500.CC/1–245: Circular telegram

The Secretary of State to Diplomatic Officers in Certain American Republics 2

At a fourth meeting of the Secretary with Heads of Mission of American Republics held on December 293 to continue discussions concerning international organization a compilation of memoranda regarding Dumbarton Oaks proposals4 submitted by nine governments—Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Haiti, Mexico, Panama, Uruguay and Venezuela—was presented by Coordination Committee for discussion.5

Secretary pointed out that progress appeared to have been made for convening of Conference of American Republics associated in the [Page 11] war6 to consider major issues and that these meetings of the heads of mission and forthcoming Conference would enable American Republics to attend the general conference on international organization with full understanding of each other’s view-points and therefore with greater effectiveness to cooperate in building enduring international peace structure.

Commenting on memoranda from other governments Secretary suggested that all would wish to go to general conference with open minds and as few formal commitments as possible. He noted that if formal positions were taken it would be harder to change later and he urged that a flexible rather than a crystallized approach be kept. He said that it had been sought to make Dumbarton Oaks proposals informal, in recognition of fact that they might require modifications.

Meeting covered comments and suggestions regarding proposed name of new international organization in view of objections voiced to name “United Nations”.7

Discussion regarding Chapter I centered on question of specific enumeration of principles, viz. assurance of respect for international treaties, juridical equality of nations, respect of territorial integrity, et cetera.

. . . . . . .

  1. Sent to diplomatic officers in 10 American Republics and repeated in circular airgram of January 3 to 10 additional American Republics.
  2. For memoranda on the meeting of December 29, 1944, and previous meetings held to discuss international organization, see Foreign Relations, 1944, vol. i, pp. 937, 941, and 954. For data on these discussions, see also Postwar Foreign Policy Preparation, 1989–1945 (Department of State publication No. 3580), pp. 399–401. For summaries of discussions at meetings held in the Department of State, January 26 and 31, and February 5 and 9, 1945, see post, pp. 27, 39, 46, and 60, respectively.
  3. For documentation on the conversations between representatives of the United States, the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union, and China held at Dumbarton Oaks in Washington, August 21–October 7, 1944, and the text of the Proposals, see Foreign Relations, 1944, vol. i, pp. 713 ff.; text of Proposals also printed in Department of State publication No. 2223, Conference Series No. 60.
  4. In addition to the American Republics, the views of the Governments of other United Nations, as well as various other Governments, were received in a series of informal conversations of Departmental officers with individual Chiefs of Mission in Washington and through United States diplomatic missions abroad; these comments and criticisms were taken into consideration in further review and study of the Dumbarton Oaks Proposals. For proposals, comments, and amendments proposed by certain participating Governments concerning the Proposals, see volume 3 of the series entitled Documents of the United Nations Conference on International Organization, San Francisco, 1945, published by the United Nations Information Organizations (London and New York) in cooperation with the Library of Congress (hereinafter cited as UNCIO Documents). For a guide to proposed amendments, see Doc. 288, G/38, May 14, in UNCIO Documents, vol. 3, pp. 637–710.
  5. For documentation on the Inter-American Conference on Problems of War and Peace, held at Mexico City, February 21–March 8, 1945, see vol. ix, pp. 1 ff. With particular reference to the establishment of the United Nations, see summary account of the work of Committees II (World Organization) and III (Inter-American system) and pertinent resolutions referred to in these sections, in Department of State, Report of the Delegation of the United States of America to the Inter-American Conference on Problems of War and Peace, Mexico City, Mexico, February 21–March 8, 1945 (Washington, Government Printing’ Office 1946).
  6. The term “United Nations” came into being on December 31, 1941, when President Roosevelt suggested to British Prime Minister Winston Churchill its use in the title of the joint declaration of January 1, 1942 (Cordell Hull, The Memoirs of Cordell Hull, vol. ii, p. 1124).

    For data on Presidential approval of the name “The United Nations” in relation to the new international organization and Soviet, British, and Chinese approval in the course of the Dumbarton Oaks Conversations, see Foreign Relations, 1944, vol. i, paragraph numbered 8, p. 731; section entitled “Meeting of Subcommittee on Organization,” p. 767; section (b) on p. 795; and paragraph beginning “Dr. Koo said that he noticed …”, p. 857.