Proposal by the United States
Subject: Draft Proposal for the Establishment of a Council of Foreign Ministers
One of the most urgent problems in the field of foreign relations facing us today is the establishment of some procedure and machinery for the development of peace negotiations and territorial settlements without which the existing confusion, political and economic stagnation will continue to the serious detriment of Europe and the world.
The experience at Versailles following the last war does not encourage the belief that a full formal peace conference without preliminary preparation on the part of the leading powers is the best procedure. Such a conference without such preparation would be slow and unwieldy, its session would be conducted in a heated atmosphere of rival claims and counterclaims and ratification of the resulting documents might be long delayed. I therefore propose as the best formula to meet the situation the establishment of a Council composed of the foreign ministers of Great Britain, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, China, France and the United States, namely, the countries which compose the permanent members of the Security Council of the United Nations organization. It is my thought that this Council should meet as soon after our meeting as preparations therefor can be completed. I should like to present therefore a draft proposal along these lines which I have drawn up for your consideration.[Page 610]