Memorandum by the Under Secretary of State ( Stettinius ) to President Roosevelt 22
Subject: Progress Report on Dumbarton Oaks Conversations—Sixth Day
Meeting of the Joint Steering Committee
The Committee continued to discuss the topics of which consideration had been begun last Friday.23
(a) Expulsion and Withdrawal of Members
Ambassador Gromyko stated that the tentative opinion of the Soviet group now is that the proposal made by the British last Friday for suspension of the privileges of membership should be regarded not as a substitute for the Soviet proposal for expulsion but as a proposal for action in addition to expulsion.
(b) Composition of the Council
- Possible Permanent Seat for Brazil.—In response to a question by Ambassador Gromyko, we indicated that at some later stage of the discussions we may wish to propose that there be added to the number of permanent members of the Council some one of the Latin American countries. We mentioned Brazil specifically, in reply to another question by Ambassador Gromyko. Sir Alexander Cadogan said that he would inform his Government, commenting that he doubted if they had contemplated the possibility of such a proposal. He thought that if the number of permanent seats were increased beyond five there would be considerable difficulties. The Russians want only five permanent seats.
- Status of France.—There appeared to be general agreement upon the desirability of a permanent seat being reserved for France, regardless of whether or not a government of France has been formally recognized by the time the Organization is formed.
- Number and Tenure of Non-Permanent Members.—There seemed to be general agreement that there should be six non-permanent members and there was tentative agreement, ad referendum, with the Soviet proposal for a two-year term.
(c) Vote of Permanent Member Involved in a Dispute
We stated that we had come to the conclusion that a state involved in a dispute should not vote on matters affecting that dispute and that this rule should apply to all members. There ensued a full discussion in which we explained carefully the reasoning which had led us to our present position in which we were strongly supported by [Page 738] the British. The Soviet representatives stated that they considered our proposal to be in violation of and a “retreat” from the basic principle that major decisions of the Organization should be arrived at on the basis of unanimity among the great powers. They maintained their prior position that a special procedure should be worked out to govern instances in which one of the states having a permanent seat may be involved in a dispute and indicated that a specific Soviet proposal on this might be forthcoming later.
(d) Initial Membership of the Organization
We discussed this topic at the request of Ambassador Gromyko and there appeared to be general agreement with our proposal that initial membership would include the United Nations and associated nations.
Ambassador Gromyko then said that all of the 16 Soviet republics should be included among the initial members of the Organization. Sir Alexander Cadogan said that he had no comment on the Ambassador’s statement at this stage but he remarked that he believed his Government will have to talk to the Soviet Government about the general question of the international status of the Soviet republics. We said that we would have to think about the Ambassador’s statement.
Meetings of New Formulation Groups
Pursuant to arrangements arrived at in Friday’s meeting of the Joint Steering Committee, small formulating groups of the Organization Subcommittee and of the Security Subcommittee met this afternoon to draw together the work which has been done by these Subcommittees and to put this work into form suitable for approval by the Joint Steering Committee.