500.CC/2–1145: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Acting Secretary of State (Grew)
top secret

Argonaut 147 Top Secret. For Acting Secretary of State from Secretary Stettinius. To be delivered immediately.

1. The conference has agreed upon our proposal on voting procedure and we are to consult China and France on behalf of the other two powers. The date of the United Nations Conference has been fixed for April 25, 1945, and the location at San Francisco. The substance of the foregoing will be announced in the communiqué to be issued Monday night for Tuesday morning’s papers although the communiqué will not itself state that the voting procedure agreed upon was proposed by the United States. It is however understood that we are at liberty, simultaneously with the release of the communiqué, to state that our proposal on voting procedure was the one that was adopted.1 Mr. Early is separately taking care of this latter statement but if there is any slip up in his communications you will wish to make that fact public at the time the communiqué is issued.

2. It is of the utmost urgency that our consultations with China and France be as brief as possible because of the intense interest which will be aroused throughout the world as to the substance of the voting provisions which are not to be made public until the consultation is completed. Mr. Eden said at this afternoon’s final meeting that he hoped the consultation could be completed within forty-eight hours. This will give you an indication of the urgency with which this matter must be treated.

3. The text of the invitation as agreed upon reads as follows:—

“The government of the United States of America, on behalf of itself and of the governments of the United Kingdom, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, and the Republic of China and of the Provisional Government of the French Republic, invites the Government of blank to send representatives to a conference of the United Nations to be held on April 25, 1945, or soon thereafter, at San Francisco in the United States of America to prepare a charter for a general international organization for the maintenance of international peace and security.

[Page 944]

“The above named governments suggest that the conference consider as affording a basis for such a charter the proposals for the establishment of a general international organization, which were made public last October as a result of the Dumbarton Oaks Conference, and which have now been supplemented by the following provisions for Section C of Chapter VI:—

“‘C. Voting:—1. Each member of the Security Council should have one vote. 2. Decisions of the Security Council on procedural matters should be made by an affirmative vote of seven members. 3. Decisions of the Security Council on all other matters should be made by an affirmative vote of seven members including the concurring votes of the permanent members; provided that, in decisions under Chapter VIII, Section A and under the second sentence of Paragraph 1 of Chapter VIII, Section C, party to a dispute should abstain from voting.’

“Further information as to arrangements will be transmitted subsequently. In the event that the government of blank desires in advance of the conference to present views or comments concerning the proposals, the government of the United States of America will be pleased to transmit such views and comments to the other participating governments.”

4. It was also agreed that the nations to be invited to the United Nations Conference should be the United Nations as they existed on February 8th, 1945, and such of the associated nations and Turkey as have declared war on the common enemy by March 1, 1945. This explains my recent urgent wire to you about the Latin American associated nations.2

5. It was also agreed that the five governments with permanent seats in the Security Council should consult each other prior to the United Nations Conference on providing machinery in the World Charter for dealing with territorial trusteeships which could apply only to (a) existing mandates of the League of Nations; (b) territory to be detached from the enemy as a result of this war; and (c) any other territory that may voluntarily be placed under trusteeship.

It was further agreed that no discussions of specific territories will take place during the preliminary consultations on trusteeships or at the United Nations Conference itself. Only machinery and principles of trusteeship will be formulated at the Conference for inclusion in [Page 945]the Charter and it will be a matter for subsequent agreement as to which territories within the categories specified above will actually be placed under trusteeship. I think that this subject should also be covered in your consultations with China and France.

“The Secretary urged that immediate action be taken to have our Embassies inform the six Latin American ‘Associated Nations’ of the possibility that they may be excluded from initial participation in the forthcoming United Nations Conference, unless they declare war on Germany or Japan, or both.”

6. We are relying on you to conduct the consultation with France and China in such manner as seems to you most effective and most expeditious and thereafter to publish the text of the voting provisions in concert with the other four powers.

7. I am leaving tonight for Moscow for a visit of only one or two days and can be reached through the Embassy. Please cable me summary of press and other public reaction to the communiqué as soon as it is available.

8. Allstate Horseshoe.

  1. See ante, pp. 927 928.
  2. Ante, pp. 794, 797. A notation concerning the preparation of this telegram may be found ante, p. 782. As early as January 10, 1945, a memorandum (740.0011EW/1–1045) had been sent by the Executive Secretary of the Secretary’s Staff Committee (Rothwell) to Assistant Secretary Rockefeller, containing the following paragraph: