Lot 60–D 224, Box 55: D.O./P.R./11

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

Subject: Progress Report on Dumbarton Oaks Conversations—Twelfth Day

Meeting of the Joint Steering Committee

The Joint Steering Committee met at 11:00 a.m. today (Sunday) and went over drafts submitted to the Committee by the formulation groups on the following subjects:

The composition, principal functions and powers, voting and procedure of the council;

Pacific settlement of disputes;

Determination of threats to the peace or breaches of the peace and action with respect thereto.

A number of phraseological changes were made in these drafts but none of these changes involved matters of substance.

Points of interest which came up as a result of the discussion at this meeting are listed below:

(a) Time Schedule of Consideration of Unsettled Points

At the outset of the meeting I inquired of Ambassador Gromyko and Sir Alexander Cadogan as to when they thought we could take up those points on which one or more of the groups had thus far maintained reservations. I said that I was prepared to discuss these moot points at any time. Ambassador Gromyko said that “so far” the Soviet position on these points is unchanged. Sir Alexander Cadogan indicated that he, too, had not yet received his final instructions.

It was generally agreed that we would plan at least to consider these reserved points on Tuesday and there was also general agreement with my expressed hope that we might complete the present phase (i.e. British-Soviet-American phase) of the discussions by Thursday or Friday.

(b) Number of Permanent Seats on the Council

The formulating group had agreed upon a provision that the council should have eleven members and that the United States, the United Kingdom, the U.S.S.R., China, and, in due course, France should have [Page 765] permanent seats. I took this occasion to remind Sir Alexander and Ambassador Gromyko that we had previously brought up for discussion the possibility of adding Brazil as a sixth permanent member. I said that in deference to the positions taken on this point by the British and the Soviet groups we were withdrawing our requests for further consideration of this question. I added in a somewhat jocular aside that I hoped that our prompt and unsolicited withdrawal from a position which we considered one of importance to us might perhaps serve as an example or as a precedent for our further discussions.

I then suggested that perhaps we might insert in the basic document a general provision authorizing a possible future increase in the number of permanent seats. Sir Alexander replied quite promptly that he regretted being the first to depart from the newly established precedent but that he must say that he hoped no such provision would be necessary. Ambassador Gromyko added that he felt such a position would not be suitable at this stage. Sir Alexander remarked that if in the future it is considered desirable to have a sixth permanent member recourse might always be had to the amendment processes.

(c) Miscellaneous Points

After some discussion there seemed to be general agreement that for purposes of the joint recommendations it would be well to set forth the important provisions relating to the pacific settlement of disputes and to the determination of threats to or breaches of the peace in a separate section of the recommendations. We all seemed to feel that at this stage it is desirable to call special attention to these important questions, an end which might not be served were they merely to be listed under the other powers of the council.

The British group on several occasions indicated, by their suggested revisions of phraseology, their continued concern with the sensibilities of the smaller powers.