RSC Lot 60–D 224, Box 99: UNCIO Cons. Four Pre. Min. 2

Minutes of the Second Four-Power Preliminary Meeting on Questions of Organization and Admission, Held at San Francisco, April 25, 1945, 11 a.m.

[Informal Notes]

[Here follows list of names of participants, including members of delegations of the United States (5); the United Kingdom (4); the Soviet Union (4); and China (3).]

The meeting was called to order by the Secretary of State in his office at the Fairmont at 11 a.m., April 25, 1945.

The Secretary invited the Foreign Ministers to give at any time to the Secretariat any comments which they might have with regard to inadequacy of arrangements.

The Secretary outlined briefly the proposed program for the afternoon’s opening meeting of the Conference7 to determine if it is satisfactory to all the sponsors.

The Delegations would be seated in the Opera House in alphabetical order. There would be appropriate music but no national anthems. As temporary chairman the Secretary would at 4:30 p.m. accompany the Governor of California and the Mayor of San Francisco on to the platform and call the meeting to order. In view of the wide variety of different religions represented among the participating delegations a religious invocation would not be undertaken but the Secretary would request one minute of silence. He would then say, “the President of the United States” and President Truman’s speech by radio from Washington8 would then follow. This would be followed by a word of welcome from the Governor of California (three minutes), and a similar welcome by the Mayor San Francisco. The Secretary would thank the Mayor for arrangements made. The Secretary would then speak for five minutes. On concluding this he would introduce Mr. Alger Hiss as temporary Secretary General and Mr. Hiss would outline arrangements for April 26. The band would then play appropriate music and the Secretary would adjourn the meeting.

[Page 403]

The Foreign Ministers indicated their approval of this program.

The Secretary called on Mr. Hiss to outline to the Foreign Ministers the suggested program for April 26. Mr. Hiss stated that the tentative plan is that the heads of delegations meet at 10:30 a.m. in an auditorium of the Veterans Building on April 269 and draw up a report to submit to a first plenary session10 of the Conference which would meet on the afternoon of April 26 at 3:30 p.m. in the Opera House.

Mr. Molotov asked what would be the nature of the report to be made by the heads of delegations.

Mr. Hiss stated that the report would of course depend upon the action taken by the heads of delegations, but that presumably it would consist mainly of recommendations to the Conference having to do particularly with form and in addition would include recommendations regarding commission and committee officerships and executive committee membership as discussed by the Foreign Ministers on the night of April 23.11

Mr. Hiss said that according to the proposed plan, if the recommendations of the meeting of the heads of delegations be accepted by the Conference, the presiding officer of the Conference would then speak and would be followed by the Chairmen of the other sponsoring powers speaking in alphabetical order.

Mr. Eden asked what sort of statements the Foreign Ministers would be expected to make. The Secretary said he would be delighted to supply to the Foreign Ministers copies of the remarks which he has in mind, and suggested that the Foreign Ministers should set an example in brevity of the statement in order that the other delegation chairmen will keep their remarks within reasonable limits. Mr. Molotov asked if twelve to fifteen minutes would be too long. Mr. Eden said that he feels fifteen minutes is necessary. A length of about fifteen minutes was mutually agreed to.

Mr. Hiss reported being in the receipt of request from the French to speak after the sponsors but before the other participating countries. Mr. Molotov indicated that he is agreeable. The Secretary asked whether it would not be embarrassing to single out one country for special treatment in this respect after France turns [turned?] down the opportunity of being a sponsor. Mr. Eden raised the question whether this matter might not be left to the Secretariat. Mr. Hiss stated that the view of the Secretariat is that there is no ground for giving France a special position in this respect but that he would, if [Page 404] agreeable, place the matter before the meeting of the heads of delegations to decide.12

Mr. Hiss mentioned the next item on the agenda having to do with allocations of officerships. He said that a meeting is set for 12:30 p.m. April 25 among deputies of the Foreign Ministers13 to go into the matter further. Mr. Molotov suggested that the deputies exchange views on the subject. The Secretary suggested that decision be expedited and said that Mr. Dunn has complete authority to speak for the United States on this matter.

Mr. Hiss next referred to the subject of the unofficial observers of the five invited intergovernmental organizations being nationals of non-participating countries. Mr. Pavlov asked if the question involves only one person who is an Irish national. Mr. Hiss said that according to information already known to the Secretariat two Irish nationals and a Spanish national are involved. Mr. Molotov stated that the Soviet delegation will maintain its point of view on this question. Mr. Hiss pointed out that the invitations have already been delivered14 and that the three persons are already present in San Francisco with the exception of one of the Irish nationals. Mr. Hiss added that such observers are unofficial and are subject to any limitations which the Conference may impose. He said that no specific action in the matter seems to be required of the Secretariat, but that Mr. Molotov is of course free to bring the subject up in such manner as he may wish. Mr. Molotov expressed agreement.

Mr. Hiss stated that he had informally received the information that the French Delegation will request that all speeches be put immediately into the French language which with English would be a working language of the Conference. Mr. Molotov asked why this proposal would not be acceded to. Dr. Soong stated that the business of the Conference would be unduly protracted thereby. Mr. Molotov suggested that it is necessary to convince the French that they should withdraw their request. Mr. Eden interposed that this would certainly be difficult. Mr. Molotov asked if there is not some way to meet the French demand half-way. The Secretary closed the subject by requesting Mr. Hiss to undertake to persuade the French Delegation to change its position with regard to this matter.

Mr. Hiss raised the matter of the request made by Mr. Hillman for the World Trade Union Conference to be invited to send a delegation to advise the San Francisco Conference and stated that he understood at the last meeting15 that Mr. Molotov wished to consider the [Page 405] matter further. Mr. Molotov said to accede to the request would not be a bad thing, and that it might be discussed in the Steering Committee. The Secretary pointed out that the request was to serve in an advisory capacity to the Conference as a whole. Mr. Molotov said that the Soviet Delegation has already expressed to the World Trade Union Conference its approval of its request and that therefore anything other than favorable action to it would be embarrassing to the Soviet Delegation. Mr. Eden pointed out that the request was presented before the four sponsors and that if the sponsors are not in agreement in the matter it would presumably be necessary to report the fact to the Steering Committee. Mr. Molotov approved, and all agreed that the subject should be referred to the Steering Committee.

Mr. Hiss stated that papers suggesting a tentative and informal basis of organization and procedure of the Conference were yesterday circulated to the Secretaries General of the Delegations for their consideration.16 Mr. Molotov said that it will be necessary to examine them. Mr. Hiss commented that the papers as circulated contain only points already agreed to between the various sponsors. Mr. Molotov said that he has not seen the papers and must withhold his position until he has had time to examine them. He asked further whether, among these papers, the agenda for the meeting of the April 26 Meeting of the Heads of Delegations is included, and Mr. Hiss replied in the affirmative. Copies were thereupon distributed among those present. Mr. Molotov asked what is contemplated under point 4 of the proposed agenda (i. e., Nomination of the presiding officer or officers of the Conference). Mr. Hiss replied that the inclusion of this item in the Secretariat’s paper is simply to propose that the subject be laid before the Meeting of the Heads of Delegations, and that the resultant action would, of course, depend on the decision of that meeting.

Mr. Molotov asked for an explanation of point 7. Mr. Hiss replied that when invitations to the San Francisco Conference were sent out the comments of the invited countries upon the Dumbarton Oaks Proposals as supplemented at the Crimea Conference were invited; and that such comments submitted in response to that invitation17 would logically be considered by the Conference.

Mr. Molotov asked if he might add one point to the agenda. He proposed that the question of invitations to the White Russian Soviet Socialist Republic and the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic be point 9 of the agenda. He stated that he must reserve the right to raise the question of the Yalta Agreement on the subject.

Mr. Eden stated that while he understands the Soviet Union’s goal in the matter, he would appreciate enlightenment as to how Mr. Molotov [Page 406] proposes to go about it. Mr. Molotov replied that he should like to be permitted to raise the question before the Meeting of the Heads of Delegations. Mr. Eden asked whether Mr. Molotov would expect that the question would then be referred by the Meeting of the Heads of Delegations to the Conference itself. Mr. Molotov replied that he would expect that the question might go before any appropriate body of the Conference. He requested that he be empowered to argue the question before the Heads of Delegations and if possible to obtain their support of the Soviet Proposal. He stated that he sees no reason why the Meeting of the Heads of Delegations cannot vote and act upon the matter.

Mr. Eden noted that one of the committees proposed for the Conference, Committee 2 under Commission I, would presumably be concerned with this question.18 Mr. Molotov took exception, stating that that committee will be concerned with questions relating to the Charter and the permanent organization to be set up, but that his wish is to obtain consideration of the subject of the Yalta Agreement and initial participation.

Mr. Hiss stated that it has been the Secretariat’s understanding that the agreement at Crimea relates to the initial membership of the International Organization. Mr. Molotov stated that such is not the fact, and that he wishes the point added to the agenda. The Secretary stated that the request is agreed to, and Mr. Hiss stated that the additional point as point 9 of the agenda will be immediately circulated to the Secretaries General of Delegations.19

Mr. Hiss asked for clarification as to whether Mr. Molotov’s intention is to request the Meeting of the Heads of Delegations to vote upon his proposal. Mr. Molotov replied that he sees no reason why it should not.

Mr. Molotov brought up the subject of trusteeship discussions. The Secretary commented that the American Delegation has just arrived but that Mr. Dunn and Mr. Pasvolsky are prepared to discuss the matter with the others just as soon as immediately pressing conference arrangements are completed. Mr. Molotov remarked that the Soviet representatives are ready to discuss the question even today. Doctor Soong indicated that Mr. Koo is prepared to represent the Chinese in discussing the trusteeship question. Mr. Molotov named Mr Sobolev for the same purpose. Mr. Eden said that he has no person in mind for this purpose and would presumably have to ask his Government. He added that he is not able to take a position in the trusteeship matter upon five minutes’ notice, and that [Page 407] he must insist on opportunity to refer to his Government any proposals which the United States may have in mind.

Mr. Hiss proposed that the sponsors in speaking in the afternoon session on April 26, after remarks by the President of the Conference should speak in alphabetical order. Mr. Molotov expressed agreement, as did the others.

The Secretary stated that if a single presiding officer for the Conference should be chosen it might be wise for the sponsors to be in agreement about the position of the other three Foreign Ministers. Mr. Eden said that presumably the three would be Vice Presidents. Mr. Molotov said that if the Soviet proposal for a presidency of four20 should be turned down then the position of the Soviet Delegation would become the same as that of all other delegations. The Secretary asked if the Soviet Union would definitely decline a vice presidency if offered to it. Mr. Molotov replied in the affirmative, adding that the Soviet Union would carry on as other delegations and help.

The Secretary asked for any other suggestions in solution of the problem. Mr. Eden said that the question of the presidency should be left to the meeting of the heads of delegations as proposed by Mr. Molotov.

The Secretary asked Mr. Molotov for clarification as to how he would expect his proposal of joint presidency of the Four Foreign Ministers to work in actual practice. Mr. Molotov replied that it would mean rotation. He amplified this statement by saying that one person would preside at one session, at the next session the next person would preside and so on.

The Secretary asked how the press conference would be handled. Mr. Molotov stated that no one person can be responsible for all such functions.

The Secretary stated that his instructions are to favor the choice of a single responsible presiding officer.

Mr. Molotov suggested adjournment, and the meeting concluded.

  1. For verbatim minutes of the opening session, April 25, see doc. 8, G/5, UNCIO Documents, vol. 1. 1, p. 111.
  2. department of State Bulletin, April 29, 1945, p. 789.
  3. Doc. 29, DC/4, April 26, UNCIO Documents, vol. 5, p. 50.
  4. For agenda for the first plenary session, April 26, see doc. 10, P/l, ibid., vol. 1, p. 120.
  5. For minutes of meeting of April 23, see p. 360.
  6. The matter was not considered by the Heads of Delegations; for text of first statement by Georges Bidault, Chairman of the French delegation, at the sixth plenary session, May 1, see doc. 46, P/11, UNCIO Documents, vol. 1, p. 431.
  7. Record of meeting not printed.
  8. Doc. 3, G/2, April 26, UNCIO Documents, vol. 1, p. 3.
  9. See minutes of meeting of April 23, p. 360.
  10. Doc. 25, DC/1, April 23, UNCIO Documents, vol. 5, p. 3.
  11. Ibid., vol. 3, Dumbarton Oaks Proposals: Comments and Proposed Amendments.
  12. Technical Committee 2, “Membership, Amendment, and Secretariat”; see chart entitled “Organization, Functions, & Officerships”, doc. 67, G/20, May 5, 1945, UNCIO Documents, vol. 1, p. 79.
  13. Doc. 28, DC/2 (a), revised proposed agenda, ibid., vol. 5, p. 48.
  14. See minutes of first consultative meeting of the four Foreign Ministers, April 23, 9:35 p.m., p. 363.