500.CC/2–1145: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Ambassador in France (Caffery)5

546. You are instructed to communicate to the Foreign Minister6 without a moment’s delay the substance of the following and to cable me at the earliest possible moment the reply of the French Government.

(Begin communication) The communiqué to be issued at the termination of the present meeting of the representatives of the United States, Great Britain and the Soviet Union7 will contain an announcement to the effect that the three governments have agreed on the voting procedure in the Security Council8 and that the United Nations Conference for the purpose of formulating the charter of the United Nations Organization for the Maintenance of Peace and Security will be called for April 25, 19459 at San Francisco, USA. The communiqué will also announce that the other two governments have authorized the President of the United States on behalf of all three governments to consult the Republic of China and the Provisional Government of France.

The foregoing is the substance of the communiqué.

The points on which the President has been authorized to consult the other two Governments are the following:

It is proposed that the invitations be issued by the Government of the United States for itself and on behalf of the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union, the Republic of China and the Provisional Government [Page 68] of France. The invitations are to be issued to those nations which were signatories of the United Nations Declaration10 on February 8, 1945 and those associated nations,11 including Turkey, which will have declared war by March 1, 1945.

The text of the invitation as agreed upon reads as follows:

[Here follows text of invitation as transmitted in Argonaut 147, February 11, 1945, printed in Conferences at Malta and Yalta, page 943.]

It is further proposed that the five inviting governments would consult prior to the conference on the provisions to be included in the Charter for setting up a trusteeship system for existing mandates, for territories which may be detached from the enemy after this war, and for any other territories which may be voluntarily placed under trusteeship. Neither the preliminary consultation nor the discussion at the United Nations Conference would deal with specific territories, but would be restricted to the formulation of principles and provisions for machinery. The question of specific territories to be placed under trusteeship would be made subject to subsequent agreement.

The President has directed me to consult the Provisional Government of France and to express his earnest hope that it will concur in these proposals. The matter is extremely urgent because the Governments of the United States, Great Britain and the Soviet Union have arranged for the issuance on Monday night, February 12, for publication in the morning newspapers on Tuesday, February 13, of the communiqué referred to at the beginning. (End communication)

You should impress upon the French authorities that the matters under consultation are to be held entirely confidential until publication of the invitation is arranged.

  1. This telegram was sent on basis of telegram received from the Secretary of State at Yalta, Argonaut 147, 11 February 1945, printed in Conferences at Malta and Yalta, p. 943. The same message, mutatis mutandis, was transmitted as telegram 237 on the same date (to Chungking. In telegram 214, February 13, 3 a.m., from Chungking, Ambassador Patrick J. Hurley sent the following message: “Chinese (Government concurs in proposals in your 237, February 11 received February 13, 1 a.m., Chungking time.” (500.CC/2–1345)
  2. Georges Bidault, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Provisional Government of France.
  3. For text of communiqué, report of the Crimea (Yalta) Conference, released to the press on Monday, February 12, 1945, and the protocol of proceedings, released to the press on March 24, 1947, see Conferences at Malta and Yalta, pp. 968 and 982, respectively. See also report on the Conference delivered by President Roosevelt before a joint session of the Congress on March 1, 1945, Department of State Bulletin, March 4, 1945, p. 321.
  4. For a statement of the American position on voting in the Security Council as read by Secretary Stettinius at the third plenary meeting of the Yalta Conference, February 6, see Conferences at Malta and Yalta, p. 661.
  5. In his Diary of 11–17 March 1945, Secretary Stettinius noted with reference to his March 12 off-the-record meeting with the press: “I was asked about the duration of the United Nations conference and said that my best guess was a month. In answer to speculation about the significance of the opening date, April 25, when a USSR agreement with Japan would expire, I told the press group that the date was purely coincidental. For instance, I had suggested at Yalta that Wednesday was always a good day to begin a conference.” (Reference was to the 5-year neutrality pact between the Soviet Union and Japan which was concluded April 13, 1941, entered into force from April 25, 1941, and was denounced by the Soviet Union on April 5, 1945. This agreement did not expire April 25, 1945, but would continue in force another 5 years from April 25, 1946, unless denounced by one party a year before this expiration date. For text, see telegram 763, April 13, 1941, 11 p.m., from Moscow, Foreign Relations, 1941, vol. iv, p. 944.)
  6. For list of signatories and adherents to the Declaration by United Nations, January 1, 1942, see Status of Countries in Relation to the War, August 12, 1945 (Department of State publication No. 2389), p. 9; for documentation on the Declaration, see Foreign Relations, 1942, vol. i, pp. 1 ff.
  7. On January 1, 1945, the list of eight States or Authorities associated with the United Nations in the war included Egypt and Iceland and six American Republics (Chile, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela); for data on the adherence of the six American Republics to the Declaration by United Nations, (and adherence of France on January 1), see Department of State Bulletin, January 7, February 18 and 25, 1945, pp. 17, 231–233, 292, 294.