740.00116 European War 1939/1346

The American Representative on the United Nations War Crimes Commission (Pell) to the Secretary of State

No. 14173

Sir: I have the honor to report that at the eleventh meeting of the War Crimes Commission, held on Tuesday, February 29, 1944, Mr. Gros, representing France, asked whether countries not represented on the Commission could send in reports of war crimes which they had suffered, and other information. He suggested the example of Brazil. Incidentally, Mr. Gros was stationed in Brazil, in the French service, for some time, and is married to a Brazilian. Sir Cecil Hurst, Chairman of the Commission, said that he would find out, and asked if Mr. Gros knew, for sure, whether or not Brazil wanted to join. Mr. Gros said yes; that he had definite information that Brazil was anxious to join the Commission.

Some member of the Commission, I could not see who, asked about Abyssinia. Chairman Hurst suggested that the Commission could not issue invitations ex motu proprio. He suggested that the Commission should recommend invitations to the various Governments to become members of the Commission. I suggested that it would be better for the individual members to enquire of their particular Governments, and ask for instructions.

Mr. Preuss brought up the case of Cuba, San Salvador, Panama and various other American Governments, which were at war with Germany, and suggested that it would be invidious to select some and [Page 1286]leave out others. I suggested that too large a Commission might be unwieldy.

As a result of this meeting, Chairman Hurst will discuss the question with the British Foreign Office, and will report on the situation. He referred to the Russian question.

Respectfully,

Herbert Pell