Lot 60–D 224, Box 55: D.O./P.R./1

Memorandum by the Under Secretary of State (Stettinius) to President Roosevelt

Subject: Progress Report on Dumbarton Oaks Conversations90

Morning Meeting at Dumbarton Oaks

We met this morning, as scheduled, with Secretary Hull presiding.91 Secretary Hull, on your behalf, Ambassador Gromyko, and [Page 714] Sir Alexander Cadogan then delivered prepared statements which were released to the press.92 The entire proceedings were open to the press which attended in large numbers. In addition the entire morning’s proceedings were filmed for the newsreels and a number of press photographs were separately taken.

Meeting of Joint Steering Committee at Dumbarton Oaks at 3:00 p.m.

Ambassador Gromyko with two of his associates, Sir Alexander Cadogan with one of his associates, and I with Mr. Dunn and Mr. Pasvolsky, met as a Joint Steering Committee for the conversations to settle upon the necessary arrangements.93 Agreement was reached as follows:

(a) Language

Both the Russian and the English languages are to be regarded as of equal importance during the conversations although it is expected by all concerned that English will probably be used more frequently than Russian.

(b) Chairmanship

It was proposed by Sir Alexander Cadogan and seconded by Ambassador Gromyko that as chief representative of the host Government, I should be the permanent chairman for the conversations.

(c) Statements to Press—Generally

It was agreed that no statements would be made to the press except on the basis of agreement arrived at by the three chairmen.

(d) Initial Procedure

After considerable discussion it was agreed that the initial procedure of the conversations will be a presentation by the Soviet group of its views.94 In the course of this presentation the British and the American groups will make such comments as they desire.

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(e) Press Announcements on August 22

The press will be informed tomorrow at noon95 that it has been decided that the conversations will proceed to the discussion of the general principles of international organization and that at the first meeting the Soviet group will present its ideas.

  1. Arrangements were made (1) for the Under Secretary of State to report personally to President Roosevelt about 5 o’clock each afternoon, and (2) for a group composed of the Under Secretary, Mr. Hackworth, Mr. Dunn, and Mr. Pasvolsky to call on the Secretary of State about 6 o’clock each afternoon to report on the day’s activity. As a result, Mr. Stettinius had summary memoranda (progress reports) prepared of each day’s proceedings for the President and the Secretary of State, usually identical in text. Herein are included the reports to Secretary Hull except in several instances when the reports to President Roosevelt offer additional information.
  2. For lists of the American, British, and Soviet representatives taking part in the conversations of the first phase, see pp. 698, 697, and 706, respectively; see also Postwar Foreign Policy Preparation, pp. 302–304.
  3. Department of State Bulletin, August 27, 1944, pp. 198–202. Mr. Stettinius observed in his Diary on August 21: “Mr. Hull especially stressed the necessity of justice to all nations while Ambassador Gromyko placed especial emphasis on the greater responsibilities of the great powers in maintaining peace and security. Sir Alexander’s remarks followed a middle course between the views just mentioned.”
  4. The Joint Steering Committee, constituted on August 21, held 18 meetings during the first phase. A record of its meetings was kept by the American Group in the form of brief informal minutes which were cleared by all three Groups or Delegations.
  5. The tentative proposals of all three Governments were used initially as the basis of these discussions, but thereafter, though without decision, the basic frame of reference in building joint proposals was the American Tentative Proposals; for texts of the American, British, and Soviet papers, see pp. 653, 670, and 706, respectively.
  6. For press release, see Department of State Bulletin, August 27, 1944, p. 202.