840.50 UNRRA/9–144

The Assistant Secretary of State ( Acheson ) to the Director General of the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration ( Lehman )

My Dear Governor Lehman: I refer to the Provisional Agenda for the Second Session of the Council and to the document entitled “Procedure and Agenda for Second Session of the Council”25 distributed by your staff for the information of the Council members. This document refers to certain proposals to be introduced by the United States Government under Items III, VI and VII of the Agenda and states that you plan to distribute copies of the proposals to the member governments as soon as they have been received by the Secretariat.

With reference to Item III of the Agenda,26 the United States Delegation proposes to present at the session two draft resolutions arising from reservations and recommendations of the United States Congress, made in connection with the consideration by the Congress of United States participation in the work of the Administration. One of these resolutions concerns certain reservations and declarations [Page 342] made by the Congress in Sections 3, 5, 6, 7 and 8 of Public Law 267, Seventy-eighth Congress, which authorized appropriations for United States participation in the work of the Administration. It is our view that these Sections are not inconsistent with the Agreement and Resolutions and it is proposed therefore to request the Council to make a declaration to this effect and to accept the reservations. A draft of this resolution (enclosure A) is transmitted to you herewith.

The second resolution to be presented by the United States under Item III arises from the provisions of Section 4 of Public Law 267, reading as follows:

“Sec. 4. In expressing its approval of this joint resolution, it is the recommendation of Congress that insofar as funds and facilities permit, any area (except within enemy territory and while occupied by the enemy) important to the military operations of the United Nations which is stricken by famine or disease may be included in the benefits to be made available through the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration.”

The United States Government has prepared a draft of a resolution with reference to this matter and is in the process of discussing this draft with other member governments, including that of India, the Legislative Assembly of which has made a recommendation similar to that contained in Section 4 of Public Law 267, set forth above. A draft of this resolution will be transmitted to you as soon as these discussions have been concluded.

With reference to Item VI,27 the United States and United Kingdom Governments have under urgent consideration the possibility of placing before the Council a proposal that the Administration should undertake certain limited operations in Italy relating to displaced persons, health, and welfare. Any specific proposal that may be formulated along these lines will be transmitted to you as soon as possible.

With reference to Item VII,28 the United States plans to submit to the Council for its consideration a draft resolution authorizing the Central Committee under certain circumstances to accept new members between sessions of the Council. A draft of this resolution (enclosure B) is transmitted to you herewith.29

You are authorized, if you so desire, to furnish copies of this letter and of the enclosures to other members of the Council for their information and convenience in preparing for the Session.

Sincerely yours,

Dean Acheson
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[Enclosure A]

Draft Resolution Under Item III for Second Session of the Council

Whereas, the Congress of the United States of America has enacted Public Law 267, 78th Congress, 2nd Session, approved March 28, 1944, authorizing appropriations for participation by the United States in the work of the Administration;

Whereas, Sections 3, 5, 6, 7 and 8 of said Public Law 267 read, respectively, as follows:

“Sec. 3. In the adoption of this joint resolution the Congress expresses its approval of and reliance upon the policy adopted by the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration at the first session of the Council, summarized in paragraph 11 of Resolution Numbered 12, and reading as follows:

“‘11. The task of rehabilitation must not be considered as the beginning of reconstruction—it is coterminous with relief. No new construction or reconstruction work is contemplated, but only rehabilitation as defined in the preamble of the Agreement. Problems, such as unemployment, are important, but not determining factors. They are consequences and, at the same time, motives of action. The Administration cannot be called upon to help restore continuous employment in the world.’

“Sec. 5. No amendment under article VIII (a) of the agreement involving any new obligation for the United States shall be binding upon the United States without approval by joint resolution of Congress.

“Sec. 6. In adopting this joint resolution the Congress does so with the following reservation:

“That in the case of the United States the appropriate constitutional body to determine the amount and character and time of the contributions of the United States is the Congress of the United States.

“Sec. 7. In adopting this joint resolution the Congress does so with the following reservation:

“That it is understood that the provision in paragraph 11 of resolution numbered 12 adopted at the first session of the Council, referred to in section 3 of this joint resolution and reading ‘The task of rehabilitation must not be considered as the beginning of reconstruction—it is coterminous with relief’, contemplates that rehabilitation means and is confined only to such activities as are necessary to relief.

“Sec. 8. In adopting this joint resolution the Congress does so with the following reservation:

“That the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration shall not be authorized to enter into contracts or undertake or incur obligations beyond the limits of appropriations made under this authorization and by other countries and receipts from other sources.”

Resolved, that the Council hereby declares that nothing contained in said Sections 3, 5, 6, 7 and 8 is inconsistent with the provisions of the Agreement and Resolutions on Policy of the Council;

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That the Council accordingly accepts the reservations of the Congress of the United States as above set forth; and

That the Council requests the Director General to arrange through the United States member on the Council for the transmission of the text of this Resolution to the Congress of the United States.30

  1. Neither printed.
  2. Entitled “Action upon reservations and recommendations of constitutional bodies of member governments.”
  3. Entitled “Scale and nature of operations in enemy or ex-enemy areas, and with respect to displaced persons of enemy or ex-enemy nationality.”
  4. Entitled “Matters of procedure.”
  5. Not printed.
  6. For text of UNRRA Resolution No. 53, adopted unanimously by the Council session at Montreal, entitled “A Resolution Relating to Reservations and Declarations of the Congress of the United States”, see A Compilation of the Resolutions on Policy, p. 70. The Department transmitted the text of this Resolution to the Congress of the United States on November 14, 1944; Congressional Record, vol. 90, pt. 6, pp. 8198 and 8219.