Lot 60–D 224, Box 55: D.O./P.R./12

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

Subject: Progress Report on Dumbarton Oaks Conversations—Thirteenth Day

Meeting of the Joint Steering Committee

In general the progress made was less than had been the case at prior meetings. In particular Ambassador Gromyko was more insistent than previously upon preserving intact the language of various statements contained in the Soviet plan even though the substance of [Page 766] these statements had, with the approval of his representative, already been incorporated in the drafts under consideration.

Among points of importance discussed at the meeting were the following:

(a) Assistance to and Compensation for States Carrying out Economic Measures Decided by the Council

The Soviet representatives contended that no specific measures of assistance and, particularly, no specific measures of compensation can as a practical matter be devised. They felt, consequently, that to include such provisions would be misleading. They said further that if as a result of the adoption of such provisions the member states were encouraged to try to devise methods of assistance or compensation it might be found that the organization would degenerate from one designed for security into one concentrating on devising measures for mutual relief.

The British and ourselves, on the other hand, emphasized the importance of provisions of this kind. He pointed out that we are all agreed that we should limit the commitments of the member states with respect to military measures to the provisions of a multilateral agreement to be negotiated among the member states. However, the commitment to carry out economic measures decided upon by the council is unlimited and it would be very difficult for various states to accept this commitment unless provisions for assistance and compensation are included. We said that this is not a matter of relief; it is an important means of more effectively insuring the carrying out of the very great authority which will be conferred on the council.

(b) Authorization for Council to Decide, in Appropriate Cases, that only the Armed Forces of the Great Powers Need be Used

Ambassador Gromyko proposed that there should be explicit authorization for the council to determine, in appropriate cases, that the armed forces of some or all of the great powers alone should be utilized to restrain aggression. He thought it desirable that such a procedure be clearly authorized in advance.

(c) Voting in the Council

I took occasion to emphasize the very great importance which we attach to our proposal that a party to a dispute should not vote in connection with that dispute. I emphasized that if we should be unable to reach an agreement on this matter during the Dumbarton Oaks conversations the success of the whole project for an international organization might be endangered. Sir Alexander Cadogan supported our position. Ambassador Gromyko said that he agreed with my estimate of the importance of this matter being settled during [Page 767] the Dumbarton Oaks talks but he added, rather unyieldingly, that he had no other proposal than the one he had previously made (i.e., that a special procedure should be worked out to govern the voting of a great power involved in a dispute).

Meeting of Subcommittee on Organization

The Subcommittee on Organization met this afternoon and discussed the draft joint document as it has thus far been approved by the Joint Steering Committee. In addition, an ad hoc committee on nomenclature52 of which Mr. Fletcher is chairman, made a preliminary report. The Soviet group is maintaining a reservation as to the name “United Nations” for the general, over-all organization. They assert that the term “United Nations” has a special connotation relating to the prosecution of the war against the Axis which it would be undesirable to have carried over to the future world organization. On other points of nomenclature there appears to be a general meeting of the minds among the three groups.

  1. The duties of the Subcommittee on Nomenclature, established on August 23 by the Subcommittee on General Questions of International Organization, were to recommend the names or titles for the international organization. Its few meetings were entirely conversational and without minutes, and its report was accepted by its parent subcommittee on September 4 and, with tentative reservations, by the Joint Steering Committee on September 12.