RSC Lot 60–D 224, Box 96: US Cr. Min. 28

Minutes of the Twenty-Eighth Meeting of the United States Delegation, Held at San Francisco, Thursday, May 3, 1945, 6:20 p.m.

[Informal Notes—Extracts]

[Here follows list of names of persons (27) present at meeting.]

The Secretary called the meeting to order at 6:20 p.m.

[Here follows report on visit of Senators Harry F. Byrd (Virginia), Homer E. Capehart (Indiana), James O. Eastland (Mississippi), and Charles W. Tobey (New Hampshire), and report on the Roper Poll of public opinion with respect to United States participation in an international organization.]

French Position

The Secretary reported that he and Mr. Dunn had had a conversation with M. Bidault, the French Foreign Minister. M. Bidault had felt perturbed about the meetings of the Big Four in which his Government had not been represented. He feared that the Big Four were trying to reach new agreements on questions not pertaining to the conference. Mr. Dunn had explained to M. Bidault that the only purpose of the meetings was to obtain agreement among the Sponsoring [Page 575] Governments on proposed amendments to the Dumbarton Oaks Proposals.79 The Secretary proposed that M. Bidault be invited to attend the meetings of the Big Four and pointed out that these meetings would probably not continue very much longer inasmuch as the Executive Committee of the Conference would begin to function more actively and tend to replace the meetings of the Big Four. Mr. Bloom asked whether this meant that M. Bidault would participate in the meetings and The Secretary replied in the affirmative. The Secretary stated, in reply to Mr. Armstrong’s question, that the Sponsoring Governments would be consulted before an invitation was extended. Senator Connally stated that he had no objection to the proposal but that he didn’t like it.

Release of Sponsoring Governments Amendments

The Secretary raised the question whether or not it was wise to present a united front among the Big Four on the proposed amendments to the Dumbarton Oaks Proposals and suggested that it might be better to introduce such amendments separately in the Commissions and Committees. Mr. Pasvolsky pointed out that it was impossible to follow that procedure because all formal proposals had to be submitted to the Secretary-General by midnight, Friday, May 4. Mr. Pasvolsky also stated that the proposed amendments could not be submitted separately because they had been worked out jointly among the Big Four. Mr. Bowman suggested that one way of explaining the matter would be to suggest that the Sponsoring Governments had consulted together on the proposed amendments in order to expedite the work of the Conference.

The Secretary asked the Delegation to review the following Draft Covering Statement for Joint Submission to the Conference of Amendments Agreed by the Four Nations:

“The United States, the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union, and China have consulted together concerning the amendments to the Dumbarton Oaks Proposals which they wish to propose for consideration by the Conference. They have agreed upon the amendments annexed hereto as their joint proposals to the Conference.

“These governments will give full consideration to proposals and amendments submitted by other countries as they come before the Commissions and Technical Committees of the Conference.”

[Page 576]

The view was expressed by several members of the Delegation that the statement should be redrafted to convey the impression that the proposals being submitted by the Big Four were to be considered merely as one group among other proposed amendments to the Dumbarton Oaks Proposals and that further amendments by each of these governments would be presented separately. Mr. Notter was requested to redraft a statement along these lines which might be presented for consideration at the meeting of the Big Four this evening. Mr. Notter distributed the following statement later in the meeting:

“The Delegations of the four Governments which participated in the Dumbartons Oaks Conversations, the United States, the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union, and China, have consulted together concerning those amendments to the Dumbarton Oaks Proposals on which they find themselves in agreement for inclusion among the amendments being proposed for consideration by the Conference.

“Such further amendments as each of these Governments may wish to propose will be presented separately. All four, Governments are now studying and considering the various proposals and amendments submitted by the Delegations of other countries as they are presented to the Conference and its Commissions and Technical Committees.”

Sponsoring Governments Amendments

The Secretary asked Mr. Pasvolsky to review the document Consultation of the United States, United Kingdom, Soviet Union, and China on the Amendments to the Dumbarton Oaks Proposals, May 3, 1945.80 Mr. Pasvolsky stated that Section I of this document from pages 1–9 contained the amendments to the proposals upon which agreement had been obtained among the Sponsoring Governments. He then asked the Delegation to consider Section III of the document beginning on page 9 which dealt with amendments which had been deferred for further study or where the position of individual governments had been reserved.

Chapter VI, Section A, Proposal of the United Kingdom.Mr. Pasvolsky stated that the British proposal to establish a category of middle-sized states whose position would be specially recognized in connection with the election of the non-permanent members of the Security Council was acceptable to the Russians, but that we didn’t like it nor did the Chinese. He felt, however, that we would be obliged to accept it. He then suggested that we amend the British proposal to include a provision which would take into account the geographic position of member states. The clause as thus revised would read as follows: “due regard being paid to their geographic position and to their contribution towards the maintenance of international peace and security and towards the other purposes of the organization”. [Page 577] Dean Gildersleeve pointed out that Canada would object to a regional provision of this character. Several members of the Delegation indicated that they were not wholly satisfied with this proposal but after brief discussion it was decided to accept it as revised.

Chapter VII, Chinese Proposal.Mr. Pasvolsky stated that the Chinese had strongly urged a provision empowering the Security Council to take enforcement action to give effect to judgments of the International Court of Justice in the event any party failed to comply with a decision of the Court. The Secretary stated that we could not accept the Chinese proposal and the Delegation agreed that it could not be accepted.

Chapter VIII, Section A, Paragraph 2. Chinese Proposal.—The Chinese proposal that non-members be required to accept the obligations of pacific settlement provided in the Charter was accepted without comment.

Chapter VIII, Section A, paragraph 4Mr. Pasvolsky pointed out that the British proposal by itself was not objectionable. He stated that the real problem arose in connection with other provisions of the proposal. Would, for example, the failure of a state to abide by the terms of settlement recommended by the Security Council constitute a threat to the peace under which the Council might then take enforcement action? He stated that both China and the U.S.S.R. supported the British proposal while we had consistently opposed it. He indicated that this proposal introduced an entirely new element in the structure of the organization. He urged that whatever our position was with regard to the British proposal we should insist on our amendment for Chapter VIII, Section B, paragraph 1.

Mr. Dulles thought that the British proposal went to the heart of the role of the Security Council. He pointed out that under the Dumbarton Oaks Proposals it had been generally understood that the Security Council would act only as a policeman and would not itself have the function of settling disputes on the basis of merit. The British proposal goes very much farther by making the Security Council the arbiter of the world. Mr. Sandifer pointed out that there was a specific limitation in the jurisdiction of the Security Council under the British proposal in that the Council could assume jurisdiction only in those cases likely to endanger the maintenance of peace and security. Mr. Bowman pointed out that when the Security Council makes a recommendation the party that loses its case will try to object to any further action, while the party which is favored will fight to maintain its position. In any event, there would be no appeal from the Security Council. Senator Vandenberg observed that this proposal collided with Senator Austin’s position. He also observed that it had nothing to do with justice.

[Page 578]

Mr. Pasvolsky thought the Delegation should oppose the British proposal. Mr. Dulles stated his belief that the small powers would object to the proposal. Mr. Pasvolsky pointed out that we were alone in opposing the British proposal and alone in supporting our proposal for Section B, paragraph 1. He stated that if we oppose the British proposal we could not hope to get acceptance of our own. Mr. Dulles suggested that we drop our proposal under Section B, 1 if the British agree to drop their proposal under Section A, 4. Mr. Pasvolsky said that a number of the small powers wanted the Security Council vested with power to recommend terms of settlement. He added that he favored the earlier British proposal under which the Council would be empowered to recommend terms of settlement when requested to do so by parties to a dispute. The Secretary suggested that we oppose the British proposal and try to retain our proposal for Section B, 1. Mr. Pasvolsky thought that the British might reserve their position if we took that approach. Mr. Dunn suggested that we oppose paragraph 4 but argue the case for our own proposal.

Mr. Pasvolsky pointed out that the agreement on the Big Four amendments could not be reached tonight because of the discussions to be held tomorrow with the Russians concerning regional arrangements. In reply to a question concerning the release of the proposals to the press, he stated that we could do that when the proposals are sent to the Secretary-General. It was agreed that an effort should be made to retain our proposal under B, 1 if possible.

Chapter VIII, Section B. Chinese Proposal.Mr. Pasvolsky stated that the Chinese proposal concerning provisional measures which might be taken by the Security Council had been deferred for further consideration at our request. After brief comment it was agreed to support this proposal.

Chapter VIII, Section B, 9.Mr. Pasvolsky suggested that a provision in this paragraph to provide for regional subcommittees of the Military Staff Committee might read as follows: “The Military Staff Committee with the approval of the Security Council may establish regional subcommittees of the Military Staff Committee”. The proposal was approved by the Delegation.

Chapter IX, British Proposal.—The Delegation agreed to oppose the British proposal to include specific reference in the Charter to the International Labor Organization in paragraphs 1 and 3 of Section A. Mr. Pasvolsky reported that Mr. Eden had said that Mr. Bevin81 would be greatly disappointed if some such provision were not included. The Secretary stated that we could not accept it and it was so agreed.

[Page 579]

Chapter X. Soviet Proposal.—After a brief, cacophonic discussion it was agreed that the Russian proposal for the term of office of the Secretary-General should be modified by extending his term of office from two to three years. No definite decision was taken with regard to the question of the eligibility of the Secretary-General for immediate reelection but it was intimated that this question might receive further attention at a later meeting of the Big Four.

Interim Economic Commission

Dean Gildersleeve reported that a proposal had been submitted by Dr. Shotwell82 on behalf of a group of consultants urging that an interim commission be established for economic and social questions. The Secretary then read Dr. Shotwell’s letter. Mr. Pasvolsky pointed out the difficulties which would ensue were a council of this kind set up, which would consist of the representatives of fifty countries and would be quite unlike the proposed Economic and Social Council for the permanent organization. He stated that there was need, however, for a preparatory commission to prepare documents for the agenda of the first session of the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council, and the Security Council. Mr. Bowman expressed the view that the creation of such an interim commission at this time, as proposed by the consultants, would lead to terrible confusion. He suggested that it was evident that there was a concern among some groups for the safeguard of their special interests.

The Secretary stated that we evidently wanted the establishment of an interim commission as soon after ratification as possible to plan for the initial work of all the organs of the Organization. He appointed Dr. Bowman and Mr. Pasvolsky to appear before the consultants and to explain the position of the Delegation. Mr. Sandifer stated that the secretariat would have a memorandum on a preparatory commission for discussion by the Delegation. Dean Gildersleeve observed that the consultants believe that the Delegation keeps pushing aside economic questions and that she thought there was some justification for their point of view. Mr. MacLeish proposed that the Secretary and Mr. Pasvolsky appear before the consultants and present the views of the Delegation at 5:00 p.m. the following day and that this be tied in with the press conference. The Secretary then inquired whether the consultants felt that they were being ignored.

Dr. Bowman thought that the proposal suggested by Mr. MacLeish would help satisfy them if a full enough explanation were given with regard to the interim arrangements proposed. The Secretary stated that the C.I.O. had indicated that they wished to be represented on [Page 580] the interim organization. Dr. Eaton said that in a conference with representatives of business and agricultural organizations expression had been given to their desire to be represented on such an interim commission. Dean Gildersleeve stated that she was in agreement with the proposal for a preparatory commission along the lines suggested by Mr. Pasvolsky.

Mr. Bloom complimented Commander Stassen on his press conference and hoped that the Delegation would get copies of the transcript.

Reports on Subcommittees

The Secretary invited the Delegation to consider the matters referred to Subcommittee in the document under consideration (p. 5). Mr. Dulles submitted the following text of an article to be inserted as a new chapter in the Charter which would replace VIII–A–1:

“Nothing contained in this Charter shall authorize the Organization to interfere with matters which [by international law]83 are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of the State concerned or shall require the members to submit such matters to settlement under this Charter. Should, however, a situation or dispute arising out of such a matter assume an international character and constitute a threat to the maintenance of international peace or security, or should a breach of the peace occur in consequence of such a situation or dispute, it shall be open to the Security Council, acting in accordance with Chapter VIII, Section B, to take such action as it may deem appropriate.”

The Delegation agreed to support the proposed text except for the bracketed clause referring to international law. Mr. Dulles reported that we were supported by the Soviet Government on this matter but that the British and Chinese Governments favored the inclusion of a reference to international law.

Mr. Pasvolsky reported that no agreement had been reached by the Subcommittee which had been working on the reference to treaties in the proposed amendments for Chapter V, Section B, paragraph 6 and Chapter VIII, Section C, paragraph 2. He stated that the United States and China were supporting a new United Kingdom proposal for Chapter VIII, Section C, paragraph 2 but that he feared that the Soviet Union would not sign a Charter with such a provision incorporated in it. The Soviet argument was that the British proposal would interfere with the sovereign rights of states. Mr. Pasvolsky stated that the Soviets were concerned about treaties with enemy countries. The Secretary observed that we could explain our opposition to the Soviet proposal for this paragraph and that another meeting of the Subcommittee would need to be held to see whether a compromise text could be agreed upon. Mr. Pasvolsky stated that the Subcommittee [Page 581] would want another meeting and that this could be indicated at the meeting of the Big Four tonight.

Dr. Bowman presented the report of the Subcommittee on Commissions under the Economic and Social Council which made the following recommendations:

Insert “cultural” after “social” in Sections A and C.
Insert new sub-paragraph in Section C after sub-paragraph (b) as follows: “To make recommendations for promoting respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.”
Section D, paragraph 1 should read as follows: “The Economic and Social Council should set up such commissions as may be required for the performance of the functions and the exercise of the powers entrusted to it. There should be a permanent staff which should constitute a part of the Secretariat of the organization.”

With reference to the third recommendation which did not spell out by name the commissions which might be established by the Economic and Social Council it was pointed out that this was in line with the position the Delegation had been taking against the naming of such commissions in the Charter. Commander Stassen stated that he thought the Delegation should press for the insertion of a provision for the establishment of a human rights commission. The Secretary suggested that Commander Stassen present his arguments in behalf of the creation of a commission for the promotion of human rights at the meeting of the Sponsoring Governments this evening.

The meeting adjourned at 7:40 p.m.

  1. In telegram 1, May 4, not printed, Secretary Stettinius informed the Acting Secretary of State as follows: “A long somewhat stormy but on the whole friendly conversation ensued. Essentially Bidault insisted that France be associated from now on with the Four-Power discussions on amendments, stating that public and official pressure in France was such that if this were not done he would undoubtedly be recalled, leaving the representation of France at the Conference to technical advisers without authority. I agreed to bring this matter up at once with the other three Foreign Ministers and not only to introduce but to support fully the French request that Bidault be included in further Big Four discussions on Conference matters.” (500.CC/5–445)
  2. Not printed.
  3. Ernest Bevin, British Minister of Labour and National Service.
  4. James T. Shotwell, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace; Consultant, United States delegation.
  5. Brackets appear in the original.