RSC Lot 60–D 224, Box 100

Extracts From the Diary of Edward R. Stettinius, Jr., Secretary of State, December 1, 1944–July 3, 19459


During these weeks I was busy arranging the big trip to Russia for the Yalta Conference10 and to Mexico City for the Meeting of Foreign Ministers.

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Pan American

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At the meeting of my Staff Committee on Wednesday, January 10th, I urged immediate action to inform the six Latin American “associated nations”11 that they might be excluded from initial participation in the forthcoming United Nations Conference, unless they declared war on one or both of the enemies and so qualified as United Nations. I suggested messages be sent at once to our appropriate Embassies instructing them to convey this information. Next day our missions in Montevideo, Asunción, Lima, and Santiago, were instructed to present the situation at once to the respective Presidents or Foreign Ministers and were advised that we had taken similar action toward all the other “associated nations” of South America. Otherwise, as I told the Staff, Stalin might have said “Let us invite the countries fighting the war and bring in the others later.”

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[Page 13]

United Nations

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On Wednesday the tenth I told the members of my Staff Committee to speed up preparation of memoranda for the President to take to the meeting of the Big-Three12.… (By January 19th, I was able to arrange an appointment with the White House for Mr. Bohlen to present the completed binder, including the ten points.13)

I told Mr. Rockefeller in answer to his question at a Staff meeting that the memoranda should not only be background, but contain policy guidance.…

On the same occasion I explained that if things went well at the Big-Three meeting, I wanted to be able to cable Mr. Pasvolsky to start the machinery for calling a United Nations Conference. Assuming the President could clear up unsettled issues, I wanted to have the make-up of the American Delegation all ready and the proposed date and place agreed upon in advance so that there would be no delay later. I passed on to the Committee my impressions from the President of how encouraged he felt about pressing the American view on voting procedure with Stalin,14 as well as his general determination to see that we actually got a world organization.

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Of course, the major matter outstanding from the Dumbarton Oaks Conference to be considered at the conference was the procedure for voting,15 … I wrote President Roosevelt on the seventeenth16 informing him the British would accept the proposed compromise formula on voting in the Security Council as sent to the Prime Minister [Page 14] some time ago. However, in a meeting which the President had with certain members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on January 11th,18 he had been said by Mr. Acheson to have gone “further than expected towards agreement with the Russian view …19 of requiring unanimity.” The President felt we would probably have to yield to the Russians on this point but that they would yield on their proposals for seventeen votes.…

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  1. The record, in diary form, of the principal official activities of Secretary Stettinius which was maintained during this period, was based on personal conversations, correspondence, telegrams, press reports, minutes of meetings, and other documents. Extracts from the record (hereinafter cited as the Diary) are limited to subjects relating to the United Nations Conference on International Organization, held at San Francisco in 1945.
  2. For documentation on the meeting of President Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Churchill, and Marshal Stalin, Chairman of the Council of People’s Commissars of the Soviet Union, see Foreign Relations, The Conferences at Malta and Yalta, 1945 (hereinafter cited as Conferences at Malta and Yalta).

    Secretary Stettinius noted in his Diary for the week of 11–17 March, 1945: “The Yalta Conference was the first meeting between the chiefs of state to which the Secretary of State had been invited and it was of high importance” that his Crimea notes be kept in the vault for a month longer so that “no breach of security should endanger the repetition of such an invitation.” His Crimea notes are not found in Department files.

  3. For list of “States or Authorities Associated with the United Nations in the War”, and memorandum entitled “Nations to be Invited to the United Nations Conference”, see Conferences at Malta and Yalta, pp. 53 and 91, respectively.
  4. The preparation of numerous memoranda on a wide range of subjects for the background information and policy guidance of President Roosevelt and the American delegation in their discussions at the Malta and Yalta Conferences (January 30–February 11, 1945), was completed on January 16, 1945. The black binder of material, the so-called “Yalta Briefing Book”, was presented shortly thereafter to the President to be taken to the Three-Power meeting.

    For four memoranda, Nos. I, II, III, and V, in a series of seven on “World Security”, see Conferences at Malta and Yalta, pp. 85 (No. I is printed on p. 85, with attachments on pp. 77 and 89), 90, 91, and 92. For memoranda Nos. IV, VI, and VII, see post, pp. 35, 37, and 38, respectively.

  5. See memorandum for the President, with attachment entitled “United States Political, Desiderata in Regard to the Forthcoming Meeting”, in Conferences at Malta and Yalta, pp. 4243.
  6. See memorandum of conversation by Mr. Pasvolsky, January 8, 1945, ibid., p. 66.
  7. For draft compromise proposal on voting, submitted at Dumbarton Oaks on September 13, 1944, see Foreign Relations, 1944, vol. i, p. 805.

    For text of proposal concerning voting procedure in the Security Council made by President Roosevelt in telegram 2784 of December 5, and for reply by Marshal Stalin telegram of December 27, 1944, see Conferences at Malta and Yalta, pp. 58 and 63, respectively.

  8. See letter of January 14 from the Counselor of the British Embassy (Wright), ibid., p. 77; for Mr. Pasvolsky’s reply, January 17, see post, p. 22.
  9. For a summary of conferences of President Roosevelt with a sub-committee of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on January 11, and of Secretary Stettinius with the Committee as a whole on January 17, see Postwar Foreign Policy Preparation, p. 384.
  10. Omission indicated in the original.