500.CC/10–644: Telegram

Mr. Myron C. Taylor, Personal Representative of President Roosevelt to Pope Pius XII, to the Secretary of State

344. For the President and Secretary. Reference my 320 September 18 and your 39 September 27. In lengthy audience yesterday the Pope raised the question particularly with respect to admission to membership in International Organization, and without expressing a final determination as to Vatican policy, sought information as to terms of proposed plan under which a small state such as the Vatican would have the right to be admitted. The Pope then asked my opinion whether it would be advisable for Archbishop Spellman11 who is now here, to defer his plan for a visit to the Far East, and to call upon the President at once with a view to discussing this question on behalf of the Holy See. I developed the thought in replying that the plan was now only in its first stages of discussion among the four great powers12 and that the many questions regarding the composition of the Assembly, and particularly of the Council and the implementation of the plan by ultimate use of force were receiving primary attention. I expressed personal opinion that the whole matter of an acceptable plan would have to be arrived at by a meeting of minds upon a higher official level than the present preliminary discussions had reached before a plan could be intelligently proposed to a meeting of United and Associated Nations and neutrals who were entitled to be consulted before the case of any particular state could wisely be injected into the field of discussion. In other words, that this was not the time for such a special approach to the President. I indicated that probably the International Organization to Preserve Peace would be obligated to come to the aid of any state, large or small, if attack were made upon it. After considerable general discussion along this line and of the whole subject it was thought wise that I should discuss with Archbishop Spellman the matter of proposed visit to the President. That meeting took place this afternoon. Archbishop Spellman informs me that the Pope had presented the same question to him on Wednesday,13 the day before my audience; that he had also conferred with the Pope after my audience and discovered that he had given the Holy Father the same answer in substance as myself. In substance he also had stated that the visit for the purpose indicated at this [Page 964] moment was untimely. I assume this closes the matter for the present though I imagine however in due course the question may be presented in the form of a letter of inquiry. I have however received no present indication to that effect.

  1. Francis J. Spellman, Archbishop of New York.
  2. Reference here is to the Dumbarton Oaks Conversations involving the Governments of the United States, the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union, and China; for correspondence, see pp. 713 ff.
  3. October 4.