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

Subject: Progress Report on Dumbarton Oaks Conversations—Thirty-fourth Day

Meeting of the Joint Steering Committee

Ambassador Gromyko called this morning to inform me that he had received final instructions from Moscow and asked that a meeting of the Joint Steering Committee be held at 10:30. The meeting was accordingly called and the Ambassador proceeded to state the position of his Government with respect to the September 20 draft of the document38b and with respect to the proposed procedure for adjourning the conversations.

(a) The Text of the Document

The Ambassador said his Government was generally agreeable to publication of the full text of the document as agreed upon.39 He went on to say that his Government had accepted the Chapter on amendments and, accordingly, this Chapter had been inserted in the document. He then said that his Government had also agreed to the insertion of the provision relating to the promotion of human rights and fundamental freedoms at the end of the first sentence under Chapter IX which concerns economic and social arrangements. He then also expressed his Government’s agreement to the insertion of a paragraph, which had been proposed by the British, to the effect that [Page 839] the section on pacific settlement of disputes should not apply to matters of domestic jurisdiction.40

It was then agreed that in addition to the statement in the body of the text that the question of voting procedure in the Council is still under consideration, there should be appended to the document as published a brief note stating that several other questions are still under consideration.

(b) Issuance of the Communiqués

After some discussion it was agreed that the brief communiqué announcing the conclusion of the Soviet phase of the conversations would not be released to the press until 10:00 Friday morning in order to permit simultaneous publicity in the three capitals. However, the final plenary session of the British, American, and Soviet groups will be held Thursday at 3:30 p.m. A copy of the communiqué as agreed to is attached.41 (Perfecting changes in language which appear in the draft of this communiqué and of the longer communiqué referred to in the next paragraph were omitted at Ambassador Gromyko’s suggestion in order to avoid delay which would be involved in his communicating these changes to his Government.)

Agreement in principle was then reached on the form of the longer communiqué. Sir Alexander Cadogan, under instruction, insisted that reference to the date of November 15 be omitted. Ambassador Gromyko has not yet heard finally from Moscow as to paragraphs 2 and 4, which were added at the request of the British only two days ago. A copy of this communiqué in its present form is also attached.42

(c) United Nations Conference

Ambassador Gromyko, in the course of the meeting, said that he wanted to make it plain that his Government’s agreeing to a general conference of the United Nations being held in the future is dependent upon (a) whether the British and American Governments will meet the Soviet proposals as to voting in the Council and (b) whether the British and American Governments will accept the Russian proposal that the Soviet republics be initial members of the Organization. As to the former point the Ambassador said that his Government considers that the principle of the unanimity of the four great powers must be carried out unconditionally.43

[Page 840]

Meeting of the American Group

After the conclusion of the meeting of the Joint Steering Committee a brief meeting was held of the members of the American group at which they approved the changes in the document referred to above, the texts of the proposed communiqués, and the proposed time schedule for terminating the Russian phase and beginning the Chinese phase of the conversations.

Vice Admiral Russell Willson informed me that it was important that he be absent on official business next week. After discussing this matter with him I authorized him to be absent from the conversations during that time.

Chinese Conversations

It was understood that we would begin the Chinese phase of the conversations Friday afternoon at 3 o’clock.

At 3 o’clock this afternoon Mr. Grew and I called upon Dr. Koo, Chairman of the Chinese group, and made arrangements, in conformance with the above developments, for the procedure to be followed in the Chinese phase of the conversations.

Final Text

Later in the day, as soon as available, I shall forward to you a copy of the final, agreed-upon document.

E[dward] S[tettinius]
[Annex 1]

Draft Communiqué

Conversations between the United States, United Kingdom, and Soviet Union delegations in Washington regarding the establishment of a World Security Organization have now been completed. These conversations have been useful and have led to a large measure of agreement on recommendations for the general framework of the Organization, and in particular for the machinery required to maintain peace and security. The three delegations are making reports to their respective Governments who will consider these reports and will in due course issue a simultaneous statement on the subject.

[Annex 2]

The Government of ___________ has now received the report of its Delegation to the conversations held in Washington between August 21–September ___ with the Delegations of ___________ ___________ on [Page 841] the subject of an international organization for the maintenance of peace and security.

There is annexed hereto a statement of tentative proposals indicating in detail the wide range of subjects on which agreement has been reached at the conversations.

The Governments which were represented in the discussions in Washington have agreed that after further study of these proposals they will as soon as possible take the necessary steps with a view to the preparation of complete proposals which could then serve as a basis of discussion at a full United Nations Conference.

Meanwhile the three (or four) Governments are resolved to work together, and with all other Governments jointly engaged in the suppression of the forces that have disturbed the peace of the world, for the future enforcement of the terms of surrender to be imposed on the common enemy.

  1. Draft of September 20 not printed.
  2. The draft of proposals embodying revisions of the September 20 draft, as agreed upon at the September 27 meeting, not printed.
  3. Reference is to paragraph 7 of the section on pacific settlement of disputes. Another insertion was made in this same section, in the last sentence of paragraph 4, indicating that the Security Council should in each case referred to it decide whether the Council “should deal with the dispute, and, if so, whether it” should take action under paragraph 5.
  4. Annex 1.
  5. Annex 2. Mr. Stettinius was informed of the President’s approval of the two communiqués on the morning of September 28.
  6. No further comment was made on either of these matters at this meeting.