Lot 60–D 224, Box 55: D.O./P.R./8

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

Subject: Progress Report on Dumbarton Oaks Conversations—Ninth Day

Meeting of Joint Steering Committee

The Joint Steering Committee met at noon today for the first time in two days to consider drafts relating to the Assembly which had been prepared for it during those two days by the formulation groups. There was striking unanimity of views on these drafts.

a. Points Agreed Upon

Composition. To be composed of all state members of the Organization.
Functions and Powers. Assembly to have the right to consider questions relating to the maintenance of peace and security, but not on its own initiative to deal with any such matter which is being dealt with by the Council; to approve the annual budgets; to have the power of suspending members against which action has been taken by the Council; and to elect non-continuing members of the Council and the Director-General (upon recommendation of the Council) and judges of the Court in accordance with the Court’s statute.
Voting. Important decisions to be by a two-thirds majority.

b. Expulsion; Economic and Social Council

The Soviet group continued to urge that the Assembly also be given the power to expel members and they continued to reserve their position with respect to the substance of our proposal for an Economic and Social Council. However, on both these matters agreement was reached as to form of language.

c. Amendment of the Basic Instrument

Our position was that amendments should be proposed by a majority vote of the Assembly and should come into effect when approved by two-thirds of the member states including all those having permanent seats on the Council. The Soviet and British groups are drafting their own respective formulae on this point.

Meeting of the Legal Subcommittee

We reached tentative agreement with both the Soviet and British representatives that: (1) an international court should be the principal [Page 756] judicial organ of the Organization, its statute to be part of the basic instrument; (2) the Statute of the Present Permanent Court41 should be revised or used, subject to modifications, as the basis of the new statute; (3) all members of the Organization should ipso facto be parties to the statute; and (4) the conditions under which states not members of the Organization may become parties to the statute should be determined in each case by the Assembly on recommendation of the Council.

Meeting of the Security Subcommittee

We reached tentative agreement with the Soviet and British representatives on the following questions, all of which were then referred to the formulation group for more detailed consideration:

a. Determination of Threats to or Breaches of Peace

The Council should determine in each case when a threat to or breach of peace exists.

b. Council’s Right to Obtain Facilities

Member states should be obligated by a general agreement to furnish facilities. Supplementary agreements might be made by the Council in emergencies.

c. Responsibility of the Council for Enforcing Surrender Terms for Germany and Japan

There should be continuing supervision of the enemy states.

  1. For text of statute of December 16, 1920 (effective in September 1921), as amended by the Protocol of September 14, 1929 (effective February 1, 1936), see Department of State Conference Series No. 84: The International Court of Justice: Selected Documents Relating to the Drafting of the Statute, p. 1.