Hiss Collection

Hiss Notes 1


Note to Pres
for ERS2
Harriman } Gromyko who else?
redraft of provision Voting

Letter from
ERS to vish.
for set of pictures

[Page 672]

2/6 4.15 pm—6.20
(Then Poland)

1. Pres, ERS, Leahy, Bohlen, Byrnes, Harriman

2. P. M., Eden, Cadogan, Interpreter (military), Sir Ed. Bridges, Clark-Kerr

3. Stalin, Molotov, Maisky, Vishinsky, Gusev, Gromyko

1. Behind: Hopkins, Matthews, A. H.
2. “: Jebb, Dixon, Wilson
3. “: Pavolov

ERS reported that the words “and the dismemberment” be added to Art XII of Articles of Surrender. Mr. Mol. has a further proposal which will require more discussion. Ask to submit final report tomorrow

Molotov withdraws his suggestion

ERS made final report

Church, said instrument of dismemberment had not been approved by Cabinet but he is glad agt has been reached

Church: Position of Fr. becomes of great importance to us. Must have a strong French army

Pres: Pub. opinion in US will determine;—but in his opinion if we get D. O.3 much more likely to take part in world activity

ERS Read analysis

Pres: ERS explain US proposal as he was at D. O. & none of 3 heads of deleg. were.

Feel strongly people going to insist on getting something that will ensure peace, not for all time, but say for 50 years

ERS: read statement

3 ribbon copies to each of 3 heads of deleg.

Pres. suggested ERS read types of decisions requiring unan.4


I shall first present 6 situations in which unan. of great powers must be maintained at all times

Read I to VI of Part II our paper (analysis)

I shall now read the situations which also require etc. . . . .5 in other words unanimity except when involved in a dispute

Read I to IV [V?]6

Pres that ends the reading & explanation of part of the procedure

Thing we have to remember—objective of the 5 great & of all nations is same & on a q. of procedure there ought not be any real difficulty

[Page 673]

Stalin: Would like to know what is new in proposals read by ERS as compared with Dec. 5

Asked about minor phraseological change

Long discussion

Asked for more time to study the proposal made by ERS as compared with Pres. proposal

Could we put it off to tomorrow

Church. Agrees to study of this particular & to adjourn q. to tomorrow

I cannot conceal from the company that HMG that has examined the U. S. proposal—the general proposal—with very close attention. I did not feel myself wholly in agt. with the orig. proposal at DO I have been anxious to make sure that the realities of the positions of the 5 great powers have been fully faced

On studying the Pres. new proposal my anxieties have been removed so far as Brit Com of Ns & Brit Empire are concerned.

I & the self governing dominions have the feeling that of course whether world peace is achieved on a lasting found, can only depend in the last resort upon the collab of the 3 great powers

Not doing justice to our true heart felt intentions if didn’t provide for the free statement of grievances by the many smaller states of the world

It might look as if we were claiming to rule the world—we 3 Whereas our desire is to serve the world & to preserve it from renewal of the frightful horrors which have fallen upon the lap of its inhabs. ∴ I feel that we great powers—3—should make what I would call a proud submission to the commun of the world. Within the limits stated. I’ve naturally been looking at this as to how it would affect the fortunes & ints of Brit Em & Com. I’m going to take a part, instance to illustrate why I do not feel this submission wh. we make to the whole world will be damaging to Brit, interests. The case I take is a difficult one which affects Gt. Brit. I take the case of HK7 If we agree to the proposal of the US let us suppose Ch.8 asks us to return HK to them. We should have a right to state our case fully ag. any case made by the Ch. But we should not be allowed to vote on the qs set out—the 5 q’s set out at the end of this doc. (missed sentence—see Jebb)

St. Who is we

Church I’m speaking only of the Brit Govt

St. Will Eg.9 take part in the Assembly?

Church In Ass. but not in Coun. unless elected

St. Any member of Ass. could freely express his opin.

[Page 674]

Church: Yes & so long as Brit G concerned these 5q’s the Brit Govt would not be allowed to vote. I say we agree to these procedural matters being decided without our vote—I’m only taking HK illus.—we means Brit Govt

I humbly beg to be allowed to keep to illus. I introduced & then others can follow

What his majesty’s Govt could not agree to is that the other matters in ¶ III the 4 matters set out there

I consider that we are suff. safeguarding ag. being overruled in a matter affecting sovereignty because of our rights under ¶ III

We have in fact the right by our veto power to stop all further action ag. us by the world organ.

∴ I can not feel that we should have to agree to any dec. contrary to our free choice in these matters as set out. We should be protected by our rt. of veto ag. all measures of the kind in ¶ III

No (missed more)

On other hand I feel it would be wrong that Ch. should not have oppor to state its case fully & Coun not have powers in last 5 ¶s US paper & we not vote on those

In the same way if Eg raises a q. ag the Brit affecting Suez canal—

Pres. read sentence from Tehran re good will

HMG see no danger from their own point of view in associating themselves with prop. in the US paper & we see great advantage in the 3 great powers not assuming the position of rulers of all the rest without even allowing them to state their case. In fact we feel it would not be right to take that position of denying them the rt. to state the case & we rely on ¶ III if we are not convinced by the arguments made ag. us.

(Absent see Doc10)

St. If any nation raise any import, q. will raise not only q. but will want a dec. Already have rt to express opin in Ass. Mr. Church thinks that Ch after raising q of HK would be content to express her opin. Ch. might ask for a decision.

Will demand a dec.

∴ matter is much more serious than merely to secure for each nation rt. to express its opin

Also it is not a matter of 3 powers liking to be master of world, D. O. proposals should be a break upon such a group of powers. I don’t know any great power which would have intention to master world. Perhaps I am mistaken & see not everything.

I would like to ask my friend Mr Ch. to name which powers might intend domin world

[Page 675]

Im sure Mr Ch & Brit doesn’t want domin. I’m sure US hasn’t opin. of this kind. USSR hasn’t There remains only 1 power. China

Church I was speaking of 3 great powers gathered here collectively lifting themselves so high that others would consider they were trying to domin world—not any 1 power but the 3 Not 1 but a trinity

(St) If 2 great powers accept provs. which excuse them from that. 1 power has not yet agreed to that

I will examine the doc. & perhaps I will understand what is the matter but at present everything is not clear to me.

Think much more serious q than rt of powers express opin or appear domin world

I fear—we are not now & will not allow that any of our gt countries—act of agg. But in 10 yrs time we will disappear—new generations will come which did not experience horrors of war & forget what we been thru

Seems we would like to secure peace at least for 50 yrs. I have such an idea. I think we have now to build up such a form which would put as many obstacles as possible to domination of world. I think that the task is to secure our unity of 3 powers in future & for this purpose must elaborate such a covenant which would in certain respects (?) The greatest danger for future is possibility of conflicts among ourselves If unity Ger danger not very great & now we have to think how to create—that our great powers & poss. Ch. & Fr. will keep united fronts in future There must be elaborated a statement which would prevent conflicts among great powers.

I must apologize I was real busy other matters & not chance study this q in detail As far as I understand what was said by Ams today all points divided in 2 categories—

In 1st cat. as I understood belong such things as sanctions econ, pol & mil & in other cat. all those conflicts which could be settled by peaceful means without sanctions

Also understood that in consid. of conflicts of both types contemplated free discussion of the Council

I understood in consid. of q’s of 1st cat.

perm, members being party to dispute has rt. to vote & not be asked to withdraw

But in conflicts of 2nd cat. party in dispute not be allowed to vote.

We Rs being accused talking too much about how to vote. But Issues are being decided by vote & we are interested in the decisions & less in discussions Can discuss for 100 yrs & nothing settled, but I’m interested in decs.

[Page 676]

Suppose Ch. suggests HK be returned or Suez Can. to Eg. I can assure Mr Church Ch & Eg. will be not alone. They will have some friends in Ass. & possibly some protectors

Church: I would say no when it came to use of Leag. powers. Powers should not be used ag. us if we remained unconvinced

St: Is it so.

Church It is as I understand it

Eden They could talk & complain but no dec. could be taken without our consent

ERS No econ. sanction or use of force without unan. of perm, members of Sec. Coun.

Maisky No recommend, could be made

Maisky These 5 points will not be decisions but only discussions?


St I’m afraid these conflicts re HK might break our unity

Church See force of that but whole force of diplomacy proceeds & is not prevented by World Org. Members will always be discussing matters among themselves

St: Another picture my colleagues in Mosc cannot forget the case which occurred in Dec 39 during Rus-Fin war when Brit & Fr. used Leag. ag us & eventually expelled us, & isolated us & later mobilised all the powers ag. us in matter of crusade

Church: we were very angry, were all alone

St: How guar, such thing not occur ag.

Church We couldn’t do it here

St. Couldn’t we make more obstacles in way of it

Church: Expulsion must be unan. & gt. power could veto.

St. First time we have

Pres: Should emphasize action like Fin. one would be impossible as would require unan. of 5

St. Not only expulsion but mobilization of opinion

Church. I see the case which cause anxiety to any of us, agitation be worked up & lot of abuse be levelled at one of us. Might be Brit I can only say dip. would be active

Everything would be done to prevent anything that would mar our unity

I’m quite sure Mar. St. wouldn’t make a harsh att on Brit Em— verbally I mean—without talking to us first We would get to some arrangement, in any event we should be very careful not to let the unity be destroyed

St: I would prob. but what of Maisky

Pres: Let’s put it another way. Whole doc. is drawn up to promote not impair unity. Will be differences—will be known—will be talked in Assembly. To permit discussion in Coun. will in no sense impair [Page 677]unity but will promote it & will demonstrate confid. have in each other & in justice

St tomorrow continue, meanwhile study


In intermission Gromyko indicated he had not understood from L. P.11 the changes in 3rd ¶ of our proposal. I straightened him out on the score of texts but he was still not clear satisfied that the effect of the reference to VIII C was clear or desirable. He also said he would have great difficulty explaining its effect to his colleagues. He said it would be much easier for the Rs if we could drop the whole reference & asked if Pres would agree to that. I said I thought so

  1. From penciled notes in longhand. For this meeting the notes appear to have been taken by Hiss only during the discussion of the question of voting in the United Nations, prior to the intermission. There is a notation by Hiss that this part of the meeting ran from 4:15 to 6:20. For citations to pertinent documents, see the preceding Bohlen minutes of this meeting.

    A penciled diagram at the head of these notes shows the seating arrangement around the conference table clockwise as follows: Roosevelt, Bohlen, Byrnes, Harriman, Cadogan, Eden, Churchill, Birse, Bridges, Clark Kerr, Gromyko, Vyshinsky, Molotov, Stalin, Maisky, Gusev, Leahy, Stettinius.

  2. Stettinius.
  3. Dumbarton Oaks.
  4. Unanimity.
  5. Points appear in the original.
  6. Brackets appear in the original.
  7. Hong Kong
  8. China.
  9. Egypt.
  10. Reference here is to Matthews.
  11. Leo Pasvolsky.