the Organisation should be stated in the preamble of the document which brings it into existence. The Organisation should be as simple and flexible as possible. Thus the statement of its principles and objects becomes specially important, since they lay down the conditions in which action is taken by the members of the Organisation.
3.
Article 4 of the Moscow Declaration27 lays down that the Organisation shall be based on the “sovereign equality” of States. Two principles follow from these words. In the first place members must agree to respect each other’s political independence, and secondly all members enjoy equality of status, though not necessarily equality of function.
4.
Members should not be entitled to receive the benefits of the Organisation unless they are prepared to accept the obligations that go with them. Moreover, it is the assumption of such obligations by all members that ensures to all the benefits of the Organisation. This should be recognised, therefore, as one of the principles of the organisation.
5.
The object of the Organisation is stated in Article 4 to be the “maintenance of international peace and security,” and this must be regarded as its primary purpose.
6.
But if recourse to violence is ruled out, means must be provided by which members of the Organisation can settle their disputes by [Page 671]other than violent methods; and the establishment of machinery for achieving this must be one of the objects of the Organisation.
7.
Moreover, in order that international peace and security shall be maintained there must be in the world some means by which States meet together to review and harmonise their political action. One of the objects of the Organisation, therefore, must be to create a meeting place where statesmen can come together for that purpose.
8.
But international peace and security must be made positively, and not only kept by the negative means of suppressing violence. They will be confirmed and strengthened by guarding the right of man to seek his freedom, and by increase in the well-being of human society. Statesmen of the United Nations have declared this to be both the purpose and the condition of development in international order.
9.
It will be necessary therefore, for the Organisation to create institutions to promote the betterment of world-wide economic conditions and the removal of social wrongs, and to support and extend institutions which now exist for these purposes.
10.
Thus the principles and objects of the Organisation, and consequently the conditions in which its members receive its benefits and accept its obligations and on which actions taken under its authority are based, may be described as follows:—
11.
Principles
(i)
That all members of the Organisation undertake to respect each other’s political independence.
(ii)
That all members are equal in status though not necessarily in function.
(iii)
That all members undertake to fulfil towards each other the obligations which are the conditions of receiving the benefits of the Organisation.
12.
Objects
(i)
To ensure that peace and security shall be maintained so that men shall not live in fear of war.
(ii)
To provide means by which all disputes arising between States may be so dealt with that peace and security are not endangered.
(iii)
To provide a centre in which the political action of States can be reviewed and harmonised, and directed towards a common end.
(iv)
To promote the betterment of world-wide economic conditions and the well-being of all men by international agreement so that the fear of want may be removed from the world.
(v)
To guard and enlarge the freedom of man by institutions for the removal of social wrongs.
[Page 672]

ii. the nature of the organization

13.
In Article 4 of the Moscow Declaration it is laid down that the organisation is to be founded on the sovereign equality of its members. Its members will, therefore, retain control of their own actions except so far as they are limited by the obligations into which they freely enter and by international law.
14.
Nothing has been more clearly proved during the present war than the interconnexion of peace and security in all parts of the world. The future organisation must recognise this fact and be a world organisation in which all peaceful States in every part of the world can cooperate together for their mutual benefit.
15.
Though the status of all members is equal and all will enjoy the same rights and undertake the corresponding obligations, their differences in power make necessary some recognition of differences in function. The initiative for the formation of the organisation has come from the Four Powers, the United States, the U.S.S.R., the United Kingdom and China, and it is generally recognised that its success will depend more upon their continued cooperation than on any other single factor. The machinery of the organisation should make it possible for them to carry out the responsibilities which they will have agreed to undertake. They must be given, therefore, a special position in the Organisation in order effectively to maintain peace and security. In general, as regards all States the more power and responsibility can be made to correspond, the more likely is it that the machinery will be able to fulfil its functions.
16.
We look forward to the liberation of France and her restoration to the ranks of the Great Powers.
17.
It is presumed that there will come into existence a number of specialised technical organisations through which States will combine together for various purposes. There are already such organisations in existence as part of the system of the League of Nations. The relations of these bodies to one another and to the main organisation are considered in Memorandum D. Here it need only be said that such bodies are unlikely to survive as effective instruments in a world from which reasonable security is absent.
18.
Just as there are special functional organisations, so there may be regional associations for various purposes when there is obvious advantage to be obtained by limitation of the sphere of action. In particular, there should be some Regional Organisation for the Continent of Europe if only to prevent a repetition of the circumstances which have caused two world wars to originate in that area. The condition of Europe at the close of this war will demand the special care and assistance of the United Kingdom, United States and Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and means must be found to prevent its [Page 673]becoming the centre of a third world tragedy. It is possible to presume that out of some “United Nations Commission for Europe” as proposed in paragraphs nine and ten of Mr. Eden’s memorandum of July 1, 194328 there might grow a European Organisation which, under the guidance of the three major Allies might foster peaceful tendencies, heal the wounds of Europe and at the same time prevent Germany from again dominating the Continent. Such Regional Associations might also come into existence for economic cooperation, for the promotion of welfare in Colonial territories, etc. It is, however, essential that they should not conflict with the world-wide Organisation, but rather assist it to carry out its purpose.

iii. constitution of the organization

19.
It is generally recognised that it will be necessary to set up two main bodies, one as a centre of discussion on which all States are represented and the other a smaller body, as a centre of action. It is suggested that these bodies be termed the World Assembly and the World Council respectively.
20.
Membership. It is assumed that at the outset all the United Nations will be invited to be members of the Organisation. What States now neutral shall be admitted and at what period is a matter for consideration. The enemy States cannot be admitted until they have shown by their conduct that they accept the objects of the organisation and intend to pursue them.
21.
All the members of the Organisation should share in some manner in the admission of new members. It will have to [be] considered how far it is necessary to lay down conditions under which a State shall cease to be a member of the Organisation.
22.
World Assembly. The sovereign equality of all members should be recognized by their representatives meeting together on a footing of equality in a World Assembly at least once a year. The right of information and criticism should belong to all members of the organisation.
23.
It is not suggested that this body should have all the powers that were possessed by the Assembly of the League. The specialised and technical bodies should undertake some of the duties which that body performed and the initiative in preventing breaches of the peace should lie with the World Council.
24.
It is a matter for consideration whether the World Assembly should have the control over finance and the admission of new members which the Assembly of the League possessed; but it is suggested [Page 674]that the States cannot be expected to contribute to the finances of an organisation without some share in their determination, nor to belong to a society to which other States may be admitted without consultation with them.
25.
World Council. This body should be sufficiently small and compact to ensure action and of such a character as to possess the confidence of all members of the organisation.
26.
The Constitution of this body raises many difficult problems. The relation between the Great Powers and other States has been a matter of dispute for over a century. It is clearly necessary that the Four Powers, which between them are directly responsible for the peace and security of nearly two-thirds of the world’s inhabitants, should always be represented on it. The principle has been generally accepted that where the interests of any State are specially affected it should have the right to lay its case before the Council.
27.
It is desirable that the World Council should be strictly limited in size, and it has been suggested in some quarters that its membership should be restricted to the three or four Powers upon whom responsibility of maintaining peace principally depends. It is, however, open to question whether the other States would agree to the establishment of a Council so limited in number. In any case the number and method of their representation is a matter for grave consideration, and the manner in which the decisions of the Council shall be made may depend on the method adopted. The object would be to ensure that the other States on the World Council command general confidence. Some form of election is probably essential and the World Asembly might be used for this purpose.
28.
In such a Council, some means must be found to ensure that the various regions of the world are adequately represented. The size and area of States vary so greatly and are so unevenly distributed over the Continents that some agreement on this subject is essential. Thus the Caribbean area has more independent States than all the rest of Latin America, which includes Brazil, Argentina and Chile. Both Europe and South America have many more States than North America or Asia. Hitherto States as different in power and status as Canada and Panama have had equal rights of representation. The principle of rotation has deprived the Council of experienced statesmen, while the creation of “semi-permanent” seats was much resented by some States that did not enjoy the privilege.
29.
If the principle which governs the election of the Governing Body of the I.L.O.29 could be accepted, a more satisfactory result might be obtained, but it is difficult to find the principle to apply to a political body.
30.
Should Regional Associations of sufficient importance be formed (e.g. a Regional Organisation for Europe) they might furnish a basis for representation on the Council. But for the most part, States do not recognize other States as “representing” them on institutions in which they have a major interest.
31.
It is clear that this subject will need careful examination—not only amongst the Four Powers themselves but with the other States whose wishes must be taken into account.
32.
The main function of the World Council will be to ensure such intercourse between the statesmen of the countries represented on it as to enable them to secure solutions of international problems by discussion and cooperative action. For this purpose regular meetings with an appropriate procedure and secretariat are indispensable. No other single factor is likely to be so influential in producing harmony between the policies of States. The experience of the last thirty years shows that there is no adequate substitute for it.
33.
The functions suggested for the World Council as the body responsible for the peace of the world are described in Memorandum B.
34.
It will also be necessary for the World Council to give some common direction to the functional bodies. This question is considered in Memorandum D.
35.
In general it is hoped that the Council may become a centre where Governments reconcile their attitudes towards major international problems so as to be able to act decisively towards a common end.
36.
Permanent Court of International Justice—It is assumed that there will be general agreement that a Permanent Court of International Justice will be set up. The proposals of the Informal Inter-Allied Committee which recently reported on this question30 seem to indicate the general lines that should be followed.
37.
Secretariat—A permanent secretariat will be indispensable. The experience of the League of Nations and the I.L.O. should be utilised. It is assumed, however, that a number of new specialised technical bodies will come into existence. Further consideration of this question might, therefore, await more definite information concerning them.
38.
The suggestion that the head of the Secretariat should be given the right of bringing before the World Council any matter which in his opinion threatens the peace of the world might well be incorporated in the rules of the Organisation.
39.
Specialised and Technical Organisations—This question is considered in Memorandum D. The position of the International Labour Organisation will need special consideration.
40.
Seat of the Organisation—This problem should be left open until further information is available on the number and character of the functional organisations.
41.
Name of the Organisation—The term “United Nations” is now in general use and there does not seem to be any strong reason to substitute any other for it.

Memorandum B: The Pacific Settlement of Disputes, the Question of Guarantees and the Conditions in Which Action Should be Taken for the Maintenance of Peace and Security

i. introduction

If war is to be prevented there must be in existence a means to make those decisions which in the past have been made by violence. If an organisation is set up to achieve this end there must be some guarantee that its members will be protected should States, inside or outside it, threaten to subject them to violence. For the purpose of providing protection, action may have to be taken against an offending State, and this necessitates some statement of how and when such action shall be taken.

2.
The maintenance of peace and security is not merely an end in itself but a means by which an ordered and progressive community of States may come into existence. The principles and objects of such a society have been indicated in Part I of Memorandum A, and it is on them that all action by the Organisation should be based. A state of peace should be regarded as not simply the acceptance of the status quo but active cooperative [cooperation] between States for the objects and principles of the Organisation.
3.
Such ends cannot be obtained by any system of procedure however skilfully designed. Everything depends on the unity of purpose of those States which possess the greatest means of carrying out their purposes. It is impossible to ensure that these States will always be in agreement, and no set of rules will do so. But an agreement to act under certain specific principles in a World Organisation will make their cooperation easier and will enable other States to be associated with them for their common purpose.
4.
If all the Great Powers are members of the Organisation and show their intention of acting in accordance with it, all States will be more ready to accept the responsibilities commensurate with their power. The absence of the United States and, for a long period, of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics from the League of Nations caused the United Kingdom to review its responsibilities. For the [Page 677]same reason smaller States were often reluctant to accept full responsibility.
5.
For the same reason also there was great anxiety on the part of many States to define very closely the occasion for action by the organs and members of the League of Nations. As is explained below, this attempt failed in its purpose. Moreover, public opinion did not understand the elaborate safeguards against arbitrary action that existed. It is suggested that the methods embodied in the constitution of the Organisation should be simple and flexible. They should be extended and elaborated only as the result of experience.
6.
It is believed also that, whatever procedure be adopted, it is only by setting up some definite security system such as is suggested in Memorandum C that reality will be given to the promises made and that the States of the world will come to believe that by accepting the rights and responsibilities given to them by the Organisation they will be spared such sufferings as they are now enduring.

ii. the pacific settlement of disputes

7.
Disputes between States are divided into two main categories, those, often termed “justiciable,” that can be settled by a legal tribunal, and those in which other considerations are predominant.
8.
It is the second class which produces the most intractable and dangerous disputes, including those in which the legal position is entirely clear. In the past, States have promised not to attempt settlement of their disputes by violent means, but they have not promised to settle their disputes. It is suggested that it might be well if they now promised to “settle” their disputes in the sense that they will not allow them to endanger peace and security.
9.
Justiciable Disputes—It would seem that there is likely to be general agreement that justiciable disputes should be generally settled by a Permanent Court of International Justice. The Informal Inter-Allied Committee suggested in its recent report that the Court be open to all States, whether they accept compulsory jurisdiction or not. It would be possible for the International Organisation to make the acceptance of such an obligation a condition of membership, but in such a case it would be necessary to allow States to make certain reservations.
10.
The difference between accepting compulsory jurisdiction with reservations and retaining full freedom of action is likely to have more psychological than practical effect, especially if the World Council can obtain Advisory Opinions from the Court on some point in a dispute, which has been submitted to it.
11.
Other Disputes—Reference to the World Council is the obvious method of dealing with other disputes. Though other elaborate methods of conciliation have been set up they have hardly ever been [Page 678]used and they have the disadvantage of placing the case in the hands of persons who are not responsible for the consequences of failure to preserve peace. It is only in the World Council itself that a body of rules and a technique of procedure can be gradually established as the result of accumulated experience.
12.
It should be for the World Council to decide what method should be used for dealing with the dispute. Any decision of this nature should be regarded as a decision of procedure and consequently be adopted by a majority vote.
13.
Even on questions of principle (as opposed to questions of procedure) decisions might be taken by (say) a two-thirds majority of the Council rather than by unanimity. In all such cases all Four Powers should, of course, be included in the majority. In any event, the votes of the parties to the dispute should not be taken into account.
14.
States are not likely to bind themselves to accept the decision of the Council in all cases. Nor will it be likely that they would undertake the obligation to enforce it on other States in all cases. But it would still be the function of the World Council and particularly the Great Powers on it, to see that disputes did not threaten peace and security, and for the other States to cooperate with it to the utmost of their power for that purpose, so that there would still be large opportunities for action to deal with even the most difficult disputes.
15.
For, as has been indicated, if peace and security are to be maintained, some method must be devised for the setttlement of all disputes between States. “Settlement” in this sense may, as is often the case in domestic disputes, show that no remedy exists for a legitimate grievance. But, if States promise to “settle” their disputes in the sense defined in paragraph 8 above, the balance is thrown more in the direction of change. The status quo is sufficiently safeguarded by the mere existence of a universal system for the maintenance of peace and security. Should the dispute be such as to threaten peace and security, it will be for the World Council (and in such cases action will depend largely on the Great Powers) to decide what action should be taken to deal with it.
16.
If the dispute involves the Great Powers themselves the machinery for decision may prove inadequate; but there is hope that the habit of cooperative leadership in the settlement of other disputes and the restraints imposed by their own promises to one another and to other States may suffice to achieve a settlement, even where the machinery seems to be inadequate to do so. Much will depend on whether a sufficient number of States, great and small, come to attach so much importance to the preservation of the system that they are prepared to run risks and make sacrifices to support and preserve it.
17.
There was considerable agreement in the period between the [Page 679]two wars that the vague words of Article XIX of the Covenant of the League of Nations31 were hardly a sufficient recognition of the fact that there must be a change in the world. When, in the thirties, it was perceived that there was no great desire in some countries to go to war to defend some of the frontiers erected by the Peace Treaties, there was much discussion of a process which became known as “peaceful Change”. Examination of this concept shows that it cannot be obtained by a clause in a Covenant, but can only be a continual process achieved through discussion and compromise between the Great Powers and, in their due place, the smaller States concerned. But it is essential that such a process be guided by principle and subject to an ordered procedure, and it is necessary, therefore, that it should take place within an international organisation.
18.
It may be hoped that the international functional organisations which are being brought into existence will contribute to furthering the process of peaceful change in an orderly manner.

iii. the question of guarantees

19.
In considering this question the history of the guarantees given in the Covenant of the League of Nations must be taken into account, since it throws great light on the nature of the problem. For by Article X the Members of the League “undertook to respect and preserve as against external aggression the territorial integrity and existing political independence of all Members”. The formula had first been devised by President Wilson32 for the Western Hemisphere33 and it was at his instance that it was applied universally. No method was laid down as to how the obligation should be carried out except that the Council should “advise” upon that question.
20.
Territorial Integrity—There was much opposition to the proposed Article, attention being concentrated on the question of “territorial integrity”. Lord Cecil34 suggested that the guarantee should be withdrawn if the State concerned refused to accept a modification of frontier desired by a large majority of the members of the League of Nations. The vague phraseology of Article XIX of the Covenant was all that resulted from this proposal. Mr. Lansing35 and Dr. [Page 680]Miller36 were also opposed to inserting Article X, though the latter came to believe that it made little difference. Sir Robert Borden37 tried to abolish it before the Covenant was signed, and the Canadian Delegation renewed the attempt of the First Assembly. In 1923 an interpretative resolution was adopted by the Assembly38 (though as Persia dissented it had no legal force) which laid down that it was for each State to decide how it should carry out its obligations under this head, while the Council was to take into account, in any advice that it might give, the geographical situation and special conditions of each State.
21.
In fact, Article X was hardly ever used in the disputes which came before the League of Nations. But it was constantly referred to when some State wished to remind others that its existing frontiers were guaranteed by them. It was also constantly used by critics of the League of Nations to show that its members had guaranteed for all time frontiers which they possessed no legal means of changing without the consent of the State concerned.
22.
Much smaller attention has been paid to this subject in recent discussions, though there may, of course, be a shift of interest when the treaties that register any changes of frontier which may be made come into existence. There is, however, reason to think that many States will be more interested in the establishment of some concrete security system ready for immediate action than in guarantees of frontiers which in themselves do little to prevent the invasion and occupation of territory by the armed forces of another State.
23.
Many other States would be likely to refuse to accept an Organisation which committed them to a guarantee of the territorial integrity of all States.
24.
It is suggested, therefore, that no such guarantee be included in the obligations undertaken by members of the Organisation.
25.
Political Independence—The question of “Political independence” raises issues of a rather different character. The Moscow Declaration has already based the Organisation on the “sovereign equality” of all States, which implies that the Members of the Organisation will retain legal control over their own actions except in so far as they agree by treaty to limit it. All States naturally attach the highest value to their political independence, and the principal [Page 681]statesmen have made repeated declarations that they intend to respect the independence of other States.
26.
But an undertaking to respect the political independence of other States does not necessarily involve a commitment to guarantee it. It is, moreover, not easy to define exactly what political independence is. One State may control the actions of another State by indirect means. It is impossible to distinguish the line which divides such actions from what is generally regarded as the legitimate influence which one State may exercise on the actions of another. The objection to any guarantee of “political independence”, therefore is that it could only extend to external and legal forms. It could not take into account more indirect methods.
27.
For this reason the inclusion of a guarantee of political independence in the obligations of the Organisation seems undesirable. But it should be recognized that mutual respect for the political independence of its members is one of the essential principles of the Organisation as already pointed out in Part I of Memorandum A.
28.
The Maintenance of International Peace and Security—By the Covenant of the League, States undertook to inflict sanctions on another State which broke its promises to submit a dispute to pacific settlement and resorted to war. It was for each State to determine its own actions after the Council (or Assembly) had declared that the occasion for action had arisen. Doubt was constantly expressed as to the sufficiency of this promise, though, so far as words can guarantee action, a definite promise was made. But the duty of enforcing action to be taken was laid on the members.
29.
Also by Article XI of the Covenant the duty of safeguarding the “peace of nations” was laid on the League, but no specific obligations as regards the action to be taken were laid on the members.
30.
The Four Powers have already, by Article 4 of the Moscow Declaration, laid down that the main purpose of the international organisation is the “maintenance of international peace and security,” and have asserted by Article 5 that “they will consult with one another and, as occasion requires, with other members of the United Nations, with a view to joint action on behalf of the community of nations” for this purpose until a system of general security is inaugurated. It would seem that it is along these lines that any guarantee should be given.
31.
The duty of cooperating to the utmost of their power in the maintenance of international peace and security should be undertaken by all members of the Organisation. The degree of such cooperation must obviously depend on the geographical situation of States, the amount of their resources, their own internal situation and possibly other factors which cannot be accurately weighed in advance. But the duty of cooperating to the utmost of their power [Page 682]in an Organisation which is essential to the peace and security of all should be laid upon all members.
32.
The duty of maintaining international peace and security should be laid in the first instance on the World Council acting on behalf of the other members of the Organisation. It will be for the World Council to take the initiative to give effect to the undertaking to maintain international peace and security. The Head of the Secretariat should, however, as suggested in paragraph 38 of Memorandum A be given the right to bring before the Council any matter which in his opinion threatened international peace and security.
33.
It is for consideration whether any special obligations for the maintenance of international peace and security should be explicitly assumed within the permanent Organisation by the Four Powers who have undertaken such a responsibility pending the establishment of a general system.
34.
If regional organisations are set up for security purposes, part of the responsibility in the first instance might fall on them, but, as is suggested in Memorandum A, paragraph 18, not in such a manner as to conflict with the final responsibility of the World Council for the maintenance of peace and security.

iv. the conditions in which action should be taken for the maintenance of peace and security

35.
It is generally recognised that there must be some statement in the constitution of the Organisation as to the conditions in which action is taken to maintain international peace and security. In the Covenant of the League of Nations and in the attempts to elaborate the Covenant great attention was given to this question.
36.
In the Covenant the sanctions of Article XVI came into force only if there was resort to war after a Member had broken the promises made in Articles XII–XIV. Even then each State necessarily determined for itself whether the casus foederis had arisen.
37.
In Article X the guarantees were against “external aggression” only. It was by this article that the unfortunate word “aggression” was introduced into the Covenant and became the subject of so many debates at Geneva. But the more the word was discussed the more difficult it became to define exactly what it meant. The definition of aggression was considered important because it was thought that it might affect the right of the Council to advise that sanctions be employed. The most notable contribution to the debate was the suggestion that aggression should be determined by the acceptance or refusal of arbitration or some other peaceful method of settling disputes. But this did not cover the preparations for aggression, nor did it take the time element sufficiently into account. Moreover, the discussion and analysis of aggression enabled States to use a procedure [Page 683]calculated to defeat the objects of the Covenant. Illustration of this fact was given by the Japanese attack on China in Manchuria.39
38.
In Article XI sanctions were not mentioned, and the obligations of the Council were stated in the most general terms. These obligations could be interpreted as giving the right to take drastic action, but in the light of other articles it was difficult to find in them any right to use force against a State. In actual practice a number of dangerous situations that arose between small States were dealt with successfully under Article XI, and a technique which involved such matters as the setting up of commissions of enquiry and the establishment of neutral zones was gradually developed.
39.
In the Protocol of 192440 an attempt was made to make the sanctions “automatic” by setting up an elaborate set of rules. But the discussions showed that such a course was impossible. Sanctions depend upon the will of Governments and peoples and cannot be automatically brought into existence.
40.
As has been noted above, one test of aggression is the acceptance or refusal of some method of settling the dispute. But the acceptance may be merely a method of delay while preparations for aggression are being made (as in the case of Italy’s attack on Abyssinia41) or actual force is used (as in Japan’s attack on China). It can be argued that in both these cases the lack of effective action was due not to any defect in the Articles of the Covenant but to the lack of will on the part of the other States, and notably of the Great Powers involved, to go to war with the recalcitrant State. But it was also true that Japan was able to use her right to veto under Article XI to place obstacles in the way of the necessary enquiry, and that preventive action against Italy, before she attacked, was difficult to take legally under the Covenant. Under the Locarno Treaties42 the signatory States could act without League authority in the case of “flagrant aggression,” but not preventively. If the question of Germany’s rearmament had been brought before the Council it is not easy to see what sanctions could have been taken against her under the Covenant.
41.
In actual fact there was never any doubt, in the cases in which the League of Nations was concerned, as to the identity of the aggressor, though sometimes as to the character of the provocation to aggression. States, it is true, adapted their actions and procedure to the language and resolutions [of the Assembly of the League of Nations] adopted at Geneva and later to the Pact of Paris.43 But in no case were the real intentions and motives of the aggressive States concealed from the Governments of the other members of the League or from public opinion. The discussions at the Council and the Assembly made them sufficiently clear.
42.
This experience suggests that too rigid a definition of the occasion for action is as likely to hinder as to facilitate the maintenance of peace and security. If the World Council is given power to act for this purpose it will be able to work out for itself the necessary procedure in the light of experience. It will be easier also in such circumstances to refer matters to regional associations if any such come into existence which can be used for that purpose.
43.
At the same time the principles and objects governing the actions of Members will have been laid down in the Preamble to the document bringing the Organisation into existence. These, as suggested in Part I of Memorandum A, should include not only the maintenance of peace and security but also respect for the “sovereign equality” and “political independence” of its Members. If, therefore, it is laid down that the World Council shall only take action in accordance with these principles and objects, action for other purposes will be excluded. It is suggested that States will be protected from arbitrary action by the World Council as much by this safeguard as by elaborate definition, while the World Council will be more free to act to protect States from violence.

v. conclusions

44.
As to the Pacific Settlement of Disputes:
(i)
That all States should promise to settle their disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security are not endangered.
(ii)
That justiciable disputes should generally be decided by a Permanent Court of International Justice.
(iii)
That other disputes should be subjected to a process of discussion and conciliation in the World Council, which should have power to determine the procedure to be followed without the consent of the parties to the dispute.
45.
As to Guarantees:
(i)
That all Members should undertake to co-operate to the utmost of their power in the maintenance of international peace and security, and that the World Council should be required to take the initiative for this purpose.
(ii)
That no guarantees should be given of the territorial integrity of Members.
(iii)
That no guarantee should be given of the political independence of Members, but that respect for it should be recognized as one of the principles of the organization.
46.
As to the conditions in which action should be taken for the maintenance of peace and security:
That there should be no attempt to lay down in advance any rigid definition of the occasions on which such action should be taken, but that the Members of the Organisation and the World Council should only be empowered to take action in accordance with the principles and objects of the Organisation.

Memorandum C: Security

The Military Aspect of any Post-War Security Organisation

introduction

1. The Moscow Declaration on General Security contemplates the creation, at the earliest possible date, of an international organisation charged with the maintenance of world peace and security. This organisation is to be founded on the principle of the sovereign equality of all peace-loving States, and all such States are to be eligible for membership.

2. An attempt is made in the present paper to sketch out the general lines on which the organisation of International Security might be attempted after the conclusion of the present war. The proposals deal, however, with the form which the Permanent Security Organisation might eventually take and do not relate to the intervening period. During this last period it is evident that some temporary arrangements will have to be made, but these will be obviously affected if there is some previous general agreement as to the form which the permanent organisation might assume.

general considerations

Nature of the Organisation.

3. The proposed world organisation, whatever its form, is bound to fail unless:—

(a)
The U.K., U.S.A., U.S.S.R., and China continue to cooperate wholeheartedly in its support.
(b)
The Governments and peoples of those Powers at least retain the will to enforce peace.
(c)
The organisation is simple, its objects are clear-cut, and the machinery is of a kind to which member States are already accustomed.

The Objects.

4. The objects should be:—

(a)
to disarm Germany and Japan;
(b)
to keep them disarmed, and
(c)
to prevent them or any other aggressor from again upsetting the peace of the world.

The Means.

5. The proposed organisation will have to rely, in the main, on the combined military forces of the United Nations and, in particular, of the Four Powers, working together to a common end. Most of the States concerned are already accustomed to such a system.

6. Economic measures, also, may operate to deter potential aggressors, but unless backed by force or the effective threat of it are unlikely to prove an adequate check on a State which is, itself, ready to resort to force.

The Idea of an “International Police Force”.

7. In some quarters it is contended that the coordination of military forces could best be expressed in a completely international “Police Force”. Whatever its theoretical merits, this postulates a greater advance in international co-operation than States are yet prepared to make, as it implies the existence of a world State. Practical questions of size, composition, maintenance, location and command would give rise to controversies on which international agreement would almost certainly be unobtainable.

8. We conclude that the time has not yet come for the creation of such an international force.

proposals

Higher Military Organisation.

9. The proposed world organisation implies the existence of some sort of World Council. This Council will need military advice and this advice will have to be given by States, not individually but in concert. Apart from the “strategic” side of the work, e.g., the preparation of plans to resist potential aggression, there are a number of general questions such as the regulation of armaments on which combined military advice will be required.

10. If the Higher Military Organisation is to advise the World Council and provide machinery whereby plans can be made in advance and the efforts of the forces of member States co-ordinated, it follows that it must form part of, and receive directions from, the World Council.

[Page 687]

11. It thus becomes clear that there will have to be Military Staff Committee serving the World Council.

composition of the military staff committee

12. Since for many years to come the Four Powers will have to play the predominant part in safeguarding world peace, the permanent members of this Committee should be the military representatives of those Powers. The co-operation of States other than the Four Powers will, however, be essential in providing forces and making available bases, shipping and other facilities, and these States will expect to be given a voice corresponding to their obligations. These States should, therefore, be associated in some form or other with the work of the Military Staff Committee. The form which this association should take raises difficult problems, and must depend to a considerable extent on the form which the World Council itself takes. As a beginning, the Committee might be strengthened, when dealing with particular security problems, by the addition of military representatives of States having special concern with the question under discussion.

13. It is important that the members of the World Council should not receive military advice from more than one source. It is, therefore, essential that the members of the Military Staff Committee should be the supreme military authorities in their own countries, or their representatives.

Functions of the Military Staff Committee.

14. The primary duty of the Committee would be to prepare and keep up to date plans for the prevention of any renewed aggression by Germany or Japan, or by any other State which might at any time give signs of becoming an aggressor. The Committee would also be responsible for any necessary co-ordination of the national forces of the member States.

Force at the Disposal of the World Council.

15. For the purpose of dealing with major aggression, it is contemplated that, when necessary, the full resources of all member States would be made available. To deal with minor emergencies, part of the obligation to be assumed by member States would be the earmarking of a quota of their national forces or other resources to be at the disposal of the Council. It would be for the World Council to decide, on the advice of the Military Staff Committee:—

(i)
What the size and composition of the quotas of individual States should be.
(ii)
In the event of an emergency arising, what particular forces should be called upon to deal with it.

[Page 688]

16. The mere existence of national forces and their availability in emergency would not, however, by itself, suffice to ensure the maintenance of security, even if plans for their employment were made in advance by the Military Staff Committee. It would be essential that these forces should have worked together in time of peace if their co-operation were to be smooth and efficient in time of emergency. In this connexion it is difficult to exaggerate the psychological effect of constant co-operation.

Co-operation Between Forces of Different States.

17. In time of peace co-operation could best be fostered:—

(a)
By the joint garrisoning or occupation of certain areas; and
(b)
By means of joint cruises and flights, and other joint exercises.

The method by which these objects should be achieved would require detailed study, and the necessary rights and facilities for joint garrisoning or occupation, joint exercise and joint access to ports and airfields, would have to be secured by agreement between member States and, where necessary, by expressed provisions in the peace treaties with ex-enemy States.

regions

18. There is considerable support for the suggestion that, for purposes of an international security system, the world should be divided into fixed regions, each containing forces which, under the supreme control of a World Council, would be responsible for preventing aggression in that region. It has been argued that such an arrangement would limit the military commitments of the smaller States and increase efficiency and rapidity of action.

19. From a military point of view, there are certain objections to a world organisation constructed on a basis of separate regions. These objections may be stated as follows:—

(a)
It is impossible to draw a boundary of a region so as to confine within it all military operations which the member States in that region might have to undertake.
(b)
If an attempt were made to fix the operational boundary of a region, States on the perimeter would necessarily form part of the neighbouring geographical region. Thus neighbouring regions would overlap extensively.
(c)
The defence arrangements of some Powers are based primarily on sea and air power, which do not lend themselves to regionalisation.

The advantages of regional organisation may be summarised as follows:—

(a)
The main attraction of a regional political organisation is that it would give the smaller nations a more direct concern in security problems, and so encourage their cooperation in security measures, thus reducing the burden on the Four Powers.
(b)
Regional organisation might increase the efficiency and rapidity of both political and military action by member States of the region.
(c)
A regional organisation, through its attached military staff, would facilitate military co-operation between the States concerned.

20. An argument in favour of the proposals contained in this paper is that the suggested military organisation is not dependent on the existence of regional political councils, yet could be adapted to a regional system if the latter proved desirable on political grounds. In such a case the Military Staff Committee would serve to co-ordinate the activities of the military staffs attached to the regional organisations.

conclusions

21. Our conclusions, therefore, are as follows:—

(a)
Any complete international “Police Force” is impracticable in present circumstances.
(b)
The success of any world security organisation depends on the whole-hearted co-operation of the principal member States and on their resolution to use force to prevent aggression.
(c)
The object, in the first instance, of any world security organisation should be the prevention of renewed aggression by Germany and Japan.
(d)
Forces to support the World Council would have to be placed by member States at its disposal in the manner contemplated in paragraph 15.
(e)
Military advice and direction would be afforded to such World Council as may be set up by a military staff composed of the supreme military authorities of appropriate Member States or their representatives.
(f)
National forces associated for the above purpose should train and work together in peace to the greatest possible extent.
(g)
There would be some military difficulty in the division of the world for security purposes into fixed geographical regions, but, if Regional Political Councils were set up as part of some world organisation, it would follow that they should have Military Advisory Staffs, and this might facilitate local co-operation.

Note—It will be noticed that the system proposed above differs from the system which existed prior to the war in the following three main points:—

(a)
The establishment of an effective Military Staff Committee of the World Council with power to formulate plans and to co-ordinate the action of national forces prior to any emergency which may necessitate their action.
(b)
The joint garrisoning of certain areas by combined detachments of national forces.
(c)
The training and exercising together of national forces in peacetime, making use of certain specified seaports and airfields.

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Memorandum D: Co-ordination of Political and Economic International Machinery

1.
There will inevitably be set up, as part of the permanent international system, a number of specialised international bodies dealing with economic and social questions. Some of these bodies have already been considered in considerable detail, e.g. the Permanent Organisation for Food and Agriculture. Others are in earlier stages of development. There are already in existence the technical organisations attached to the League of Nations, such as those which deal with Health, the abolition of the Drug Traffic, Transport, etc.
2.
It will be necessary to make provision—
(a)
to co-ordinate the activities of these bodies on their technical side;
(b)
to bring them into relation with the World Organisation.
3.
The obvious methods by which these objects can be achieved are by means of discussions both between the specialised organisations themselves and in the World Organisation, and by means of an economic and social secretariat attached to the World Council.
4.
No doubt some form of consultation will be arranged between the specialised bodies themselves so that their activities may be directed towards a common end. This co-ordination will be assisted by the existence of an economic and social secretariat attached to the World Council. The specialised international bodies should also have the obligation of sending reports to the World Organisation as well as to their constituent members. These reports can be considered and discussed in the World Organisation, so far as it is desirable to do so, in order to facilitate co-operation between the specialised bodies and the maintenance of international peace and security.
5.
These discussions will be assisted by the existence of an economic and social secretariat attached to the World Council, and there may thus come into being for economic and social questions an equivalent to the machinery which (see Memorandum A, paragraph 38) will, it is hoped, be in existence for political questions.

Memorandum E: Method and Procedure for Establishing a World Organisation

1.
It may be hoped that the exchange of memoranda and preliminary discussions between the four Powers will result in a considerable measure of agreement. The question thus arises how such agreement shall be recorded, in what form it shall be submitted to the [Page 691]four Governments for their approval, and how and when the views of the other United Nations shall be obtained.
2.
In Article 4 of the Moscow Declaration the Four Powers recognised the necessity of establishing an international organisation “at the earliest practicable date,” and an obligation lies on them to make every effort to fulfil this promise.
3.
Moreover, if agreement can be obtained between the United Nations on a definite scheme to maintain international peace and security a new hope will arise in the world which may do much to render less difficult the painful process of reconstruction. The reception of the Moscow Declaration by public opinion shows how anxious the world is to receive some assurance that such a scheme is ready for adoption.
4.
There appear to be considerable advantages in obtaining at the earliest possible moment agreement on the essentials of the permanent International Organisation, leaving the more detailed working out of its several parts to a later stage.
5.
If it is decided to set up any regional associations in any part of the world it will be much easier to fashion them in accordance with a general plan after the outline of the World Organisation has been determined.
6.
Moreover, the existence of such an agreement will facilitate negotiation for the establishment of specialised and technical bodies. It will also make possible the adaptation of such parts of the temporary machinery set up immediately after the war as it is desired to incorporate in the permanent Organisation.
7.
In the Moscow Declaration the Four Powers have assumed a responsibility for the maintenance of peace and security pending the establishment of a general system of security. This duty is likely to be less onerous if the other United Nations, and possibly States now neutral, are associated with the Four Powers for that purpose at the earliest possible date. In this way the new permanent Organisation will more quickly become a reality and take its proper position in the new world community.
8.
Moreover, the Treaties of Peace will be more easily made if the form and character of the new permanent organisation are already known. Solutions of difficult problems will be more easily found and there is less likelihood of decisions being made which are incompatible with the terms of the permanent organisation.
9.
It is suggested, therefore, that the aim of the preliminary talks at Washington should be to reach such agreement as can be referred to the four Governments in the form of a Draft Declaration, similar [Page 692]to that signed at Moscow but containing in its several clauses a more extended survey of the objects and principles of the permanent International Organisation and an outline of the machinery which it is proposed to set up to obtain them.
10.
It may be necessary to omit from the draft Declaration many important particulars, e.g., the exact methods by which the members of the World Council are chosen and their number. Some of these points may perhaps be left to the new organisation itself to determine. But it may be hoped that agreement may be obtained on what political bodies shall be set up e.g., a World Assembly, a World Council and a World Court; on the principles on which action will be taken for the pacific settlement of disputes and the maintenance of international peace and security; on the necessity for agreeing some permanent method by which the military forces necessary to maintain international peace and security can be co-ordinated; and on the principles which shall govern the relations of the specialised organisations with one another and with the World Council and World Assembly.
11.
It will then be for the Governments of the four Powers to determine how far they can approve the draft Declaration and it may be necessary to have a more formal exchange of views between them for this purpose.
12.
If agreement is thus obtained it will be necessary to communicate it to the other United Nations for consideration, and immediately thereafter to publish it. After a suitable interval the United Nations would be invited to attend a Conference at which the Declaration, with such amendments as had been found desirable, would be definitely adopted.
13.
It should then be possible to set up a body to work out a more detailed instrument in the form of a Convention or Treaty on the lines of the Declaration. It would be the coming into force of this instrument, after the ordinary procedure required for ratification, which would bring the Permanent Organisation into existence. The exact date on which it was put into force might well be left to be determined by the Four Powers who are specially responsible for the maintenance of international peace and security in the interim period.
14.
This method would have the advantage that, while the Permanent Organisation can, of course, only be brought into existence with the full consent of the Governments concerned after they have consulted the peoples which they represent, its form and character will have been to a large extent decided in consequence of the adoption of the Declaration. Many of the Governments of the United Nations might find it impossible to sign a treaty at that stage. Some of them [Page 693]may not survive the transition from war to peace. But many of them could record their agreement to a Declaration of the kind described and so prepare the way for themselves or their successors to take part in the preparation and signature of the final instrument.
  1. Copy transmitted by the British Embassy to the Department of State on July 22, 1944.
  2. Declaration of Four Nations on General Security, October 30, 1943; for text, see Foreign Relations, 1943, vol. i, p. 755.
  3. Aide-mémoire of July 1, 1943, handed to the American and Soviet Ambassadors in the United Kingdom on July 2, 1943, not printed; but see aide-mémoire of July 14, 1943, which Mr. Eden communicated to the American Ambassador in London on July 16 for transmission to the Secretary of State, entitled “Suggested Principles Which Would Govern the Conclusion of Hostilities With the European Members of the Axis”, Foreign Relations, 1943, vol. i, p. 708.
  4. International Labor Organization.
  5. British Cmd. 6531, Misc. No. 2 (1944): Report of the Inter-Allied Committee on the Future of the Permanent Court of International Justice, 10 February 1944.
  6. For the Covenant of the League of Nations (part I of the Treaty of Peace between the Allied and Associated Powers and Germany, signed at Versailles, June 28, 1919), see Foreign Relations, The Paris Peace Conference, 1919, vol. xiii, p. 69.
  7. President Woodrow Wilson, head of the American Commission to Negotiate Peace, Paris Peace Conference, 1919–1920.
  8. See proposal of January 24, 1916, for a convention between the American Republics, Foreign Relations, 1916, p. 3, and address by President Wilson, June 7, 1918, ibid., 1918, p. 577.
  9. Robert Cecil, British Assistant Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, member of British Delegation, Paris Peace Conference.
  10. Robert Lansing, Secretary of State, 1915–1920, member of the American Commission to Negotiate Peace.
  11. David Hunter Miller, Technical Adviser (International Law), American Commission to Negotiate Peace.
  12. Prime Minister of Canada, member of Canadian Delegation, Paris Peace Conference.
  13. Resolution No. XIII, vote taken at the Assembly on September 25, 1923, upon a draft resolution interpreting article 10 of the Covenant; for text, see p. 34 of Resolutions and Recommendations adopted by the Assembly during its Fourth Session (September 3d to 29th, 1923), in League of Nations, Records of the Fourth Session of the Assembly, 1923.
  14. See Foreign Relations, 1931, vol. iii, pp. 1 ff., and ibid., Japan, 1931–1941, vol. i, pp. 1 ff.
  15. Protocol for the Pacific Settlement of International Disputes (“Geneva Protocol”) adopted by the Fifth Assembly at Geneva, October 2, 1924 (not in force); for text, see League of Nations, Official Journal, Special Supplement No. 23: Records of the Fifth Assembly, Text of the Debates (Geneva, 1924), p. 498.
  16. For correspondence concerning the Italian invasion of Ethiopia (Abyssinia) and the efforts of the League of Nations and of France and the United Kingdom to end hostilities, October–December 1935, see Foreign Relations, 1935, vol. i, pp. 662 ff.
  17. For text of treaty of mutual guaranty between Germany, Belgium, France, Great Britain, and Italy, signed at Locarno, October 16, 1925, see Foreign Relations, The Paris Peace Conference, 1919, vol. xiii, p. 841. For other treaties concluded at the same Conference, see League of Nations Treaty Series, vol. liv, pp. 303–363.
  18. For text of treaty between the United States and other Powers, signed at Paris, August 27, 1928, see Foreign Relations, 1928, vol. i, p. 153.