Memorandum of Conversation, by Mr. Cabot Coville of the Office of Special Political Affairs

Participants: Mr. Kapustin of the Soviet Embassy
SPA—Mr. Hiss
Mr. Coville

Mr. Kapustin called at 6:00 p.m. at his request to discuss several matters growing out of the work of the Informal Organizing Group.

In connection with the Soviet proposal regarding rotation of the chairmanship of the Conference, he said that his government proposes also that the chairmanship of the Steering Committee and of the Executive Committee rotate in the same way. He was asked whether his government’s proposal in this matter would be that the person who in rotation would under the Soviet proposal become chairman of the Conference at a particular time should at that time also be chairman of the Steering and Executive Committees. He said that he was not clear on that point. He left the impression simply that the Soviet Government desires that there be rotation among the sponsoring powers of the chairmanships of the Conference Steering Committee and Executive Committee as well as of the Conference itself.

[Page 292]

Mr. Kapustin expressed Soviet agreement with the Department’s memorandum dated April 9 entitled “Records of the Proceedings of the Conference”.74a

With regard to the Department’s memorandum of April 9 entitled “Procedures Anticipated at the Opening Session for the Reception of Delegates and at the Initial Plenary Sessions of the Conference”,74b Mr. Kapustin said that his government agrees except to (1) and (2) under paragraph 2 c, which have to do with the president and vice presidents of the Conference. He again referred to the desire of his government that there be four presidents serving in rotation. Mr. Hiss incidentally mentioned that point 1 c of the memorandum has undergone change in that it is not President Truman’s intention to attend in person.

Mr. Kapustin stated that the Soviets agree to the April 8 draft communication from the Department to the five governmental international organizations provided that such organizations be not represented by nationals of any state not participating in the Conference. His attention was called to the fact that, on the basis of a letter dated March 31 from Mr. Molotov, the substance of which had been communicated to the Department by the American Embassy in Moscow,75 the Soviet Government had not attached this condition to its previous approval of the matter and the invitations had therefore been sent out without the condition now suggested by the Soviet Government. It was also mentioned to him that two organizations, the League of Nations and the International Labor Organization, have an Irish national among the persons whom they are likely to send to the Conference.”76

On the subject of languages to be used in the Conference papers, Mr. Kapustin promised to have further information for us by Monday morning, April 16.

  1. Ante, p. 226.
  2. Not printed.
  3. Telegram 909, April 1, from Moscow; see footnote 22, p. 153.
  4. See footnote 54, p. 285.