RSC Lot 60–D 224, Box 96: U.S. Cr Min 19

Minutes of the Nineteenth Meeting of the United States Delegation (A), Held at San Francisco, Thursday, April 26, 1945, 8:40 p.m.

[Informal Notes]

[Here follows list of names of persons (28) present at meeting.]

Senator Connally presided during the absence of the Secretary.

Trusteeship System. Mr. Pasvolsky announced that agreement had been reached on a draft of a proposed trusteeship system, with the exception of three minor suggested changes in the draft before the Delegation. (Arrangements for International Trusteeship (D–1o47)). It had been pointed out that in Note 2 of the document the wording required revision since if the trusteeship plan were to be included as a chapter of the Charter of the Organization, the provisions of the Charter would have to be modified in order to accommodate the trusteeship provisions. Therefore the wording of the note should read that the Charter would have to be harmonized with the trusteeship provisions. He also noted that with respect to paragraph 3 of the draft it had been suggested that a statement be added to this effect: “It would be a matter for subsequent agreement as to which territories would be brought under a trusteeship system and upon what terms”. This, said Mr. Pasvolsky, would be consistent with the Yalta agreement,48 and there would be no objection to adding a sentence of this nature. The sense of this statement, however, was already implicit in the wording of the draft document as would be noted in paragraphs 1, 3, and 4. While there would be no objection to adding this sentence, there is a question as to whether the addition of a statement of this nature would be good for negotiations on the document.

Representative Bloom raised a question as to whether the proposed trusteeship draft ought not to be taken up point by point, in order that the discussion might bear upon the merits of the plan. Mr. Pasvolsky replied that he had assumed that the Delegation had studied the plan and would be ready to discuss it. Senator Connally suggested that Mr. Pasvolsky might present a five-minute summary analysis of the draft. Senator Vandenberg suggested that Mr. Pasvolsky might take a territory as an example and trace the working of the plan for the benefit of the Delegation.

Mr. Pasvolsky then undertook a paragraph-by-paragraph analysis of the draft document. With respect to paragraph 1, which he read, he pointed out that the phrase “by subsequent agreement” in this paragraph should be interpreted to mean that no territory could be [Page 446] placed under the trusteeship system except by agreement among the states concerned, subsequent to the establishment of a trusteeship system.

Representative Bloom queried as to what would happen to a mandate if no “subsequent agreement” respecting it would be made. Mr. Pasvolsky replied that in that case the particular territory could not be placed under the system. Representative Bloom expressed the view that this would seem to be entirely different from the original conception of the mandated territories.

Recapitulating, Mr. Pasvolsky stated that the first point is that territories would be placed under the trusteeship system only by agreement among the states directly concerned. The second point is, he stated, a statement of the objectives of the trusteeship system. He read paragraph 2 of the draft. These objectives, explained Mr. Pasvolsky, would be applied in each territory placed under trusteeship in accordance with the trusteeship arrangement for that particular territory. In paragraph 3, which he read, he pointed out that there is a limitation in the form of a statement of the three categories from which territories to be placed under trusteeship may be drawn. He cited a Japanese territory as an example in point for category A on the one hand with respect to the Japanese mandated islands and for category B with respect to Japanese territory other than that under mandate which might be detached from Japan at the end of this war. These three categories of territories, Mr. Pasvolsky observed, were set forth in the Yalta agreement. Mr. Pasvolsky read the relevant passage of the Yalta agreement: “It was further agreed that no discussion of the specific territories will take place during the preliminary consultations on trusteeships or at the United Nations Conference itself. Only machinery and principles of trusteeship will be formulated at the Conference for inclusion in the Charter, and it will be a matter for subsequent agreement as to which territories within the categories specified above will actually be placed under trusteeship.”

Senator Vandenberg asked who would make the agreements, and Mr. Pasvolsky replied that the answer would be found in paragraph 4 which refers to the “states directly concerned”. Continuing, Mr. Pasvolsky remarked that the negotiation of the agreements with respect to the mandated territories, for example, would presumably be among the nations concerned with the mandatory system, that is, the Principal Allied and Associated Powers.

Senator Connally asked what role Japan would play in this agreement, and Mr. Pasvolsky explained that Japan and Italy would be required by the peace treaties to renounce all of their rights in these territories. Mr. Pasvolsky continued with an explanation of category [Page 447] B of paragraph 3. The Italian colonies to be detached at the end of this war and any Japanese territory which would be taken away from Japan, for example, would involve negotiations based upon any arrangement to which the United States would agree in the peace treaties with these nations. The question as to what disposition would be made of such territories, under whom they would be placed, is not yet settled, of course, and there is an open question as to whether Great Britain, the Soviet Union and the United States as Principal Allied Nations would make the decisions, whether China would be included, or the United Nations outside of Europe would be included—these questions are not yet settled.

Mr. Gates observed that it should not be assumed that the mandated territories would be turned over to trusteeship.

Representative Bloom inquired whether it had not been decided in the Delegation that a distinction should be recognized as between territories of economic importance and territories of strategic importance. Mr. Pasvolsky pointed out that this distinction had been made and was recognized in the draft document, which carried special provisions affecting the strategic territories.

Mr. Pasvolsky then read paragraph 5 of the draft document without comment and continued by reading paragraph 6. With respect to paragraph 6 he emphasized that some of the territories under the trusteeship system may be designated in whole or in part as a strategic area or areas. Paragraphs 7, 8, and 9 were then read by Mr. Pasvolsky, and with respect to the last paragraph he pointed out that the idea was that in formulating the composition of the Trusteeship Council the nations administering trust territories would be permanently on the Council.

[Mr. Stettinius arrived at this point, accompanied by a photographer. After the pictures were taken the meeting was resumed.]49

Discussion was held as to whether the Delegation should go into executive session at this point or continue its discussion of trusteeship. Mr. Stettinius inquired how long the trusteeship discussion might take. Representative Bloom pointed out that it was just getting underway, and Mr. Pasvolsky had not yet completed reading and commenting on the draft. Mr. Gates stated that the military advisers had had no opportunity to comment and wished a hearing. Representative Bloom observed that Congress was very much interested in this question, that a number of Congressmen had introduced resolutions on the subject recently, and that some time should be taken to discuss the matter thoroughly in the Delegation.

Senator Connally stated that it would be hard on the advisers to have to leave the meeting again, but it could not be helped. Governor [Page 448] Stassen moved that the meeting go into executive session. This was agreed upon, and Secretary Stettinius informed the advisers on trusteeship that he did not think the executive session would take very long, perhaps 20 to 25 minutes.

[Following the executive session,50 discussion on trusteeship was resumed at 10:35 p.m.]50a

Mr. Pasvolsky suggested that the three changes in the draft proposal recommended by the Secretaries of War and Navy had been accepted. The three changes involved: (a) a rewording of the explanatory note 2 at the beginning of the document to read, “If this draft is to be included as a chapter of the Charter of the Organization, the relevant paragraphs and clauses of the Charter would require revision in order that they might be brought into harmony with the trusteeship provisions.” (b) the addition of a statement in paragraph three to the effect that “it would be a matter for subsequent agreement as to which territories would be brought under a trusteeship system and upon what terms”; and (c) omission of the words “by the Organization” in line 4 of paragraph 4 (D–lo).

These suggested changes were agreed upon.

Senator Vandenberg suggested that an example of what would happen under the proposed system with respect to a particular territory should be given.

Admiral Willson explained in outline the process of negotiation with respect to a given island. He stated that the nations directly concerned with that island, which in the case of the Japanese mandated islands, would be the Principal Allied and Associated Powers and in which the United States would have a veto power, would agree that the territory would be placed under the trusteeship system and would work out the particular arrangements which would apply to that territory. If the arrangements provided that the territory was to be designated us a strategic area the arrangements would be presented to the Security Council, if not, to the General Assembly. Until the trusteeship arrangements were agreed upon nothing could be done to place the territory under the trusteeship system. Admiral Willson further pointed out that as a permanent member of the Security Council the United States would also have a veto vote in that body.

Senator Connally inquired if under this system the United States would be “free to make agreements”. Admiral Willson replied affirmatively but pointed out that an assumption would have to be made with respect to the negotiation of satisfactory peace treaties, since the territories taken from enemy states would be involved in the peace treaties. He pointed out that nothing about the peace treaties could be undertaken in this document.

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Senator Vandenberg inquired whether this could be taken to mean that nothing in the draft of the proposed trusteeship system would hamper the United States in negotiating the peace treaties. Admiral Willson replied that the proposed system would not hamper the United States in the peace treaties, and that the United States would have a free hand in the negotiation of treaties, strengthened by the fact that with respect to the Pacific islands in which the United States is interested the United States is in possession. He emphasized that nothing could be done with respect to such territories without the agreement of the United States and reiterated the importance of the veto vote of the United States in the Security Council. It was for this reason, he stated, that the strategic areas were placed under the Security Council in the draft proposal.

Senator Vandenberg stated that he would like to take up the matter of island “X” and that he would then be through with his questions. He asked what would be the situation if our military people decided that island “X” is strategically necessary, and we are in physical possession of the territory. When negotiations are entered into with respect to the peace treaties affecting this island “X”, would there have been any prior commitment which would prejudice the question of our control or which would require any special negotiations affecting our right of control?

Admiral Willson replied that this would depend entirely on the peace treaty and would not involve the proposed trusteeship system, since this system would make no prior commitments on the part of anybody with respect to any territory. There is nothing in the proposed trusteeship system, he continued, which would prevent the United States from obtaining outright possession of any territory. Our hands would be completely free in so far as the trusteeship system is concerned in this matter. If, however, it should be decided that territory “X” would be placed under the trusteeship system, then the procedures required in this system as outlined previously would be invoked. If we, as one of the powers directly concerned, decided that territory “X” should be placed under trusteeship, then nothing could happen.

Senator Vandenberg inquired further whether there was anything in the draft proposal which would prevent the United States from taking an island outright. Admiral Willson answered that there was not, and that the proposed system would apply only to those territories which would be specifically placed under it. Governor Stassen remarked that it would be a matter of our own national policy as to whether a territory would be placed under the system or kept out of it, and that this would be the case with respect to the Japanese islands. He stated, however, that he would personally hope that the United States would place such territories under the trusteeship system, since [Page 450] in its present form it incorporated full safeguards with respect to areas essential to our security.

Senator Connally inquired whether there were any reservations with respect to the proposal on the part of the Army and Navy. Governor Stassen pointed out that the three amendments offered by the Army and Navy had been accepted and would be incorporated in the draft.

Mr. Gates explained that the Army and the Navy were in agreement with the proposal if the three small changes suggested were made. Since they had been accepted on that basis he could say that the plan would be acceptable to the Army and Navy.

Senator Connally inquired whether this statement ought not to be interpreted as meaning that the Army and Navy were accepting this proposal because they were unable to do anything better.

Mr. Gates replied that the Army and Navy would prefer that the subject not be discussed at this time but that if for political or other reasons it had to be discussed at this time the proposal was acceptable.

Governor Stassen pointed out that this position would be going behind the policy clearly fixed by the President.

Mr. Pasvolsky gave reassurance that the draft proposal was entirely within the framework of the President’s directive.

Mr. Pasvolsky went on to inform the Delegation that the question of trusteeship had come up in the Steering Committee at its meeting this morning51 and that the heads of two of the delegations had raised the question as to whether trusteeship would be discussed and had suggested that there would be trouble if it were not discussed. They also intimated that it would be unacceptable to try to pin the discussion down exclusively to the security question. Mr. Pasvolsky stated that he did not know what the reaction of the other governments would be to this paper, but that he would like to recommend it as a basis for discussion. This recommendation was accepted and the paper was approved.

Governor Stassen stated the feeling that the technical experts and advisers who had worked on the trusteeship subject had done a fine job on an extremely difficult subject. He considered the report a significant contribution to the Charter of the Organization.

Senator Connally observed that a motion had been made to approve the document and inquired whether it was satisfactory to Dr. Bowman. Dr. Bowman replied that he accepted it.

Senator Connally stated that it had been suggested during the afternoon that he should be on the negotiating committee for this document, but that he would like to renege. Senator Connally inquired of Governor Stassen whether he would like to substitute for him. Governor [Page 451] Stassen replied that lie would have no objection, but that arrangements with respect to his other assignments would have to be made.

Senator Connally inquired if General Embick concurred in the acceptance of the proposed trusteeship draft. General Embick replied affirmatively and added that the Army and Navy feel that there are two essential bases for our security—hemispheric solidarity and control of the necessary islands in the Pacific.

Senator Vandenberg inquired of General Embick whether he was aware that we are engaged in creating a world organization and wondered whether this might be the source of trouble over this document.

General Embick responded that he had believed in the League of Nations and in world order, but that he believes there was more chance for the League of Nations to endure than for a new world organization to endure.

General Embick stated that there is too much chaos in the world of today. He felt, however, that the people in America would give the new world organization full support, but the American people must recognize the extent of the chaos in the world and the lack of common standards of value. Therefore, the American people must keep a sharp lookout for United States interests. In 1918, he stated, the military people did all they could to keep the Pacific islands from being mandated to Japan, and later to prevent their fortification. He pointed out that the American military leaders had made plans for defense of the Philippines which they knew were hopeless. He stated that they had told the President when Japan took those islands that all the military could do at Corregidor would be to continue to fly the American Flag as a matter of national prestige. If the United States is to be adequately protected, he said, we must have an entire chain of island bases.

Admiral Willson called attention to the fact that the trusteeship plan as now formulated falls under both the Security Council and the General Assembly. Therefore, he felt that there might be an organizational problem in that the draft proposal would actually need to be considered by two committees of the Conference. Senator Connally pointed out that the classification of territories was based on islands that we had need of for strategic purposes and those which were not needed for such purposes.

Mr. Pasvolsky explained that consideration had been given to the question of Conference organization during the afternoon, and that a statement had been made to the effect that in some instances there would be unavoidable overlapping and that this would be taken care of.

Mr. Pasvolsky’s recommendation that the draft proposal incorporating the three changes suggested by the Secretaries of War and Navy be adopted as the negotiating document was approved.

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Mr. Pasvolsky announced that there were some economic matters outstanding which ought to be discussed for three quarters of an hour the next morning and inquired whether it would be possible for the Delegation to meet at 9:50 on Friday morning, April 27. This was agreed upon.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:15 p.m.

  1. Not printed; see draft text (D 1–p), April 26, p. 459.
  2. Conferences at Malta and Yalta, p. 977.
  3. Brackets appear in the original.
  4. For minutes of the executive session, 9:05 p.m., see infra.
  5. Brackets appear in the original.
  6. Doc. 29, DC/4, April 26, UNCIO Documents, vol. 5, p. 50.