RSC Lot 60–D 224, Box 99; UNCIO Cons. Four Min. 3

Minutes of the Third Four-Power Consultative Meeting on Charter Proposals, Held at San Francisco, May 3, 1945, 9:40 p.m.

[Informal Notes—Extracts]

[Here follows list of names of participants, including members of delegations of the United States (13); United Kingdom (4); Soviet Union (4); and China (4).]

1. Celebration of V–E Day

. . . . . . .

2. France’s Participation in Four Power Discussions

Mr. Stettinius said that M. Bidault had called on him to express his regret at not participating in the conversations which he had heard were being held among the Four Delegations. Mr. Stettinius, in reply, had first expressed regret that France was not a sponsoring power and then proceeded to say that of course the heads of the four delegations had held discussions, as was only natural. M. Bidault had then asked if he might join the meetings. When Mr. Stettinius requested [Page 582] the views of the others, no objections were expressed to inviting the French to join the talks. Mr. Stettinius remarked that in any case after May 4 there would not be many occasions on which meetings of the big powers would be necessary. When Dr. Soong raised the question of France’s participation in the meetings of the Four Presidents of the Conference, Mr. Stettinius said that this had not come up but he thought he could handle it; there was no comment.

3. Status of Consultation

. . . . . . .

4. Domestic Jurisdiction

At Mr. Stettinius’ request Mr. Dulles presented a report from the subcommittee on domestic jurisdiction. The subcommittee had agreed that the exception for domestic jurisdiction should cover not only the peaceful settlement of disputes, but should apply to the whole Charter except for threats to the peace, breaches of the peace and action with respect thereto. He submitted a report in this sense, pointing out that the only pointed issue was the inclusion of the words “by international law”. The United Kingdom and China were inclined to include them but the U.S.S.R and U.S. representatives on the subcommittee had preferred to exclude them due to the difficulty of establishing when a matter is by international law under domestic jurisdiction.

Dr. Soong expressed his approval of the Committee’s draft with the reference to international law included. Mr. Molotov preferred to keep paragraph 7 of VIII, A, intact. Mr. Eden , commenting that he preferred a “shade to a blank” and that international law is now only a shadow but may grow stronger, preferred to include reference to it. After Senator Connally had said that he agreed with Mr. Molotov, Mr. Eden commented that the words “by international law” are in the Dumbarton Oaks Proposals and that he agreed with Dr. Soong in desiring to keep them. After Mr. Stettinius had read the original paragraph 7 of VIII, A, Mr. Eden said that he was puzzled as he had understood that all had agreed on the new paragraph and that the only disagreement was over “by international law”. To this Mr. Stettinius replied that Mr. Molotov had now reconsidered his position. Senator Vandenberg indicated a preference for the old paragraph with the words “by international law” and Mr. Eden replied that if it was necessary to choose he preferred the new proposal without the reference to international law to the old one with it. Mr. Molotov replied that the new draft will make the matter obscure.

Thereupon, Mr. Dulles , speaking at the request of Mr. Stettinius, said that the exemption for domestic jurisdiction should cover the whole charter, as the matters to which it applies are not limited to [Page 583] VIII, A. Mr. Eden then said that he would concur with the U.S. and U.S.S.R. position on a new paragraph without the words “by international law”, and, in reply to Mr. Molotov’s inquiry as to why there should be a departure from the good old Dumbarton Oaks language, said “because we have all agreed to.” Mr. Molotov reiterated his preference for the old paragraph, indicating that he did not care one way or the other about the inclusion in that case of the phrase “by international law”. Mr. Eden then said that Mr. Dulles would explain the reason for the change and Mr. Dulles laughed.

Sir William Malkin undertook to answer Mr. Molotov’s question by an illustration: The third paragraph of Chapter II provides for settlement of disputes by peaceful means and the U.K. desire to have the language about domestic jurisdiction cover this point. From the points of view of countries anxious on this point, the new text is better. When Mr. Molotov inquired in what respect it was better, Sir William Malkin said that it was better because it covers this and other similar points. Senator Vandenberg commented that under the new text, a state has a larger option to reserve domestic jurisdiction and Mr. Pasvolsky added that in the new form and location it applied even to Assembly discussion. When Mr. Stettinius put the question as to whether or not to accept the subcommittee recommendation, Dr. Soong inquired whether agreement had not been reached on the new text, and after Mr. Eden said he had thought so, both of them indicated a preference for the new with the words “by international law”. Mr. Molotov repeated that he saw no reason to change but he thought the reference to international law in paragraph 7 of VIII, A, might be thrown out. Upon Mr. Stettinius’ request for his suggestion as to the way to settle the difference, he replied he would leave it as it is in the Dumbarton Oaks Proposals except for the words “by international law”. Mr. Stettinius commented that this had been the original suggestion by the U.S.84 Mr. Dulles , after Mr. Stettinius had restated Mr. Molotov’s position, said that he did not think this proposal was as good as the revision.

After further discussion and an inquiry by Mr. Stettinius as to whether the four wished to refer the matter back to the subcommittee, Mr. Eden clarified his understanding as follows: (1) under the old text domestic matters might be considered international issues except under one chapter (VIII–A); (2) under the new text domestic matters were generally protected. That is why he preferred the new paragraph.

Mr. Molotov thought the amendment led in exactly the opposite direction, but Mr. Stettinius agreed with Mr. Eden. After further [Page 584] discussion in which Mr. Molotov remarked that he was afraid the new text might permit interference in the relations between the U.K. and India, and Mr. Eden had said that he wanted the new language to remove just such a possibility, Mr. Eden summed the matter up by saying that there appeared to be agreement on what was wanted, to which Mr. Molotov nodded affirmatively. Before it was agreed to send the matter back to the subcommittee, Mr. Stettinius restated the U.S. position and Mr. Eden concurred in this.

5.* Revision of Treaties

Mr. Stettinius reported that the subcommittee had not yet agreed and was going to meet again the next day. He suggested that this subject therefore not be discussed by the four for the moment and then inquired whether it was the understanding of the other three that if the four failed to reach agreement, they would act independently and separately in the committees. Dr. Soong and Mr. Molotov said yes and Mr. Eden said, “yes—reluctantly”.

6. Economic and Social Council

After Mr. Stettinius had introduced this subject by saying that there appeared to be a substantial measure of agreement, Mr. Bowman reported from a subcommittee. He said that all were agreed on the inclusion in Chapter IX, Section A, paragraph 1, and Section C, paragraph 1 (c) of the word “cultural”. The U.S.S.R, and the U.K. with Chinese support wished to insert a new paragraph after C1 (a) relating to respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. As to Section D, paragraph 1, the U.K., the U.S.S.R., and China were opposed to spelling out the reference to several commissions. He read the new text, showing the changes, including insertions pointing out the changes and stating that their effect was to give greater prominence to human rights and fundamental freedoms. Dr. Bowman then said that the U.S. Delegation prefers to specify in Section D, paragraph 1, reference to economic, social and other activities and to the promotion of human rights. When Mr. Attlee said that he had not yet seen the latest U.S. proposal as read by Dr. Bowman, the latter explained that the U.S. Delegation had not agreed on it until 8:00 o’clock.85 Mr. Attlee then said that he preferred this language; he did not want to mention commissions but this language was all right. All agreed on the Bowman report and Mr. Stettinius said that that ended the subcommittee report.

7. Basis of Selecting Non-Permanent Members of the Council

Mr. Stettinius said that the next question was that of inserting some qualifications with respect to the election of non-permanent members [Page 585] of the Council in Section A of Chapter VI, and restated the earlier positions of the four delegations.86 Mr. Eden stated that the U.K. Delegation had a new proposal which he proceeded to read. Mr. Stettinius thought this a very good proposal and then when Dr. Soong said he preferred the words “equitable geographical distribution” both Mr. Eden and Mr. Stettinius approved the change.

Mr. Molotov thought that contribution towards the maintenance of peace and security and geographical distribution should not be put on the same plane and therefore proposed insertion of the words “and also” between the two clauses and the omission of the symbols (A) and (B). When Mr. Dunn inquired why the words “in the first instance” were inserted, Mr. Molotov explained that it was because the contribution to peace and security should come first. Mr. Dunn then said that he thought the U.S. should reserve its position, but Mr. Stettinius said it was necessary to reach a decision and asked whether the two factors could not be put on the same plane. Mr. Pasvolsky commented that some nations are interested in one criterion, some in another, to which Mr. Eden replied that everyone should be interested in the first criterion. Mr. Stettinius withdrew his objection and Dr. Soong his reservation, and all agreed to the U.K. Proposal as modified by Dr. Soong’s and Mr. Molotov’s amendments.

8. Eights of Non-Member States

Mr. Stettinius stated that the U.S. withdrew its reservation to the proposed Chinese proposal for an addition to paragraph 2 of VIII, A, respecting the requirement that non-member states accept the obligations of peaceful settlement provided in the Charter. Mr. Molotov also withdrew his objections and this amendment was therefore agreed to.

9. Security Council Recommendations of Terms of Settlement

In introducing the discussion of the U.K. Proposal for an addition to paragraph 4 of VIII, A,87 Mr. Stettinius expressed regret that U.S. still could not accept the change. To this Mr. Eden (or another U.K. spokesman) commented that this is a very important matter.

Mr. Pasvolsky then explained that this introduced a new element into the picture: to give the Council the power to recommend terms of settlement on its own alters the scheme laid down in Dumbarton Oaks, and extends the Council’s powers very considerably. He thought it would lead to great difficulty. Mr. Eden in reply said that what worried him was that the Council would not be able without this amendment to do as much as it should. He thought it ought to go just as far as possible in the realm of peaceful settlement. [Page 586] Sir William Malkin added that it is not true that this introduces something new. If under 4 as it stands, the Council does not have this power of recommending terms of settlement, paragraph 4 has no meaning, for all the Council can do is to recommend to the states that they use arbitration or other means of peaceful settlement, and the Council can already do this under paragraph 5.

Mr. Pasvolsky replied that in writing paragraphs 4 and 5 at Dumbarton Oaks, they had introduced a progression. He explained his own understanding of this progression and added that they had stopped short of permitting the Security Council to recommend terms of settlement because they did not wish it to take the still further step of imposing a settlement. The U.S. Delegation was not prepared to go so far as to permit the imposition of settlement and Mr. Pasvolsky said he took it that the U.K. was not, either. He thought it bad to permit the Council to recommend terms of settlement without giving it the powers to impose its terms; this would weaken the Council. As matters now stand the Council can in any case take enforcement action if the dispute is not settled.

Mr. Molotov announced that he would accept whatever the U.K. and the USA Delegation could agree upon. Dr. Soong wanted to consider the matter further.

After Mr. Eden had mentioned the Senate, indicating his great respect for it, Mr. Stettinius said that this matter could not be settled now. When he added that he felt it was one on which the four powers would have to go their own ways, Mr. Eden said that he hoped this would not be the case.

10. Amendment to Paragraph 1 of Section B, Chapter VIII

After Mr. Stettinius had recapitulated the different positions with respect to the proposal for introducing a reference to paragraph 4 of Section A into paragraph 1 of VIII, B, Mr. Pasvolsky stated that the U.S. feels this would be very broad and inquired whether the U.K. Delegation felt that this would permit the imposition of a settlement. Mr. Jeeb (U.K.) replied that VII, B, limits the Council to enforcement action. When Mr. Pasvolsky inquired whether he was right in interpreting this as meaning the Council could not go beyond military action to impose a settlement, Mr. Eden said that he considered the imposition of a settlement as falling short of military action.

After further discussion it was agreed, on Mr. Stettinius’ proposal, that this matter be carried over and be considered later in connection with the U.K. amendment to paragraph 4 of VIII, A.

11. Provisional Measures

Mr. Stettinius stated that the U.S. Delegation now accepts the Chinese proposal to insert a new paragraph regarding provisional [Page 587] measures between paragraphs 2 and 3 of Chapter VIII, Section B. This amendment is now therefore agreed upon by all four powers.

12. Subcommittees of the Military Staff Committee

In introducing the question of subcommittees to the Military Staff Committee, Mr. Stettinius called upon Mr. Pasvolsky , who said that the U.S. would accept the addition at the end of paragraph 9 of VIII, B, of a sentence reading “The Military Staff Committee, with the authorization of the Security Council, may establish its own regional subcommittees.” This was agreed upon by all four.

Upon Mr. Molotov’s inquiry as to whether that finished the items relating to Chapter VIII, Mr. Pasvolsky said it did except for the amendment to paragraph 2 of Section C, which was still in subcommittee.

13. Specific Reference to the International Labor Organization

Mr. Stettinius stated that the U.S. views respecting the U.K. proposal to insert specific reference to the International Labor Organization remained the same, that is, the U.S. was opposed.

Dr. Soong said that this amendment was too sweeping. After Mr. Eden had said that each country could reserve its own position on this, Mr. Molotov inquired whether the subcommittee had discussed it. When Mr. Stettinius said it had, Mr. Eden inquired of the other three whether it was true that none of them liked the U.K. proposal. Mr. Molotov indicated that in view of the subcommittee’s position there was no point in referring the matter again to a subcommittee and asked whether the others would like to discuss the question hi the big four at this time. He said that he agreed with the U.S. and Chinese delegations in opposing the amendment. Then Mr. Eden reiterated that the U.K. would reserve its position to bring the proposal up in the Conference committee. Mr. Molotov asked if it was true that there was no intention to reorganize the ILO, and Mr. Attlee replied that that was correct, but that there would be some improvement and then it would be transferred to the new organization. When Mr. Molotov asked whether the present structure is sacrosanct, Mr. Eden said it was not but that the ILO would do its own reorganizing. He added that the U.K. hoped it would take its place in the new world organization. Mr. Attlee emphasized that the ILO is an existing autonomous body with its own constitution.

In reply to Mr. Eden, Mr. Molotov pointed out that the ILO cannot be brought in completely sis the U.S.S.R. is not a member of that body. Mr. Eden said he realized that and that it was most unfortunate.

The discussion at this point was brought to a close by Mr. Stettinius saying that the consultation was now ended and that he understood the U.K. would go its own way on this matter. This was agreed on.

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14. Election of the Secretary General and Deputies

Mr. Stettinius introduced the question of the Soviet amendment to Chapter X by reviewing its status and then announcing that the U.S. was ready to state its position but before doing so desired to call on the Chinese Delegation. Dr. Soong parried the question by asking the U.S. position and Mr. Stettinius eventually said the U.S. favored a three-year term for the election of a Secretary General as suggested by the U.S.S.R. After it had been pointed out that the U.S.S.R. proposal was for a two-year term, Mr. Molotov remarked that that was correct.

Mr. Stettinius went on to say that the U.S. would like the Secretary General to be eligible for reelection and suggested that the Soviet reconsider its position. Mr. Molotov replied that he did not wish to press on this point and Mr. Stettinius said then that there would be no limit to the number of times the Secretary General could be reelected.

All agreed to the three-year term with eligibility for reelection.

15. Further Subcommittee Meetings

. . . . . . .

16. Amendments of Other Delegations

Mr. Molotov raised the question of the manner in which the four would deal with amendments proposed by other delegations. Mr. Stettinius in reply suggested we let others propose their amendments and then talk about them. Mr. Molotov inquired whether the four expected to discuss among themselves any questions raised by amendments from other countries. Mr. Eden and Mr. Stettinius agreed that this was desirable and the latter thought that M. Bidault should be brought in as well. To Mr. Molotov’s inquiry as to why the French should be included, Mr. Stettinius referred to his statement at the beginning of the meeting and said that the meetings beginning the following week should consist of the five foreign ministers. Mr. Molotov said he had no objection. Agreed.

. . . . . . .

The meeting was then adjourned.

  1. See memorandum entitled “Changes in Dumbarton Oaks Proposals as Suggested by the United States Delegation,” May 2, 1945, Postwar Foreign Policy Preparation, p. 679.
  2. Minutes of the Subcommittee on Treaties annexed. [Footnote in the original; minutes not printed.]
  3. Minutes of meeting, May 3, 6:20 p.m., p. 574.
  4. See minutes of Four-Power meeting, May 2, 9 p.m., p. 548.
  5. For text, see minutes of Four-Power meeting, May 4, 12:15 p.m., p. 598.