Lot 60–D 224, Box 55: D.O./P.R./37

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

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

Meeting of the Joint Formulation Group

The joint formulation group, with Dr. Koo present, considered yesterday afternoon the points raised by Dr. Koo at the plenary session yesterday morning, with the exception of the Chinese proposal for an international air force, which was considered by the special military group. The discussion resulted in the following disposition of these items:

(a) Justice and Law in the Settlement of Disputes

The Chinese group’s desire for reference to justice and international law in the settlement of disputes led to the drafting of a supplementary statement74 to the effect that the charter should provide [Page 866] specifically for settlement “with due regard for principles of justice and international law”.

(b) Political Independence and Territorial Integrity

The Chinese felt that the charter should make clear that member states should respect political independence and territorial integrity. We and the British explained that these principles are clearly inherent in the sovereign equality of states, the first principle of the present document, and the Chinese accepted this interpretation.

(c) Definition of Aggression

The Chinese restated their wish to define aggression. We and the British pointed out the great difficulties of reaching satisfactory definitions, either of aggression or of breaches of and threats to the peace. Dr. Koo then withdrew this point, with a suggestion that all three groups give it further thought.

(d) Codification of International Lam

At the request of the Chinese a supplementary statement was prepared stating that the Assembly should be responsible for studies and recommendations concerning the development and revision of international law.

(e) Compulsory Jurisdiction of the Court

We and the British pointed out that any statement concerning the jurisdiction of the court should await the court’s establishment and that provision for compulsory jurisdiction over justiciable disputes would more appropriately belong in the statute than in the charter of the new Organization. This was acceptable to the Chinese.

(f) Cultural Cooperation

Agreement was reached upon a supplementary statement to the effect that the economic and social council should provide for the promotion of educational and other forms of cultural cooperation.

Meeting of the Joint Steering Committee, 11:15 a.m.

We had a full and frank discussion of the preferences of the Chinese to publish, simultaneously with the principal document, a supplementary statement containing the additional items agreed upon in this phase of the conversations. Lord Halifax and I stressed the importance of ensuring that the agreed proposals will be regarded as the unanimous view of the four participating groups. Dr. Koo and his associate, Dr. Victor Hoo, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, were impressed with the force of the arguments presented, and agreed to withdraw their proposal.

[Page 867]

It was understood that the three points to which the Chinese attach most importance (specific reference to principles of justice and international law, development and revision of international law, and promotion of cultural cooperation) are agreed upon by the three groups, and will be included among the points remaining under consideration. At an appropriate time they will be discussed with the Soviet Government in the hope that these points can be incorporated in the charter at the United Nations conference.

Accordingly, unless Dr. Koo receives contrary instructions from Chungking, the agreed proposals will be published in identical form in the four capitals.

  1. See draft statement of October 3 by the Formulation Group, p. 869.