Memorandum of Conversation, by the Assistant Secretary of State ( Dunn )

The Soviet Ambassador came in this afternoon at 6:30. He said that on March 13 Ambassador Harriman had addressed a note to Mr. Molotov in which he informed him that the United States Government desired to initiate consultations prior to the San Francisco Conference on the subject of trusteeship and that the consultations would take place in Washington as early as possible but not before April 1.89 He said that since then the Soviet Government had heard nothing further on the subject and desired any information we might be able to give him. Mr. Harriman’s note had also stated that documents would be forthcoming with respect to this subject.

I reminded the Ambassador that we had heard nothing from the Soviet Government in response to this invitation although the other governments who were informed at the same time, that is, the British, Chinese, and French Governments90 have already designated their representatives who will deal with this subject in Washington.

I told the Ambassador that we had not made any definite arrangements as yet with regard to the consultations he referred to and that we hoped within a few days to be able to give him further information on the subject. I said that as far as the documents were concerned that no paper had been given to us by any of the governments with whom we had taken the matter up or had presented documents on the subject to any of those governments. I said we still expected to have consultations on the matter prior to the San Francisco Conference and that as soon as our arrangements were made we would be very happy to notify the Soviet Government accordingly. I further explained that this was a matter which had been caused some delay by the death of President Roosevelt as it was a question which was being discussed with him at the time of his death. The Ambassador thanked me very much for this information and said he would await a further communication.

James Clement Dunn
  1. See telegram 2049, March 16, midnight, to London (repeated to Moscow and Chungking), concerning the Department’s proposed procedure for holding consultations on trusteeship, p. 128.
  2. A memorandum of conversation by the Director of the Office of Special Political Affairs (Hiss) on April 16 noted that both Jacques Fouques-Duparc and Etienne Dennery, of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, “stated that they wished to emphasize that they thought it would be helpful if the five-power talks on trusteeship which had been envisaged for Washington, which appeared now could not be held before the San Francisco Conference, could be held in San Francisco before any meeting of the proposed Trusteeship Committee of Commission II of the Conference.”