800.42/496: Telegram

The Ambassador in the United Kingdom ( Winant ) to the Secretary of State

3242. Reference Department’s 3071 of April 17. Conference of Allied Ministers of Education today accepted with minor textual amendments tentative draft of constitution of a United Nations organization for educational and cultural reconstruction prepared at open meetings convened by joint invitation of conference and United States delegation. Conference also decided to send tentative draft constitution to all United Nations and Associated Nations for study and comment. It was sense of meeting that if comment proved favorable constitution would then be adopted formally by conference. In that event invitations to join proposed organization could be issued. There was no discussion of agency which might issue invitations but Chairman Butler12 suggested on previous occasion that Great Britain, the United States and Belgium might wish to join eventually in taking such action. Copies of tentative draft constitution as accepted by Conference are being submitted by airmail.13

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Conference also decided to create ad hoc committee to serve as centralizing and coordinating body for agencies collecting information on looting and destruction of European monuments and objets d’art.14 All members of Conference will send representatives to Committee which will be headed by Professor Paul Vaucher. Present Conference Committee on revindication will be disbanded but Harvey15 will serve as Secretary of new body. Object of Committee will be to supply information to Combined Civil Affairs Committee in London during pre-ivasion and invasion periods.

Winant
  1. Richard A. Butler, British Minister of Education, and President of the Conference of Allied Ministers of Education.
  2. The draft constitution, not printed, was transmitted to the Department in despatch 15139, April 20, 1944; received April 29.
  3. For correspondence concerning the protection and salvage of artistic and historic monuments in war areas, see vol. ii, pp. 1031 ff.
  4. Cyril P. Harvey, a member of the British Bar, represented the British Council at the Conference until his appointment to the Vaucher Committee.