RSC Lot 60–D 224, Box 96: U.S. Cr. Min. 16 (Exec)

Minutes of the Sixteenth Meeting (Executive Session) of the United States Delegation (B), Held at San Francisco, Wednesday, April 25, 1945, 9:30 a.m.

[Informal Notes]

[Here follows list of names of persons (19) present at meeting.]

Polish Question

The Secretary reported that he had brought with him to this session Ambassador Harriman, Mr. Dunn and Mr. Bohlen. He indicated that he wished to discuss frankly and with the utmost secrecy the whole question of our Soviet relations, in particular our relations with the Soviet Government on the question of Poland and the problem of two votes for the two extra Soviet Republics. He said he looked upon these as two separate issues.

With respect to the Polish question the Secretary stated that he had already indicated to the Delegation what had taken place in a general way. He said our position was that the Yalta Agreement92 should be lived up to. This position, he said, had been made clear by Mr. Truman in his meeting with Molotov and Eden.93 The Secretary reported that Mr. Truman, at a second meeting with Mr. Molotov and Mr. Eden, had reaffirmed our position that consultation should take place with an independent commission. He pointed out that nothing further could be done on this question until word was received from the Soviet Government.

Admission to the Organization of the Two Soviet Republics

He explained that the specific issue he wished to consider here concerned the proposal for two votes for the extra Soviet Republics. The [Page 387] Secretary reported that he would like to read Mr. Truman’s letter, addressed to him, to the Delegation.94 The President directed that we support the proposal for admission to membership in the Organization of the Ukraine and the White Russian Republics. The Secretary then read the letter to the Delegation.

The Secretary reported that the President was only thinking of seats in the Assembly for the two Republics after the Organization was established. Mr. Bohlen said this was correct and that the admission of the White Russian Republic and the Ukrainian Republic to representation at the Conference was left open. Senator Vandenberg thought this open question would certainly be raised by the Russians. Mr. Bohlen agreed since it was logical he said, if the Republics were admitted as initial members, that representation would be asked for them at the Conference. This however, Mr. Bohlen said, was a second phase of the problem and that for the time being Mr. Molotov was dealing with the first phase of the question.

The Secretary stated that the question at issue was whether the two Soviet Republics would have seats in the General Assembly after the establishment of the Organization. With that introduction he said he would ask Mr. Dunn to make his recommendation for action on this question. Mr. Dunn replied that he would like first to refer to the terms of the Yalta Agreement on this question.95 By this Agreement it was pledged that when the Conference was held a Soviet proposal would be supported to admit to original membership in the Organization the two Soviet Republics. Mr. Dunn said his thought was that at Yalta there had been several agreements regarding the new Provisional Government of Poland, the liberated areas, trusteeship questions, and that among these was the agreement on the admission of the two Soviet Republics.96 All of these agreements he said had been made public. The question of timing arose only in connection with this one agreement on the admission of the Republics since that agreement began “when the Conference is held …”. Mr. Dunn said we would have to face the fact that the Conference is now being held and that this question would come up at the first business session. The Polish question was in a state of consultation and development and was not up for final decision or conclusion at this time. However, the problem of admission of the two Republics was before us and Mr. Dunn felt that unless we followed through and went along in full good faith to do all we could to assure the admission of the two Republics our position with respect to the other agreements reached at Yalta would be very weak.

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Mr. Eaton asked whether it would be possible for us to make the decision or whether it was not a decision of the Conference. Mr. Dunn indicated that the question was whether or not we would support the Russian proposal in full good faith. Senator Vandenberg remarked that, since this question did not involve the fate of the Conference he wondered why it needed to be settled immediately and why it could not be settled in the course of events. Mr. Dunn said that the Soviet Delegation was going to bring the question up and had in fact already told us that the matter would be brought up. Senator Vandenberg asked if any violation of the Yalta Agreement would be involved if the matter was referred to the Assembly Commission—Commission II—for decision. Mr. Dunn thought that a violation would be involved if we took steps to defer the vote on this question.

Mr. Dulles proposed that if we indicated our support for the Russian proposal then we would have to put it through. It would indicate bad faith if we nominally supported the proposal and did nothing to put it into effect.

Mr. Stassen agreed that to support the proposal without being successful would be unthinkable. He was afraid that to fail at this early stage in this way would result in the failure of the Conference. However, he thought a major problem was to secure for the proposal the support of the American people and that if this was to be done we would have to take the offensive in interpreting our decision. He said he did not wish to raise again the point that the Delegation had not been fully advised in this matter at the start. He said from one point of view this was only a minor issue and that the important thing was to proceed aggressively to find a basis for bringing in references to justice and international law and other important points and then proceed to a vote on this question. Senator Vandenberg said he agreed with this.

The Secretary commented that Mr. Roosevelt had, according to his understanding, told the Delegation of the Yalta Agreement on the Soviet Republics.97 Senator Vandenberg replied that there had been some disagreement as to what the President had actually said. The Secretary indicated that he tended to agree with Mr. Stassen’s statement. Mr. Bloom thought that we should not take on the responsibility for securing the adoption of the Russian proposal. While we should not do anything to retard it, he felt that we would be taking on an awful lot if we assumed responsibility for pushing it through.

Senator Vandenberg indicated that while he was reluctant about the whole proposal he would accept the obligation to back it, but he did not see why it was necessary to push the matter through at the [Page 389] beginning of the Conference. He thought we should be able to choose the time when we would reach agreement on this question.

Senator Connally said that if we supported the Russian proposal and failed to put it over we would be discredited. On the other hand if we insisted that the little countries should go along we would contribute to the already prevalent notion that the big countries were dominating the Conference. He wondered whether it would not be possible to settle the Russian proposals all at once. He thought that if a settlement of the Polish question could be reached it would ease the blow of this other agreement.

Representative Bloom asked at what point on the list the United States would vote since, if it led off, the impression would be created that we were trying to dominate, while if we voted later on the list this impression might not be given. The Secretary asked that a list of order of voting at the Conference sessions be brought into the meeting.

Mr. Rockefeller proposed that we should take advantage of the situation and support the Russian proposal wholeheartedly, thereby taking psychological advantage of a situation that we could not now avoid. He pointed out that the Latin American states would not be willing to vote as a bloc in favor of the Russian proposal unless Russia relaxes its position on Argentina. If the United States wants the Latin American votes for the Russian proposal there would have to be a settlement of the Argentinian question. Mr. Dunn said he did not think we could make a deal of this sort. The Secretary asked whether the Latin American countries were agreed that Argentina should be an initial member of the Organization. Mr. Rockefeller explained that they wanted Argentina invited to the Conference. They do not want to disrupt the Conference and therefore they would not push their position but they do feel that in view of the position taken in Mexico98 that it is time to admit Argentina to the United Nations.

The Secretary noted that no word had come from Molotov on the request of the Argentinian Government to be recognized. The Secretary then announced that Ambassador Harriman had come to the meeting and that he wished to have him speak on the question under discussion.

Ambassador Harriman said that since the Yalta Conference our relations with Russia had taken a very different turn. The relations of war time were now developing into the beginning of the relations of peace time, which might in part explain the change in our relations. All men who have dealt with Russia know of the Russian [Page 390] attempt to chisel, by bluff, pressure, and other unscrupulous methods to get what they wish. We also recognize that they wish to have as much domination over Eastern Europe as possible, and that as the Red Army has advanced, governments in Eastern Europe have tended to come under the domination of the army. While we cannot go to war with Russia, we must do everything we can to maintain our position as strongly as possible in Eastern Europe. Russia is building a tier of friendly states there and our task is to make it difficult for her to do so, since to build one tier of states implies the possibility of further tiers, layer on layer. Our whole position, Ambassador Harriman said, the one advantage we had, was to stand firm on our position in Eastern Europe, He added that he felt just as warmly on this question as Senator Vandenberg, and that he recommended that we be as firm with the Russians as possible.

Ambassador Harriman pointed out that the Polish question was the major question, and that we should not confuse it with the admission of the two Soviet republics to the Conference or to membership in the Organization. Ambassador Harriman indicated that the basic issue at Yalta had been the voting procedure on the Security Council, on which the Administration had taken a strong position and on which there had been no weakening. When the President had put this position up to Stalin, Stalin had agreed to accept it for the admission of the two Russian republics.99 He thought the special interest of Stalin in the two Russian republics reflected a problem of Communist control in the Ukraine and in the White Russian Republic.

Senator Connally asked whether Ambassador Harriman meant that the Russian proposal stemmed from a situation of domestic politics. Ambassador Harriman replied in the affirmative. He thought that Stalin was attempting to achieve a favorable public opinion in the two republics. He pointed out that we must face the fact that the foreign policies of the two republics would be dictated by the Kremlin, and that those republics were not autonomous. He noted that Stalin placed a great deal of emphasis upon the international recognition of these two republics, and that the question of their votes in the assembly was only a secondary one. Mr. Bowman questioned whether, on achieving two extra seats in the Assembly, it was likely that the Soviet Government would press for additional seats for other constituent republics. Ambassador Harriman replied that there was no doubt about this, and that that was the reason why the President had tied the matter of admitting the two republics to the particular circumstances of the war, in which they had suffered so heavily. It was clear, he said, that further demands would be made by the Soviet Government. Mr. Stassen asked whether the President agreed to the Soviet proposals because of the Polish quid pro quo. Mr. Bohlen [Page 391] commented that the Russian proposal was put in at the same time that the Polish question was up.

Mr. Dulles asked whether the veto power on the Security Council in questions of pacific settlement had been gained in exchange for the agreement on the two Soviet republics. Ambassador Harriman indicated that Mr. Stalin had first agreed to the voting procedure. We had felt that it was essential not to give in on the voting procedure in order to give the small states some satisfaction. In fact, he said, the question of the Soviet Republics and the problem of the voting procedure were tied together in the discussion, although Stalin had never said he would agree to our proposal if we agreed to his. The Secretary pointed out that the discussion of these two matters took place within the same half hour. Ambassador Harriman agreed.

Mr. Bloom asked why the justification was used that these Republics had participated in the war. He wondered if other republics had not suffered equally. Ambassador Harriman replied in the negative, indicating that these two republics had been invaded. Ambassador Harriman pointed out that we should not consider the question of the two Soviet Republics in connection with the Polish settlement. He said he agreed with Mr. Stassen that we should carry out the agreement which the President had made, and do it in such a way so as to avoid giving any grounds for others going back on the other agreements at Yalta. He said the question of the timing was not one on which he could pass judgment, since he was not sufficiently in touch with American public opinion. His judgment, however, was that we should announce the matter four-square to the public. In any case, he said, we were not going to get the Polish settlement at this time, even if we allowed the Polish representatives to come here for consultation. The point was that there was still the question to decide as to what kind of government Poland would have, and this would inevitably delay the whole matter. On the question of the two Soviet republics, however, as Mr. Dunn had said, we were up against a date.

The Secretary indicated that there would be considerable delay in settling the Polish question, even if Mr. Molotov heard from Mr. Stalin, since it was planned to have the leaders invited to Moscow for consultation. Ambassador Harriman explained that the next step would be consultation in Moscow, and an attempt there to reorganize the government. He said it would be a hollow victory if we had assumed that having taken the first step the whole matter was settled. Mr. Eaton asked whether if we kept our agreement, there was any guarantee that the Soviet Union would change its spots. Ambassador Harriman replied that there was no such guarantee. Representative Eaton thought that we would then have given away our position and lost our bargaining power. Ambassador Harriman indicated that [Page 392] if the question of the Soviet republics was the only issue he would tend to agree with Mr. Eaton, but that there were in fact other issues connected with this question. The Secretary thought that frank recognition should be given to the fact that there were certain military considerations that could not be discussed here. Ambassador Harriman indicated that a primary motive of the Soviet Union was to get a position as a respected nation among the family of nations, and not to go back to its former isolation. He thought that there would be many issues coming up between us and that we must be more than certain not to give Russia grounds for saying that we had gone back on the Yalta agreement. He thought we should not raise the question of the invitation to the Conference at this time, but simply live up to our agreement. He doubted that the situation would be improved if we showed reluctance in living up to our agreement.

Senator Vandenberg commented that the problem remained to satisfy the people of the United States. He said he could not escape the notion that if the first action of the Conference was to admit the two Soviet Republics the repercussions on public opinion would be desperately bad. He agreed that a contract we had made would have to be completed, but he thought it better to postpone the completion until later. He said that he did not think that Russia had done anything to help us along the way on this question. Ambassador Harriman remarked that although there were a number of actions taken by the Soviet Government with which he did not agree, he did not think it was fair to say that the Russians had done nothing. Senator Vandenberg replied that the fundamental fact was that the American public would believe that Stalin was writing the ticket.

Mr. Armstrong asked whether it was true that there were no other time provisions on the agreements at Yalta. In connection with the agreement on liberated areas, he recalled that it had been stated that when we believe that conditions are unsatisfactory we shall invoke the consultative procedure. He pointed out that we had invoked the consultative procedure in regard to Rumania,1 but that the Russians had not accepted that. Mr. Dunn said that there were two periods to keep in mind: 1, the period of military action, and 2, the period of political action. Rumania was still within the field of military operations. We would have to accept this fact just as we had made the Russians accept our position in Italy.2

[Page 393]

Ambassador Harriman said the big issue was the Polish issue and that we should concentrate on that. Rumania, after all, was an enemy country while Poland was a country which we respected and which had suffered considerably since the very beginning of the war, and was, in fact, the country over which war was declared.

Senator Vandenberg commented that the question uppermost in his mind was the American reaction. He indicated we did not have any idea whether the Russians would cooperate with us or would be bluntly hostile to our suggestions for a more liberalized amendment procedure.

The Secretary commented that the advantages would be better in getting a liberalized amendment procedure if we could get by this first hurdle. Ambassador Harriman replied that he agreed with the Secretary.

Senator Vandenberg said he thought it was about time we did not take Russian good intentions so for granted. Ambassador Harriman recommended that if Russia did not go along with us on changes that we considered fundamental in the charter of the organization, we ought to talk in a straight-forward manner, and tell the Russians to return to Russia. On a substantive question he would recommend meeting the issue head-on, but he did not like to see the Conference broken up on a relatively unimportant question.

Senator Connally explained that in any event there was not now time for a Polish representative to come to the Conference, since the Conference was upon us. The Secretary explained that we would not agree upon a Polish representative until a Polish Government was satisfactory to us, and we had recognized it. Representative Bloom asked whether the Yalta agreement on Poland was quite explicit. Ambassador Harriman replied that all decent people could understand it, and that it was very specific. The difficulty was that the Russians interpreted the agreement differently than we did. The phrase “other Polish leaders” meant to us leaders of all parties, including the democratic elements. The Russians thought that they had fulfilled the terms of the agreement if they merely brought to Moscow a few Communist stooges and non-party officials. Representative Bloom asked what had been done to carry out the Yalta agreement on Poland. Ambassador Harriman reported that there had been a half dozen meetings, lasting from three to four hours, and that careful work had been done.

Senator Connally said that if it was true that there were other considerations at Yalta that had not been made public, but that affected the Russian proposal on the two republics, then we ought to carry out our pledge at Yalta under the directives of President Roosevelt and President Truman. We should carry put their agreement graciously and promptly and not equivocate. We should not give the impression that we were not acting in good faith.

[Page 394]

Senator Vandenberg indicated that we would have to be prepared to confront the demand that the Soviet republics be immediately seated in the Conference. Mr. Dunn said there had been no agreement on the invitations to the Conference. Mr. Stassen wondered whether we should not say that while we are opposed to the participation of the republics in the Conference, we will wholeheartedly carry through with our agreement on the admission of the two republics to the Assembly.

Representative Bloom thought we had already gone on record as a Delegation in favor of the Russian proposal. He questioned the use of the two terms “original” and “initial”, and thought we should stick to the phrase “initial members”. Dean Gildersleeve said she also thought the Delegation had agreed to the Russian proposal and had announced its position. The Secretary said he thought this was true and believed we should promptly make a statement to the Russians and to the public. Senator Vandenberg indicated that while he would go along with the proposal he was opposed to doing it until some plausible excuse was developed for going along. He did not like to give the impression of being ordered around, and would prefer to have the matter come up first in the Commission on the Assembly. He believed the impact would be terrific on the American public if it was presented simply with the bald fact.

The Secretary pointed out the fact that the Soviet Government was likely to bring up the issue in the Steering Committee. Mr. Bowman thought that we might merely announce that we reaffirmed our position taken at Yalta on the Russian proposal, and then we could follow the legal procedure in discussing and getting agreement upon the Russian proposal.

Mr. Stassen indicated his opposition to an additional announcement such as suggested by Mr. Bowman, feeling that this would only increase the difficulty.

The Secretary regretted that he had to leave the meeting and that Mr. Dunn would also have to leave, and he said that he would expect the Delegation to continue its discussions. The Secretary said that he would like an instruction from the Delegation on the question under discussion. (The Secretary and Mr. Dunn left the meeting.)

Mr. Hackworth did not think that we should qualify our position, but should indicate to the Soviet Government that we were ready to comply with our previous decision. Mr. Stassen remarked that no one had raised the question of reneging, but that the fundamental problem was how the matter should be brought up. Mr. Rockefeller said that we should not forget that we had to carry this out with the American Republics, and that if we wanted to put the proposal through, we would have to have their votes. The only way he thought we could get their vote was to give in to their desires on Argentina. [Page 395] Mr. Armstrong thought this would only create a double handicap with the American people, since the American people did not want Argentina in.

Dean Gildersleeve suggested that careful consideration be given to a statement on the fundamental reasons why we had gone along with the Russian proposals, and that we could couple this statement with an announcement that we were standing firm on Poland.

Mr. Dulles thought that we might also add to this statement that the Delegation had determined that it would not favor seating the Russian republics at the San Francisco Conference. Senator Connally thought it was rather awkward to tie in the announcement of carrying out the Yalta agreement with the statement that we would not invite the two republics to attend the Conference.

Senator Vandenberg thought that any statement now, until we could produce something that we had gained in the bargain, would invite public opposition. Ambassador Harriman indicated that he would like nothing better than to have the people rise up in protest and indicate their real position, since it would be good for the Soviets to appreciate for once the reaction of the American people which he had been for such a long time trying to convey to them.

After a brief discussion, it was agreed by Mr. Pasvolsky and Mr. Raynor that the Delegation had not yet announced its own view on the Soviet proposal.

Mr. Pasvolsky pointed out that there was a real difference of interpretation of the Yalta agreement between the Russians and ourselves. While we were committed to admitting the two Russian republics to membership in the Organization, this meant to us listing them in the annex as initial members of the Organization. From our point of view the question of participation in the Conference did not arise at Yalta and is not now involved. The Russian interpretation, on the other hand, was that admission as original members of the Organization implied the right to send representatives to the Conference itself. Mr. Pasvolsky noted that there would be no problem of timing if we were merely listing the Soviet republics in the annex, but the reason that the Russians were pressing the matter was that they wanted to get the two Soviet Republics represented in the Conference. Ambassador Harriman commented that the agreement at Yalta did not imply the seating of the two republics in the Conference. Mr. Pasvolsky said that it would be tremendously difficult to avoid doing this if we lived up to our own interpretation of the Yalta agreement. Senator Vandenberg replied that if we yielded on the Russian proposal at all it did not much matter whether we seated the states at the Conference or whether we did not. Mr. Pasvolsky thought that the preferable position was to say that we did not intend to seat the two republics at the Conference. Mr. Stassen preferred to make our carrying [Page 396] through on the two Soviet republics conditional on the Russians carrying through on Poland. He wondered if this was feasible.

Mr. Bowman asked what significance there was in the stepped-up interest of the Soviets in the Economic and Social Council. Mr. Pasvolsky thought that this was not particularly related to the question of membership. He pointed out that the Russians had come a long distance in supporting the effort for a firm organization, in large part because of the prestige which recognition as a great power gave the Soviets. Ambassador Harriman agreed that the prestige factor was the predominate one, and he said he was convinced that if the Russian Delegation returned without delivering on the General Organization they would pay for it. He said it would be a serious thing for the Kremlin to face if it backed out of the Conference.

Mr. Pasvolsky pointed out that the worry of the Government over its relations with the Ukrainian and White Russian republics was evident by the fact that in military reports the armies are always referred to as Ukrainian and White Russian armies. Ambassador Harriman indicated that officers fighting on the Ukrainian and White Russian fronts are referred to by those names.

Mr. Bloom asked how a decision on the Russian proposal would affect the military situation. Ambassador Harriman did not think that it would affect the military situation either in Germany or in the Pacific.

Mr. Hackworth asked why the two Republics should not be invited to the Conference. Senator Vandenberg replied that this would be in violation of our previous agreement that only United Nations should be invited. Mr. Pasvolsky commented that it would change the character of the Conference to invite the two Republics.

Mr. Bloom asked when this question was going to come up and what the urgency was. Ambassador Harriman replied that the question would be raised probably the following day. Mr. Pasvolsky thought it might be under discussion at this very moment. He explained that what was involved was a matter of interpretation of the Yalta agreement. He thought that to give up the interpretation that we have already urged, in other words that we were willing to admit the two Soviet Republics to membership in the Organization but not to extend invitations to them, would be bad. From our view, he said, the only question was the inscribing of the names of the two Soviet Republics on the list of initial members.

Senator Vandenberg indicated that he did not think that the Secretary of State would stand for the extending of invitations to the two Soviet Republics. Mr. Rockefeller said that he thought the matter needed to be looked at as a whole and that some position had to be taken on the Argentinian question if we expected to line up the Latin [Page 397] American votes. Mr. Eaton asked whether Argentina was a United Nation. Mr. Rockefeller replied that Argentina had requested ten days ago to sign the United Nations Declaration and that nothing had been done about it. The Latin American countries, however, unanimously wanted Argentina in the United Nations. Mr. Pasvolsky noted that we did not want Argentina in. Mr. Stassen did not think that we could now invite Argentina to the Conference if we were going to give the Russians a negative reply on their demand to admit the two Republics to the Conference. Senator Connally thought the American public would be bitterly opposed to the Argentinian Government signing the Declaration by United Nations. Mr. Stassen wondered why it would not be feasible for Argentina to come in as an original member after the Organization was established. Senator Connally said that he did not even like the idea of Argentina coming in as an original member. Mr. Rockefeller said all he had in mind was that we had to keep in view the inter-connection of the two problems.

Mr. Armstrong pointed out that we must also keep in view the psychological effect on the Russian Delegation if it was presented with the double proposition of inviting Argentina to the Conference while the two Soviet Republics were not invited. He asked Ambassador Harriman what the Russians would do if the two Republics were refused representation at the Conference. Ambassador Harriman replied that the Russians would object very strongly, and that Molotov would probably pack up and go home. Moreover, he thought if we said that we could not guarantee the membership of the two republics until the Conference voted it, that the opposition of the Soviets on other issues would be greatly increased. He said that until the Soviet Government knew where it was going to come out on the issue, we were going to face increasing stubborness. Mr. Pasvolsky thought that in preference to stalling and to long negotiation on the admission to membership of the two republics our bargaining power would probably be bettered if the issue could be settled and gotten out of the way. Senator Connally asked what would happen if we voted “no” on inviting the Soviet republics to attend the Conference. Mr. Pasvolsky said that in making any decision we would have to be guided by the principle of not letting Russia walk out of the Conference on this issue. Ambassador Harriman thought that Russia would not walk out of the Conference on this particular issue but that Molotov would simply pack up and go home.

Senator Connally asked whether the Russians really wanted a peace organization. Ambassador Harriman replied that they wanted a peace organization but for different purposes than we did. Membership in the Organization, he said, would give them world prestige that [Page 398] would be useful to them in extending their relations, particularly in Eastern Europe. Senator Connally asked how badly they wanted the peace organization. Ambassador Harriman replied that if the democratic world did not meet them on the terms that they generally favored they would probably go in the direction of isolation. He thought that it was a real possibility that, if the Conference voted down their request for membership of the two Soviet Republics, they would walk out on the Conference. He did not believe they would walk out on the question of the seating of the Soviet Republics at the Conference.

Mr. Dulles commented that we must face the fact that we are not in a position to deliver the Conference vote for the Russian proposal within the next twenty-four hours. If the Conference votes down the proposal there is every reason to expect a blow-up. The Russians would accuse us of having sent Nelson Rockefeller around to tell the Latin American governments to vote against the proposal. This, he said, inevitably raises the Argentinian question. Ambassador Harriman pointed out that the Argentinian question had not been raised in any form with the Soviet Government.

Senator Connally proposed that the Secretary tell Molotov that we would vote for and support the membership of the two Soviet Republics in the Organization, but that we would not vote for or support their participation in the Conference. Mr. Pasvolsky pointed out that the Russians would say “no” to this latter statement, since according to their interpretation initial membership meant representation in the Conference. Senator Connally said he did not know how we could speak for the Conference. If the Conference voted down the Russian proposal, then no breach of the Yalta agreement was involved.

Mr. Pasvolsky noted that the presence of the Soviet Republics in the Conference had not been discussed at Yalta. Mr. Stassen asked when the question was first raised. Mr. Pasvolsky replied that it was first raised when the Soviet Government informed us of the Delegation that it wished to send to the Conference.3

Mr. Stassen said he thought we should actively support the proposal for membership of the two Republics in the Organization, and support it early in the Conference, but that we should not support the proposition that the two Republics would be seated at the Conference. Mr. Pasvolsky asked what would happen if the Soviet said “no” to the proposal; would we face a break-up in the Conference. Senator Vandenberg said that the Russians could make one issue after another like this. Mr. Bloom said the question was whether we wanted to drive the Russians home at the beginning of the Conference. Mr. Stassen urged that we live up to our agreement at Yalta so that Russia [Page 399] would not go home in a position to claim that we had broken our promise.

Senator Connally asked whether we should let them sit at the Conference. Mr. Bowman thought that this question was relatively minor and certainly was different from other more substantial questions. Senator Vandenberg asked what we intended to stand on and what we were going to surrender on. Mr. Bowman replied that we certainly should stand on the question of a more liberal amendment procedure.

Mr. Pasvolsky indicated that the question of participation in the Conference of the Soviet Republics was a relatively minor issue. He wondered whether the American public would resent this second step if, in any event, the first one was taken. Mr. Stassen pointed out that the American public had not discussed this second question, but that in fact this was now the real issue before the Delegation—whether we should support the seating of the two republics in the Conference. The other issue, he said, was already decided.

Senator Vandenberg remarked that this issue could not be settled in the absence of the Secretary, who had definitely opposed the issuance of invitations to the two republics. Mr. Rockefeller questioned whether the Secretary was fully informed on the entire background of the matter. He pointed out that in the discussions concerning the disposition of positions at the Conference positions had been left open for the two republics. Mr. Pasvolsky explained that the positions were allowed for only in the event that a decision was reached by the Conference to admit the two Soviet Republics. Mr. Stassen said the decision would have to be made within the next twenty-four hours and that the basic question was how we intended to interpret the Yalta agreement. Mr. Pasvolsky agreed and indicated that the British would probably support us in our interpretation that initial membership in the Organization meant listing in the Annex and not, as the Russians would have it, invitations to the Conference. Senator Vandenberg thought that the President would have to be communicated with.

Mr. Hackworth said that he had had a conversation with one of the Russian Delegates who had reported, when asked what position Russia would take on the nomination of judges to the World Court,4 that he would go along with the United States. Moreover, he had indicated that he did not have a very strong feeling about the continuation of the present judges, since, like ourselves, Russia had never been a member [Page 400] of the Court, and that Russia would probably go along with us on this question also.

Senator Connally reported that Russia would be greatly embarrassed at home if the Delegation returned without getting successful results, and that we had to face the fact that we must not continue simply to rubber-stamp the Russian position. Senator Vandenberg agreed that we could not make a Munich5 out of San Francisco. Ambassador Harriman thought that if we could get this one difficulty off the decks, the Russians would be less likely to be suspicious of us. He added that they would not be satisfied until there was a vote of the Conference. He added that the Russians believed us capable of intrigue and double-crossing. Senator Vandenberg said that that is precisely what the Russians do. Ambassador Harriman replied that that is perhaps why the Russians think that we are capable of doing it also. Ambassador Harriman urged that we get the issue of the membership of the Soviet Republics off the boards.

Mr. Rockefeller proposed that the over-all picture be considered rather than just this one problem in isolation. Senator Vandenberg indicated that he was willing to go along with the Russian proposal if there was something else that would help counteract the bad effect on public opinion. Mr. Pasvolsky noted that the admission of Argentina to the Conference would not help us.

Ambassador Harriman urged that before Mr. Stettinius talked to Mr. Molotov we should be determined what should be done and should stick to it. He indicated that he could think of nothing more disastrous than to back down on our position. He felt that we should allow the Soviet Republics to become members of the Organization but that whatever we decided, we should not let Russia’s threat to walk out on the Conference cause us to back down. Senator Connally said that, after all, the issuing of invitations to the Conference was a relatively minor one. Ambassador Harriman agreed that since we were giving in on the major question the decision on the minor question was less important. Senator Connally said that even if the Soviet Government would walk out, it would be better to have it walk out after we had fulfilled the Yalta agreement, and not on that issue. In that way we probably would still have the American public with us arid could then work on with other nations and could organize the Security Organization.

Dean Gildersleeve wondered if the American people would be particularly interested in the question of the seating of the Republics in the Conference, once the decision had been made to admit them to membership. Mr. Stassen said that we would be vulnerable to attack [Page 401] on many scores if we admitted the Republics to the Conference, since they are not United Nations and are not independent states. He added that if we could get a favorable Polish settlement, obtain mention of justice in the text, and achieve great flexibility in the organization, particularly in the amendment process, he would agree to the invitation to the Republics to the Conference.

Ambassador Harriman indicated that his first interest was to keep Molotov here long enough so that if he went home it would be over a substantial question. He did not like to have the departure of Molotov associated with a failure on our part to keep a promise. Senator Connally thought that this whole matter must be talked over with the Secretary before a decision could be made.

Mr. Rockefeller indicated that the Latin American votes, as he had said earlier, depended on the admission of Argentina to the United Nations. We had agreed on the procedure by which this would take place, if Argentina declared war, if she agreed to the Act of Chapultepec, etc.6 It had been agreed that the United States would recommend an invitation to the other sponsoring powers. All but this last step had been taken. Now there was considerable confusion, and Argentina, herself, was not in a position as yet to sign the Declaration. We might make the condition that we would support invitations to the Russian Republics to the Conference if they would support the admission of Argentina within the next three week’s time or so. Senator Connally asked how we could predict that Argentina would be invited by the Conference even if we asked for it. He asked Ambassador Harriman whether, if the Conference voted against us, the supposition that we had not been sincere would not operate to cause an unfavorable reaction? Ambassador Harriman replied that, if we had decided to support the Russian proposal in good faith, and if the Russians put a false interpretation on the situation, we would just have to face up to it. He agreed, however, that to be voted down would be very serious.

Mr. Pasvolsky suggested that the Secretary talk to Mr. Molotov and to Mr. Eden, and that we do not indicate our support for an invitation to the Soviet Republics to the Conference, but that we do raise the issue of the invitation. Mr. Rockefeller disagreed with the procedure on the grounds that if Russia insists on an invitation, he could not be held responsible for delivering the vote if nothing was done on the Argentinian question.

It was agreed after brief discussion that the next meeting of the Delegation would be held at 8:30 that evening. (Mr. MacLeish came into the meeting.)

[Page 402]

Senator Connally said that Mr. MacLeish wished to make a statement. Mr. MacLeish wanted to know whether the Delegates wanted to abide by their earlier decision to allow the press to come up to the corridors and be permitted to have the run of the corridors on the understanding that they would not enter the offices. General agreement was reached that this decision should be adhered to.

Senator Connally adjourned the meeting at 12:50 p.m.

  1. For agreement on Poland, see section VI of the Communiqué issued at the end of the Crimea Conference, and section VII of the Protocol of Proceedings, Conferences at Malta and Yalta, pp. 973 and 980, respectively.
  2. No record found of any meeting with President Truman attended jointly by Mr. Molotov and Mr. Eden; with regard to their separate meetings with the President, see footnote 87, p. 294.
  3. For letter of April 22, see Department of State Bulletin, April 29, 1945, p. 806.
  4. See Protocol of Proceedings of the Crimea Conference, February 11, 1945, Conferences at Malta and Yalta, p. 976.
  5. For the various agreements, see the Communiqué and Protocol of Proceedings of the Conference, ibid., pp. 968982.
  6. See memorandum of March 22 by the Acting Secretary of State to President Roosevelt, p. 144.
  7. See Resolution LIX of the Final Act of the Inter-American Conference on Problems of War and Peace, in 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, p. 183, or 60 Stat, (pt 2) 1831.
  8. See Conferences at Malta and Yalta, p. 712.
  9. See Protocol of Proceedings of the Crimea Conference (II. Declaration on Liberated Europe), Conferences at Malta and Yalta, p. 977; for documentation on the Rumanian situation, see vol. v, pp. 464 ff.
  10. For the Anglo-Soviet-American communiqué (Declaration Regarding Italy), issued at the Moscow Conference, held October 18–November 1, 1943, see Foreign Relations, 1943, vol. i, p. 759.
  11. See memorandum of conversation by the Assistant Secretary of State (Dunn), March 17, p. 132.
  12. For provisions on election of judges, see articles 5 to 14 of the Statute of the Permanent Court of International Justice in Conference Series No. 84: The International Court of Justice: Selected Documents Relating to the Drafting of the Statute (Department of State publication No. 2491), pages 2–3.
  13. For documentation on the German-Czechoslovak crisis, the Munich Conference, and agreement signed September 29, 1938, by Germany, the United Kingdom, France, and Italy, see Foreign Relations, 1938, vol. i, pp. 483 ff.
  14. For information on measures taken by the Argentine Government in accordance with Resolution LIX of the Conference of Mexico, see Department of State Bulletin, April 8, 1945, p. 611.