Minutes of the Fourth Four-Power Preliminary Meeting on Questions of Organization and Admission, Held at San Francisco, Saturday, April 28, 1945, 6:45 p.m.

[Informal Notes]

[Here follows list of names of participants, including members of delegations of the United States (5); United Kingdom (2); Soviet Union (3); China (1); Brazil (1); Chile (1); Mexico (1); and Venezuela (1).]

The Secretary said he had asked the sponsoring powers to meet with the four representatives of the Latin American countries in order to hear the requests they had to make.

Dr. Padilla said that all the countries of Latin America had been glad to vote for the admission of White Russia and the Ukraine as initial members of the Organization at the session of the Steering Committee. He said he felt that this unanimous vote was a splendid indication of unity among the powers represented here. He said in this connection he wished to refer to a commitment which had been assumed by all the Latin American countries at the Mexico City Conference in regard to Argentina. At that Conference, it had been agreed that if Argentina fulfilled certain conditions in accordance with the spirit and contents of the Act of Chapultepec then the other South American countries would accept her back into the American family of nations. He added that the Argentine had fulfilled these conditions, had declared war on the Axis, and had subscribed fully to the plans set forth at Mexico City. He said that from the point of view of the Latin American countries Argentina had taken these steps in confidence that the other Republics would keep their share of the bargain. He said he felt it would be appropriate, in view of Argentina’s action and the commitments of the Latin American countries if Argentina would be invited to this Conference as a recognition of the steps which she had carried out in good faith. He said it would be a very pleasant matter for the South American countries if this request could be treated in the same spirit of cooperation and unity which they had displayed in regard to White Russia and the Ukraine. He concluded expressing the hope that Mr. Molotov would find it possible to agree to this.

Mr. Molotov inquired “How would it be understood if we were to invite Argentina to attend this Conference and not Poland?” He [Page 487] said he thought it would be difficult to explain since Poland had suffered so much in this war and had been the first country to be invaded whereas Argentina had, in effect, helped the enemy.

Dr. Padilla answered that the Polish question had been considered at the last meeting of the Steering Committee80 and that he personally felt that since the three great powers had an agreement on the subject at the Crimea Conference it should be left to them to decide the Polish question. He said he did not feel that the other countries had any right or authority to attempt to decide this question. He went on to say that in regard to the Argentine, he felt that twenty American countries would be in a position of having failed to carry out their commitment and that Argentina could legitimately consider that she had been let down.

Mr. Molotov made a statement in which he repeated his previous arguments that both India and the Philippines although not independent countries were represented at this Conference. He said, in addition, there were a number of small nations who had no diplomatic relations with the Soviet Government but they had not objected to these countries coming to the Conference. He said that it would be impossible to explain the absence of Poland if Argentina were to be invited. He repeated his argument that Argentina had helped the enemy at least until very recently whereas Poland had been one of the first victims of German aggression. He stated that there might be no objection to Argentina if Poland were to be invited but otherwise it would be impossible to explain an invitation to Argentina.

Mr. Velloso said that as Dr. Padilla had explained, there was no comparison between the two questions. In the case of Poland, the issue was not whether Poland as a country should be at the Conference—he knew everyone warmly desired their presence—but rather the question as to which Government should be considered as representing Poland.

Mr. Fernandez then inquired whether Mr. Molotov meant that an invitation to Argentina from his point of view was conditional upon invitation to the Warsaw Government. He said he supported the view of Dr. Padilla and Mr. Velloso that there were two distinct and unconnected problems. He added that it was up to the three powers who had been at the Crimea to decide the question of the Polish Government whereas Argentina had carried out in good faith what had been asked of her at the Mexico City Conference, and that the question irrespective of which side she may have been considered on before.

Mr. Velloso then said that he regretted very much Mr. Molotov’s position and he was afraid that if Argentina was not admitted, the [Page 488] American countries would have to vote against an invitation to White Russia and the Ukraine.

Sir Alexander Cadogan in the absence of Mr. Eden, said he wished to make it quite clear that from the point of view of the British Government it was absolutely impossible to accept an invitation to the representatives of the Warsaw regime and that he did not feel the Polish question could be decided in this manner by the Conference.

Mr. Molotov stated that without an invitation to Poland, he could not agree to one to Argentina and repeated his suggestion that it be brought before the Executive Committee on Monday.81

The meeting broke up with this suggestion accepted.

  1. April 27, 10:45 a.m.; see UNCIO Documents, vol. 5, p. 93.
  2. April 30.