RSC Lot 60–D 224, Box 96: US Cr Min 21 (Exec)

Minutes of the Twenty-First Meeting (Executive Session) of the United States Delegation, Held at San Francisco, Friday, April 27, 1945, 8:55 p.m.

[Informal Notes]

The Delegation went into Executive Session at 8:55 p.m.

Report on the Conference Steering Committee

The Secretary reported that he had just talked to both the President and Mr. Hull and that he felt that all in all the day had been a very successful one and that he was greatly encouraged by the events of the day.

The Secretary then gave the following detailed report on the events during the day at the long meeting of the Steering Committee.76

[Page 482]
He said that Mr. Molotov had withdrawn his proposal that the World Trade Union Congress be made an official adviser to the Conference. He said that the British, the Chinese and the United States Delegations were prepared to oppose such a proposal and that he felt that it would have been defeated if it had come to a vote.77
He said that before the meeting he had tried to persuade Mr. Molotov to accept the Eden compromise but that he had been unsuccessful. However, he said that after the meeting began, Mr. Molotov, sensing the situation, had finally withdrawn the Soviet proposal and the Steering Committee had accepted the British compromise.
He reported that the Dumbarton Oaks Proposals constituted the agenda of the Conference and that amendments to these Proposals, if they were to be considered by the Conference, would have to be submitted not later than midnight, May 4. At this point, Representative Bloom inquired as to whether counter amendments to any such amendments submitted could be made later in the Conference, and the Secretary assured him that such was the case. Representative Bloom then said that he hoped that appropriate provision had been made so that any such counter-proposals would have to be submitted twenty-four hours in advance of the time at which action upon them would be decided. Mr. Dunn assured him that such was the case.
The Secretary reported that Field Marshal Smuts had asked for speed in completing the Conference work. As a sidelight on the afternoon’s events, The Secretary reported the details of his press conference following the Steering Committee meeting and said that hereafter he would hold no more press conferences after Steering Committee meetings but only after Plenary Sessions of the Conference.
He reported that the Executive Committee had been approved as recommended.
The proposal for a two-thirds vote in the Conference on all substantive matters had been opposed by the Australian Delegation and had been deferred for later consideration. In this connection, The Secretary again mentioned that there had been great sentiment among the Delegates for, speed in concluding the work of the Conference and that he had made the statement that he was for as rapid action as could be taken, but not at the expense of producing a good Charter.
The question of the seating of the two Soviet Republics had been advanced by Mr. Molotov who proposed them as initial members of the organization. He said that Mr. Molotov, on his advice, had made only a very brief statement on the question, and that the Secretary had then endorsed the proposal and said that the United States Delegation would vote for it. He said that Mr. Eden also approved the [Page 483] proposal in a short statement and that it had been voted unanimously by the Steering Committee. The Secretary said that Mr. Molotov then raised the question of seating representatives of these two Republics at this Conference. In this connection, he said that the British Dominions were not at all helpful in the debate and it was with some difficulty that the matter had been referred to the Executive Committee for action at that Committee’s next meeting. He said that Mr. Molotov had tried unsuccessfully to have a report on this matter made available in twenty-four hours.
The Secretary reported the next major item taken up by the Steering Committee concerned the question of inviting Poland to the Conference. He said that such a proposal was made by Mr. Masaryk of Czechoslovakia.78 The Secretary had formally replied that such a proposal could not be accepted in view of the Crimea agreement. Mr. Eden then endorsed the United States position in this matter. Other countries objected to introducing such a matter into this Conference, and a motion by Foreign Minister Spaak (Belgium) on this question was adopted unanimously. The sense of Spaak’s motion was that the question of Poland did not belong before this Conference but instead was a matter for the three major powers concerned to settle among themselves.

Conversations with the President and Mr. Hull

Following this long report of the activities in the Steering Committee during the day, The Secretary also said that there were two other matters which he wished to report to the Delegation:

1. He said that he had reported on the happenings of the day by telephone to the President, who was both delighted and pleased; and that the President now felt that the Conference was off to a good start. The Secretary said that he advised the President that there was another big hurdle looming, and this involved the seating of the two Soviet Republics at the Conference, as well as the question of Argentina. He said that the President told him that if the seating of these two Republics and Argentina did not involve the signing of the United Nations Declaration, he would give the United States Delegation full power and responsibility to deal with this question as best they could when it arose.79

[Page 484]

The Secretary also reported that he had talked to Mr. Hull and that Mr. Hull preferred not to advise the Delegation in this matter. The Secretary said that he inquired of Mr. Hull as to whether he would not feel better if Argentina were merely seated at the Conference. He said that Mr. Hull, replied that he would not like it, but if the Delegation had to agree to such a proposal, of course, they would have to agree to it.

The Secretary closed this report on these two conversations by saying that the President and Mr. Hull both felt strongly that neither the Soviet Republics nor Argentina should be permitted to sign the United Nations Declaration.

Seating of Soviet Republics

The Secretary said that he felt it necessary to impress upon the Delegation the seriousness of this situation; that Mr. Molotov would press and press on the question of seating the two Soviet Republics at the Conference; that the Argentina question would go hand in hand with whatever Conference action was taken on the two Soviet Republics. The Secretary again made the point that the solution of these two questions would have to be made at the same time.

Advisers to the Delegation

The Secretary also reported that, according to his information, the Advisers to the Delegation were in a rather uneasy frame of mind, since they felt that the Delegation was not paying them the proper attention. Consequently, he suggested that he and one or two other members of the Delegation should appear before the entire group of Advisers on Saturday morning, and that the Delegation meet with them at 9:30.

The Secretary also reported that he wanted to recommend to the Delegation that Assistant Secretaries Gates and McCloy of the Navy and War Departments sit with the Delegation at all times. Mr. Stassen said he was strongly in favor of such a recommendation, and this recommendation was accepted without objection.

Soviet Republics and Argentina

Senator Connally reverted to the Secretary’s statements with respect to the two Soviet Republics and Argentina, and inquired as to whether the Secretary believed Mr. Molotov would be open to negotiation on this matter. Mr. Dunn said that he had discussed this matter with Mr. Gromyko and that he had warned the Soviet Delegation that the American Republics would bring up the Argentina question as soon as the Soviet Republics question was brought forward by the Soviet Delegation. He said, however, that at his next meeting with Mr. Gromyko, he would warn him again that continued Soviet insistence [Page 485] on action regarding the seating of the two Soviet Republics would be sure to raise the Argentina question.

Commander Stassen said that he thought that the general tactics should be that of attempting to delay action on the entire question, and to that end he thought the Delegation should give the Secretary full authority to act when, as, and if necessary. He said that he thought that his original suggestion of having the Soviet Republics seated perhaps three weeks after the Conference was too much of a concession.

Senator Connally said that despite attempts to delay action, Mr. Molotov would insist that that question of the status of the two Soviet Republics be settled before regard to the issues which might be raised on Argentina.

Mr. Dunn pointed out that it was almost impossible to organize the Conference properly until the question of the two Soviet Republics was settled, since the Soviet Delegation was insisting that these two Republics be given positions in the Conference organization. Mr. Pasvolsky suggested that it might be possible to set up an organization slate with two vacancies left for the Republics and to assure Mr. Molotov that representatives of the two Republics would be assigned to these positions whenever they were seated.

Mr. Rockefeller said that the reason that Argentina was not being brought up at this point was that the American Republics did not wish to disturb the possible success of the Conference, but that if the Soviet Government insisted on pursuing its proposal for seating the other two Republics, the American Republics would feel duty-bound to insist on the seating of Argentina.

The Secretary suggested that the Delegation should take the weekend to consider the Argentina matter and to meet together early next week to decide what course of action they should follow. As the Secretary left the meeting at the close of the Executive Session, Mr. Warren said that he wished to make clear that the support of the American Republics for the admission of the two Soviet Republics as initial members of the international organization was a gesture of support for the late President Roosevelt; that they had not liked the proposal and that they had agreed to support it out of respect and honor to him.

  1. For minutes of meeting of the Heads of Delegations to organize the Conference, 10:45 a.m., see doc. 30, DC/5(1), April 27, ibid., vol. 5, p. 81.
  2. See UNCIO Documents, vol. 5, p. 82, for report on the Soviet proposal made at the April 27 meeting; the action described herein by Mr. Stettinius took place at the April 30 meeting of the Heads of Delegations; see ibid., pp. 152154.
  3. For summary discussion regarding admission of Poland, following statement by Jan Masaryk, chairman of Czechoslovak delegation, see doc. 30, DC/5(1), April 27, UNCIO Documents, vol. 5, p. 93.
  4. In his message to President Truman reporting on developments at the Conference on April 27th (telegram 3, April 28), Mr. Stettinius stated: “At my press conference this afternoon I released the President’s letter to me directing me, pursuant to the commitment assumed by President Roosevelt at Yalta, to support the Soviet request for initial membership for the Ukrainian and White Russian Republics.” (500.CC/4–2845) For the President’s letter of April 22 to the Secretary of State, see Department of State Bulletin April 29, 1945, p. 806.