RSC Lot 60–D 224, Box 96: US Cr. Min. 29

Minutes of the Twenty-Ninth Meeting of the United States Delegation, Held at San Francisco, Friday, May 4, 1945, 9:05 a.m.

[Informal Notes—Extracts]

[Here follows list of names of persons (25) present at meeting.]

In the absence of the Secretary, Senator Connally convened the [Page 589] meeting at 9:05 a.m. He called on Mr. Sandifer to explain the schedule of meetings for the day.

. . . . . . .

Consideration of Deferred Questions

Chapter VIII, Section A, paragraph 4

Chapter VIII, Section B, paragraph 1

Senator Connally announced that the next item of business was the consideration of deferred questions. He asked Mr. Pasvolsky to lead the discussion.

Mr. Pasvolsky stated that it might now prove necessary to reconsider a decision taken yesterday with respect to the British proposal on paragraph 4, Section A, Chapter VIII, that the Security Council be given the additional power to recommend terms of settlement. He noted that the British took a very strong position on this question, that the Chinese had talked with him and had expressed the view that we ought to give this provision to the British. He added that he talked to certain members of the Canadian Delegation who expressed the view that there were very strong feelings in support of this change. In the light of this reaction, Mr. Pasvolsky asked whether the Delegation wished to reconsider its decision. Senator Vandenberg commented that his primary concern in connection with this question was Senator Austin’s viewpoint. He knew Senator Austin would strongly oppose the British proposal. Mr. Stassen commented that in his view the British proposal was a sound one.

Mr. Dulles said that he had come to the same conclusion as Mr. Pasvolsky, in the light of some of the talks that he had had following the four-power meeting. He said he thought that the small powers would be willing to accept the recommendation, although he was not at all sure that they would want the use of force linked up with the implementation of the recommendation. He added that he thought we might reserve our position on this question. Mr. Pasvolsky suggested that we should drop our own amendment to paragraph 1 of Section B (the words “set forth in paragraphs 3 and 4 of this Section”). We could, however, insist on retaining these words in paragraph 2 of Section B in order to put the burden of explanation on the British if the small powers asked why we keep the words in one place and remove them in another. Mr. Pasvolsky added there was no question but that we would be defeated on the floor of the Conference if the British made their own proposal. Senator Vandenberg suggested that we should not give in on this question unless we were on the brink of sure defeat. Mr. Stassen remarked that the British proposal was right. Mr. Pasvolsky commented that at the meeting [Page 590] of the four he had found himself in the position of having to argue against the British position with certain arguments that he personally did not believe.

Mr. Armstrong commented that Mr. Stassen’s statement was the first one he had heard in the course of the discussions suggesting that the British were right. While it might be necessary to accept the British position on grounds of tactics, he wondered whether the issue should not be met primarily on substantive grounds.

Mr. Pasvolsky said our view had been that we did not object to the particular power stipulated in the British proposal since the power was limited to recommendation of terms of settlement alone. What we were afraid of was the possibility that this power might lead to the imposition of terms of settlement. He said he thought the British proposal was satisfactory as long as it was made clear that it was not intended to involve imposition of terms of settlement. Mr. Bowman noted that in this connection we would have the veto power.

Mr. Stassen remarked that it was very useful to have the Security Council empowered to recommend terms of settlement, and that the imposition of terms under this provision was not likely since a vote would require all five permanent members and two additional states. It was less likely to happen under this provision, he added, than if one power was left free to act on its own, since the five powers would have to come to agreement on the imposition of terms. Mr. Dulles noted that we had a veto power on the matter ourselves.

Mr. Armstrong remarked that we should face the fact that the major powers did in fact impose a settlement upon Czechoslovakia at Munich88 and that it was just this kind of act that would be made possible under the British position. Mr. Stassen explained that all the major powers did not agree to Munich: Russia held out—and the significant fact was that Munich took place outside any general mechanism for the maintenance of peace and security. He suggested that Munich was much less likely to happen if there was an Organization than if there was none. Moreover, he felt that at the present stage of negotiations it was necessary to make some adjustments in our point of view to accommodate the views of the other governments. Senator Vandenberg urged that we negotiate and not retreat. Mr. Pasvolsky reassured him that this was not a retreat but negotiation. It was generally agreed to support Mr. Pasvolsky’s proposal on this question.

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The members had before them a document entitled Alternative Methods for Dealing with the Question of Bi-lateral Pacts, US 3, Document 6, May 3, 1945.89

(At this point General Hertford, General Fairchild, and Admiral Train joined the meeting.)

Senator Connally called on Mr. McCloy to make a statement for the military advisers. Mr. McCloy reported that the Joint Chiefs off Staff had circulated an instruction90 to the military and naval representatives at the Conference concerning the fundamental security aspects under discussion at the Conference. The problem raised in the instruction concerned the relationship of the security provisions, of the general organization to problems of hemispheric defense, particularly in relation to the provisions of Chapter VIII, Section C, Regional Arrangements. He reported that the Joint Chiefs of Staff accepted the regional provisions of the Dumbarton Oaks, Proposals in, the light of the general purpose of the Organization, but that it was thought important to point out the significance of the step involved. Under these provisions no enforcement action could be taken by a regional organization without the authorization of the Security Council. At the time this provision was, first agreed to no voting proposals had been accepted. Now it was clear as a result of the Yalta agreement that any one state could veto action under a regional arrangement by preventing authorization by the Security Council.

Mr. McCloy stated that the Joint Chiefs of Staff urged that no other steps be taken to further water down our concept of hemispheric defense. Senator Vandenberg commented that the proposals spelled the end of the Monroe Doctrine.91 Mr. McCloy stated that they certainly watered down that document. He added that the proposals brought forward by the Soviet Union and the French provided that in Europe action could be taken under bi-lateral pacts without intervention or authorization by the Security Council. There was no question but that Chapter VIII, Section C, would be up for debate and that there would be considerable pressure to water it down. It was extremely important to protect our concept of preclusive rights in this hemisphere. In order to bring out the issue involved in the challenge to Chapter VIII, Section C, Mr. McCloy stated that the document before the members set forth the possible positions we might take in the form of alternatives.

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Our preferred position should be, he said, that the Russian proposal be withdrawn, and that there be no change in Chapter VIII, Section C. This position would be satisfactory to the military advisers. If necessary, he added, there might be some arrangement by which the Big Four would enter into a public agreement providing that the first order of business would be to give prior authorization to permit us to apply regional procedures in this hemisphere and to allow the Russians and French to apply regional procedures in Europe.

Mr. Dulles remarked that the problem was that the language of Chapter VIII, Section C, did not clearly apply to bilateral agreements. Mr. Notter expressed disagreement with this view, and Mr. Pasvolsky remarked that we have interpreted this Section to include bilateral treaties

Senator Vandenberg asked whether the authorization required in Chapter VIII, Section C, was acceptable to the military advisers. Mr. McCloy said the military and naval advisers were willing to concede that force should not be used without the authorization of the Security Council. This provision, he said, assumed good faith under procedures of regional undertakings.

Senator Vandenberg asked whether the right of summary self-defense was implicit. Mr. Pasvolsky replied that it was completely implicit. Mr. McCloy asked, supposing Germany sent a fleet into, the waters off Argentina, would it be illegal if we shot across the German bows when they attempted to land in Argentina? Mr. Pasvolsky said that we would act, and that the Security Council would then be in a position to review our action, asking us what we were trying to do. He pointed out that the procedure implied good faith on our part not to take action except in self-defense.

General Embick stated that the question was raised as to how far our intervention was restricted in fact in this hemisphere by Chapter VIII, Section C. He thought that if the Council itself acted in good faith we would be allowed to intervene to prevent aggression in this hemisphere. Senator Vandenberg indicated that we could not intervene without authorization of the Security Council. Mr. McCloy commented that to leave this provision out would certainly involve going back on the Dumbarton Oaks Proposals.

Mr. Stassen stated that what was involved here was a basic question as to whether we were setting up a regional system or a worldwide system. It was essential to permit the Security Council to authorize enforcement action; otherwise, we would find ourselves with a regional system only. On the other hand, we retained the essential right of self-defense. We could act if we were attacked, but we then would have to begin immediately presenting to the Security Council what we were doing in our own defense. We should not get ourselves into a spineless attitude but take strong action if necessary.

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Senator Vandenberg asked if there was any way to put into words the right of self-defense, which it was claimed was inherent, without throwing open the door to individual action. Mr. Stassen remarked that no effort should be made to define the right of self-defense since to define it simply raised the question as to what constitutes self-defense. Senator Vandenberg said what was uppermost in his mind was the poignant memory of the hours of debate over the Kellogg-Briand Pact on this very question of self-defense. Representative Eaton asked if it would be self-defense if we acted when a South American country was attacked. Mr. Bowman explained that paragraph 1, Section C of Chapter VIII provides that a regional agreement would have to have the approval of the Security Council. It would be possible, he said, to write into a particular regional arrangement the whole procedure for action on a regional basis and include there a definition of the meaning of self-defense. Mr. Dulles pointed out that the members of the Organization, under paragraph 4, Chapter II, Principles, pledged “to refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force in any manner inconsistent with the purposes of the Organization.” Since the prevention of aggression would be consistent with the purposes of the Organization, action by a state in self-defense would be in accord with the principles of the organization.

Mr. Pasvolsky stated that there was no question as to the right of a nation to act in self-defense. The question was whether the right of self-defense included action on a regional basis. He pointed out that the Act of Chapultepec, which was not yet binding on a long-term basis, did not really meet this question. In the conclusion of the treaty provided for in the Act of Chapultepec, however, the question would arise, and if we intend to extend the right of self-defense to act under this treaty, we would have to write into the treaty the proposition that an attack on any American state is an attack on all the American states.

Senator Vandenberg stated that, if he was asked on the floor of the Senate whether, under the Charter, states still had the right of self-defense, was the only thing he could say that the right was implicit? Mr. Bowman pointed out that the document did not give any assurance on this matter. Mr. Pasvolsky stated that we were protected by the veto power on any question concerning the consistency of a regional arrangement with the General Organization. The Council would have to say that our regional arrangement was inconsistent. On this question we would have a veto power. Of course we should recognize, he added, that the Soviet Union had this same power.

Mr. Stassen stated that the existence of a Security Council should not mean that we develop a weak and vacillating policy. We must [Page 594] continue rather a strong and positive policy toward our own self-defense and toward the preservation of world security. It would be & great tragedy on becoming members of the Organization if we gave way to a weak and vacillating position. Mr. Pasvolsky agreed that this would be about the worst thing that could happen.

Mr. Sandifer noted that it was the general rule in international law that a state possessed the right of self-defense, and that this right remains unless there is an explicit limitation upon it. In the present proposals, instead of an explicit limitation, it is provided only that states shall not resort to force in violation of the purposes and principles of the Charter. Since any act of aggression is contrary to the purposes of the organization and since preventing aggression is consistent with the purposes of the organization, the right of self-defense against attack is not limited. Of course, if a state acted individually, its action would be subject to review by the Council.

Senator Vandenberg said he agreed with Mr. Sandifer’s logic but he wasn’t sure it would help him on the floor of the Senate.

Mr. Dulles commented that the Kellogg-Briand Pact was far more sweeping in limiting the right of self-defense. Ha suggested, that on the floor of the Senate, Senator Vandenberg could ask his opponents to point to a single sentence in the draft which took away the right of self-defense.

Mr. Stassen asked what the disadvantage would be of explicitly stating in the Charter that “nothing in the Charter takes away the right of self-defense”. Senator Connally commented that such a provision would probably be opposed by the little countries who would be afraid of raising the question openly.

Senator Connally added that all he would probably say on the Senate floor was that the right of self-defense was inherent and that nothing in the present draft took that right away. Senator Vandenberg commented that this was the kind of line taken in the arguments over the Kellogg-Briand Pact and that it was no use to rely on it alone. He asked Mr. McCloy whether he considered the right of self-defense implicit. Mr. McCloy said he agreed that the right of self-defense was implicit and that he saw no particular harm in stating this. Senator Vandenberg remarked that the main objection would be that the Russians might then claim that they were acting under the provisions of the Charter permitting action in self-defense. Mr. Sandifer said that it had been considered wisest to leave the matter implicit.

General Embick stated that it was important to have recognized that the normal method of action would be by regional organizations as against action normally through the Security Council. It would be essential to maintain our isolation and our preclusive control over this hemisphere. Senator Vandenberg said he could see how it [Page 595] would be possible to say that the right of self-defense was implicit in the draft. Senator Connally pointed out that the opposition would contend that the right of self-defense does [not?] extend to action on a regional basis. Senator Vandenberg commented that this extension of the right could be stated in the regional treaty itself and be approved by the Organization. Mr. Bowman explained that under the Dumbarton Oaks Proposals we could make an agreement and the Security Council would have to take negative action to declare that agreement inconsistent. In this vote we would have a veto. Mr. Dunn agreed that regional treaties or arrangements would stand until declared inconsistent by the Security Council. Mr. McCloy pointed out that we could not operate under a regional agreement, however, in taking enforcement action. If any one of the major powers said “No” the Soviet Union could in this way veto our action in this hemisphere.

Mr. Stassen stated that he was strongly in favor of Mr. McCloy’s first proposal that no change be made in the wording of Section C, Chapter VIII. Mr. McCloy urged that we face the fact that the Russian and British proposals are very vital to them. Mr. Stassen indicated that he could see the reason for action against Germany being reserved to the major powers before the Organization came into being, but now that the Organization was coming into being and in view of the present collapse of the European war, he could no longer justify making a special exception for such action. He stated that in any event a provision relating to this question should be an interim provision. Mr. Dunn agreed that the action should certainly be limited to action against enemy states. Mr. Pasvolsky also felt that we should make sure that any provision along the lines of the Russian or British proposals should be tied to the temporary situation until the Organization could avail itself of adequate military resources. Mr. Pasvolsky thought that, if necessary, we could propose that the British amendment be included in Chapter XII.

Senator Connally asked whether, if Chapter VIII, Section C was left as it is and we made a treaty based on the Act of Chapultepec, we could take action under that treaty until this action was vetoed by the Security Council. Mr. Pasvolsky replied in the negative, stating that, if the treaty provided for automatic action, it would be clearly inconsistent with the present provisions.

Mr. McCloy stated that the South Americans wanted authority to act under regional arrangements. Mr. Warren noted that a large number of the Latin American states, including Colombia and Brazil, are profoundly afraid of the right of veto over action in this hemisphere and wish, if possible, to deny this right of veto. Mr. Warren added that many of the South American countries would prefer to see action taken on a regional basis first. Mr. Stassen [Page 596] urged that we vote against this Latin American proposal and, moreover, work actively against it. If, of course, the veto power works arbitrarily to prevent essential defensive measures, we would have to move. This right, however, should be left inherent and not written into the Charter. Mr. Dunn said this right could be included in a treaty. Senator Vandenberg asked if there might be any different veto rule as applied to action by a state or a regional group. Mr. Pasvolsky said that there was no question but that the veto power in the Dumbarton Oaks Proposals applied equally to both. Senator Vandenberg wondered whether it ought not to be more difficult to veto action determined upon by 20 states than action taken by one state. Mr. Stassen thought this procedure would force unnatural regional agreements. Mr. Pasvolsky said this might result in the creation of three or four spheres of influence, which explains our opposition to such a proposal.

Mr. Dulles indicated that there had developed in this hemisphere genuine regional arrangements. If the veto power was allowed to operate we might not be able to take advantage of this system, and meanwhile we might find we had given in to a Russian proposal which would permit the Russians to use force in Europe and undermine the whole system of collective security. The two main difficulties, he said, were that (1) It was not clear whether bilateral agreements were included among regional agencies and arrangements under Chapter VIII, Section C; and (2) the loose language of Chapter VIII, Section C, paragraph 3 and Chapter XII, paragraph 2, might permit the negotiation of agreements in such a way that one would get in fact an interlocking regional system resulting in the complete absence of control of that system by the Security Council.

Mr. Stassen stated that, if more language was needed to clarify the question in Chapter VIII, Section C, he was in favor of it.

Senator Connally asked whether the French bilateral treaties92 were covered by Chapter VIII, Section C. Mr. McCloy indicated that from his point of view they were.

General Embick suggested that the provision might be included that regional organizations would be given authority to act wherever they have means to act. There would be no question of veto power if a regional organization had the proper means to act. General Embick said he was not recommending this proposal, but, if the Eussians insisted, it might be stated that “a regional organization should be given authority to take enforcement action whenever such organization possessed the means to take effective enforcement action. He, of [Page 597] course, would recommend that no change be made in Chapter VIII, Section C unless such a change was forced.

Mr. Stassen urged that we make certain that Chapter VIII, Section C covered multilateral and bilateral pacts. Mr. Pasvolsky suggested inclusion of the phrase in Section C “regional or other special arrangements or agencies”. Mr. Hickerson questioned whether we should not specify bilateral, multilateral, and other special arrangements. Mr. Pasvolsky stated that we could make this addition that he had first suggested throughout Section C. Mr. Stassen supported this proposal. Mr. Dulles also agreed that it was useful.

Mr. Stassen moved this suggestion be proposed and that we stand on the original language of Section C as against the British and Russian proposals. Mr. Dunn commented that we could point out that Chapter XII provides for what the British and Russians have in mind. General agreement was reached with this suggestion.

Mr. Pasvolsky said, as he understood it, the agreement was that we would make sure when talking about regional arrangements that all special arrangements for the maintenance of peace and security were implied. We would therefore add the phrase “other special arrangements or agencies” throughout Chapter VIII. Our line would be that we have always taken the position that Section C covers both bilateral and regional pacts and that our amendment is merely for clarification. We would oppose the Russian language, and if we have to give in on the British proposal, we would insist that it be included in Chapter XII. Mr. Pasvolsky pointed out that the only way to get the Russians to withdraw their proposal might be to stick to the present text of the Dumbarton Oaks Proposals. Did we wish to disagree with the Russians and let them make a separate proposal or should we agree with them on maintaining the Dumbarton Oaks Proposals as they stand?

Mr. Stassen urged that we go into the Conference with a separate proposal and fight the Russian proposal there. Mr. Dunn thought this was a sound position.


Mr. Stassen said he would like to give a report on trusteeship to the members of the Delegation. He announced that the paper on trusteeship which had been presented by the British was unacceptable. It was weaker than ours, there was no spelling out, and there was no division of strategic and non-strategic areas. Moreover, it did not include as clear a statement of objectives and the British placed the trusteeship council as a commission under the Economic and Social Council. It was agreed at the last meeting of the trusteeship group to recess in order to examine the British paper, particularly in view of the fact that there were no French or Russian translations available. [Page 598] The next meeting of the Five-Power group would be at five o’clock on Saturday.

Mr. Stassen said Mr. Fraser had Scheduled a 10:30 meeting on Saturday morning of the Trusteeship Committee.93 Mr. Stassen’s thought was that we would be in a bad psychological situation if our paper was not available for discussion at the committee meeting. He said his thought was to go to Lord Cranborne and say that we were so far apart that it would take a long time to work out the differences, that we had fulfilled our obligation to consult, that we now knew each other’s position, and that we would now submit our papers to the Conference before the midnight deadline. Mr. Dunn said it would be very important to get the British and Soviet agreement to this procedure since we were committed by the Yalta agreement to a procedure of consultation. He saw no reason why Mr. Stassen’s proposal would be unacceptable to the Soviet.

Mr. Stassen added that the Russians, French, and Chinese have indicated general interest in our paper and have indicated that they would in general go along with it. Mr. Dunn suggested that Mr. Stassen emphasize that we have consulted in accordance with the Yalta agreement with a view to informing each other and that now we are under obligation to get our proposal in before the deadline. Mr. Stassen indicated that we might also stress that we were not committed to agreement and that it looks as though the process of getting agreement would be a long one. Mr. Dunn thought we had a good case. Mr. Stassen said he would talk to Lord Cranborne, and Mr. Dunn indicated he would clear the matter with the Russian Delegation.

Mr. Hickerson reported that Mr. Fraser had expressed the opinion that our paper on trusteeship was a fine one and that we could count on his support, and that New Zealand would do everything in its power to meet our military requirements in the Pacific.

The meeting was adjourned at 10:30 a.m.

  1. For text of agreement between Germany, the United Kingdom, France, and Italy, signed September 29, 1938, see Department of State, Documents on German Foreign Policy, 1918–1945, series D. vol. ii (Washington, Government Printing Office, 1949), doc. No. 675, p. 1014; for correspondence on the German-Czechoslovak crisis, see Foreign Relations, 1938, vol. i, pp. 483 ff., passim; in particular, see note of September 29 from the Czechoslovak Minister to the Secretary of State, ibid., p. 700.
  2. Not printed.
  3. Letter from the Assistant Secretary of War to the Chairman of the United States delegation, May 3, not printed.
  4. For an official statement of arid commentary upon the Monroe Doctrine, see Instruction to American diplomatic representatives in Latin America, February 28, 1929, Foreign Relations, 1929, vol. i, p. 698.
  5. For text of the treaty of alliance between France and the Soviet Union, December 10, 1944, and texts of bilateral nonaggression pacts of other nations, see Department of State, Documents and State Papers, vol. i, No. 4, July 1948, pp. 227–249.
  6. Doc. 113, II/4/2, May 6, UNCIO Documents, vol. 10, p. 423.