RSC Lot 60–D 224

Memorandum by Mr. Leo Pasvolsky, Special Assistant to the Secretary of State 64

Trusteeship Problem

The Yalta decision on trusteeship covered the following points:
That there will be included in the Charter provisions for the establishment of a trusteeship system covering principles and machinery;
That the question of the precise territories to be placed under that system will be discussed later;
That, in any event, the system would apply only to the former mandates, the newly detached territories and such areas as might voluntarily be placed under the system;
That, prior to the Conference, consultation would take place between the five sponsoring powers for the purpose of agreeing upon proposals to be placed before the conference.
Pursuant to this agreement, we have invited the British, Soviet, Chinese and French governments to send representatives to participate in such consultation.65 All four have accepted the invitation. It is, therefore, necessary for us to go through with the consultation, either in Washington or in San Francisco—in the latter case, prior to the organization of the Committee on Trusteeships.
The consultation can result in one of the following three proposals:
To have no discussion at the Conference itself but rather to postpone the consideration of the whole matter to some future date.
To include in the Charter a provision that, after its creation, the organization would undertake to set up a trusteeship system.
To include in the Charter the substance of the material contained in our paper, thus setting up the machinery of trusteeships, stating the objectives of the system, defining the powers and basic [Page 289] procedures in this respect of the various organs of the Organization, and leaving to future determination the following questions to be handled by means of special agreements:
Territories to be placed under trusteeship;
Designation of strategic areas;
Precise terms under which each particular territory would be placed under trusteeship;
Selection of the country to be the administering power of each particular territory;
Definition, in each case, of the respective rights and responsibilities of the administering power and of the Organization.
  1. The substance of this memorandum was presented by Mr. Pasvolsky at a meeting on trusteeships on April 13, with the Secretary of State, the Under Secretary of the Interior (Fortas), and Messrs. Taussig and Raynor, which was held to attempt to develop some proposal which might have a chance of breaking the existing deadlock. It was finally decided that the best course of action would be to place this problem before the United States delegation to the San Francisco Conference, to invite the Secretaries of War and Navy to be present at a meeting of the delegation on April 17, and, after the delegation had reached a decision, it would then be submitted to President Truman for approval. Memorandum by Mr. Raynor, summarizing the decisions of the meeting, April 13, not printed (RSC Lot 60–D 224).
  2. See telegram 2049, March 16, midnight, to London, p. 128.