RSC Lot 60–D 224, Box 96: US Cr. Min 33

Minutes of the Thirty-Third Meeting of the United States Delegation, Held at San Francisco, Tuesday, May 8, 1943, 5 p.m.

[Informal Notes—Extracts]

[Here follows list of names of persons (32) present at meeting.]

Senator Connally called the meeting to order at 5:00 p.m.

[Page 642]

Agenda of Meeting

Mr. Bowman stated that a useful meeting had been held with the Advisers during the previous hour and that since an emergency matter had arisen concerning the regional question, he understood this meeting would now be in executive session, with the military advisers only. … (All Advisers except the Principal Advisers and Military Advisers and Senator McCarran 37 then left the meeting.)

Discussion of Regional Problem

At Senator Connally’s request, Mr. Sandifer introduced a Draft Memorandum for the President, May 8, 1945,38 which the Secretary had asked the Secretariat to prepare as a basis for his talks with the President on the question involving the inter-American system and its relationship to the proposed international organization. Mr. Sandifer stated that the draft was only a preliminary one to get before the Delegation the main ideas. Mr. Sandifer then read the draft.

[Here follows inconclusive discussion of the draft memorandum.]

(The Secretary joined the meeting.)

The Secretary stated that he had two or three quick things to discuss: First, he wished to report that the Executive Committee had held a successful session;39 secondly, the Steering Committee meeting had gone very well;40 and thirdly, the regional question was now wide open. He said he had just left an international press conference and that the story was out in the open. He said we were going to be faced with the whole question in the press and the radio the next day. Further, Mr. Molotov was saying “goodbye” this evening at 8:30, but was planning to come here at 7 o’clock to meet with Mr. Eden and the other foreign ministers.41 He expected to have a statement from the Delegation to be used in his talk at 7 o’clock with Mr. Molotov.

[Page 643]

Mr. Dulles thought that considerable time would be wasted if the Delegation continued to discuss the memorandum to the President. He did not feel that the question could be adequately represented to the President except orally, particularly because of the differing view points. He said the memorandum represented an honest attempt to state the differing views fairly, but that it would be unfair to the President to ask him to make a decision without giving him adequate background.

Senator Vandenberg stated that the President was entitled to an entirely developed recommendation and that quick judgments under the pressure of events would not be satisfactory.

Statement by the Secretary at the Meeting of Foreign Ministers

The Secretary said it was vital to have a document from which he could speak to Mr. Molotov. Mr. Dunn indicated that Mr. Raynor was on his way down with the document. Mr. McCloy stated that he had come to the conclusion that no document short of an essay would adequately cover the question under discussion. The Secretary reported that he would like to send to the President a long night letter that he would have in the morning, so that when he telephoned the President the President would have an intelligent understanding of the issues.

Mr. McCloy asked whether the Delegation would like to have a report on the telephone conversation he had had that afternoon with Mr. Stimson. The Delegation indicated their interest. Mr. McCloy stated that Mr. Stimson had listened to his comments on the regional problems with great interest and had then indicated the following point of view. Secretary Stimson had requested that we try to obtain the right to move in this hemisphere free of the veto of the Security Council. This right, he felt, we should seek at the expense of the immediate non-concurrence of the Soviet Union. The Secretary had stressed that we should certainly have this right in internal western hemispheric matters. The Secretary had stressed the importance of preserving solidarity in the Western Hemisphere. He had pointed out the long heritage of pacific settlement in the Hemisphere. The Secretary of War had emphasized the fundamental need of finding a formula to meet the situation.

The Secretary of War did not believe that the one exception for this Hemisphere would cut the heart out of the document, but had expressed the hope that there would be no requests for further exceptions. He had said he wanted more time to consider whatever counter-requests came up before reaching a final decision upon this question. He urged that, since the matter was one that should be considered at the highest level, a decision should not be rushed into.

[Page 644]

Mr. Dulles stated that he had had some doubt as to whether the Soviets really wanted a world organization. Since he had come to San Francisco he had concluded that they would want an organization in order to get the maximum possible voice outside their own sphere of influence. They accepted the fact that they would be able to deal in their own sphere and he believed they felt that, working through a world security system, they might be able to influence areas outside their direct control. He thought this might mean that we could get an exemption for the Western Hemisphere without actually being driven out of Europe. The Russians, wanting to get as much as they could in the way of influence outside their own sphere, might be willing to accept the best they could get. Mr. Dulles indicated that he was not sure that we would have to give up our voice in Western Europe, but that the Secretary might want to keep these ideas in mind in determining his tactics. The Secretary thought that Mr. Dulles had made a very wise observation.

The Secretary then read the following memorandum prepared for his use at the meeting of foreign ministers:

“I. Quick Survey of Important Amendments Proposed by Other Countries

  • “(a) French suggest change in voting on recommendations in Security Council to classify recommendations as procedural matters, thus removing from themselves [removing in these cases?] the necessity of unanimity among the permanent members.
  • “(b) Netherlands have proposed shift of Paragraph I of Chapter VIII, Section B, to Section A. This will have the effect of making a party to a dispute unable to vote on decisions as to aggression or breach of peace.
  • “(c) Latin American Republics propose adjustment in regional arrangements to take care of Act of Chapultepec as was done in the case of European treaties.42 (If questioned as to formula, we should say that we have not had time to analyze the question but we are basically sympathetic.)”

The Secretary thought that an introduction would be necessary running as follows: He would say that he was terribly sorry that Mr. Molotov was leaving, that this was the last time that the ministers of the five powers would all meet together. However, he would be [Page 645] sure to notify any one of the ministers that had to leave of events, if necessary: by telephone. The Secretary suggested that he might further add that there were two or three suggestions brought up by other governments. They would certainly have to be discussed and there were specifically three that he would like to mention at this time. The Secretary indicated that he might say that these three questions have to be ironed out and would express the hope that when we communicated with any one of the foreign ministers we would find adjustments that would be agreeable to all concerned.

Mr. Armstrong indicated that the important point was to assure that Mr. Molotov would not be surprised by later exchanges of views.

Mr. McCloy urged that Senator Vandenberg’s position should be included that we were not going to whittle down what we had already proposed for the Soviet Union. The Secretary stated that he might say that we were going to do nothing that would whittle down the rights that the Soviet Union wanted, Senator Vandenberg said the matter might be stated more directly that we would protect the Soviet proposal to the finish, and that we would merely ask their cooperation in a collateral phase of the matter that would affect us but not the Soviet Union.

Mr. Dunn thought the discussion should not be pointed at Mr. Molotov. He added that, at the suggestion of the Secretary, he had put this whole matter up to Sir Alexander Cadogan who had expressed concern lest any exception be extended and the Security Council’s authority be seriously impaired.

The Secretary, reported that Mr. Eden had expressed the same concern, when the Secretary talked to him at the reception given by the Soviet Union for the representatives of the two Soviet Republics.

Dean Gildersleeve felt there was too much of an implication that we were engaged in a duel with the Soviet Union, when in fact there were other very important implications.

Mr. Pasvolsky did not think we should use the phrase “but we are basically sympathetic” until the Secretary had received an authorization by the President to take that position. Mr. Pasvolsky thought the Secretary should say that we are trying to find a solution. Ambassador Harriman , who had come into the meeting with the Secretary, urged that the important thing was to get into Mr. Molotov’s mind the idea that we might want to press this matter. We would have to do this in order to feel free later to back a particular position. Mr. Pasvolsky suggested the phrase “we are sympathetically trying to find a solution”. He thought the Secretary would get himself out on a limb if he said we were sympathetic to the Latin American proposal without the authorization of the President. Mr. Dunn proposed the phrasing “we are sympathetic to the purpose of reaching an adjustment”.

[Page 646]

The Secretary asked Mr. Rockefeller what had destroyed the faith of the American republics in the general organization when they arrived here in San Francisco. He said it was obvious that they had lost their confidence in the general organization and had nowhere near the genuine sincerity and interest they had previously expressed. Mr. Rockefeller replied that the reason for this loss of faith could be traced to the way the Soviet representatives had behaved toward the Secretary and their actions in general, their maneuvers and the entirely novel type of tactics that the Latin American representatives had come up against. Mr. Dunn thought it was as much the attitude of the Soviets toward the other American republics. Senator Vandenberg felt that a new and hysterical dread was sweeping the representatives of the American republics. Mr. McCloy suggested that the death of Mr. Roosevelt might explain the situation in part. Mr. Stassen suggested that the President should speak out strongly on the Pan American Union, and The Secretary noted that the President had already made one speech which had been an excellent one.43 Mr. Rockefeller indicated that the representatives of the American republics were coming around to the position that, until the world organization proved its effectiveness, the Western Hemisphere system should be free from the necessity of any authorization for action by the Security Council. Mr. Dunn noted that some of the representatives were saying that there was no use for the international organization. Mr. Stassen said that this was nothing more than a narrow isolationist approach and that it was exceedingly dangerous.

Ambassador Harriman stated that it was important for the Secretary not to commit us tonight but merely to make Mr. Molotov understand that this issue would certainly come up in the near future. Mr. Stassen thought that the memorandum that had been prepared for use by the Secretary was excellent and that the Secretary should certainly not allow Mr. Molotov to leave without raising this matter with him. Dean Gildersleeve asked whether it was true that the Arab delegations had told the Latin Americans that they would vote with them. Mr. Rockefeller reported that the Arabs had Offered to support the Latin Americans, giving them five votes, but that the Latin Americans had refused.

The Secretary remarked that the draft memorandum as it Stood was unsatisfactory and that it should be re-dictated immediately in the light of the suggestions made during the discussions. Senator Vandenberg thought that we should stress that we wanted an exception only until the organization proves its reliability and that we Would fight to the death the right of the Soviet Union to the same privilege. [Page 647] Mr. Dunn urged that whatever the Secretary said should not be directed at Mr. Molotov alone. The Secretary agreed that he would speak to the four ministers.

Representative Bloom remarked that the Latin American representatives were afraid that the Monroe Doctrine would be destroyed. He thought that, if they were reassured on this question, they might be more tractable on the other question. The Secretary stated that Mr. Stassen and Mr. Pasvolsky had assured the Latin American representatives of our position on this question.

Mr. Dulles pointed out that, if the Secretary made the statement that we were not going to take anything away from the Soviet Union that we had already granted them, we would be precluded from cutting down the scope of the phrase “enemy states”. Mr. Dunn urged that the Secretary not argue a case with Mr. Molotov but merely raise the issue. Mr. Bowman stressed that it might be unwise to urge our position on the ground that we doubted the adequacy or reliability of the general organization. This, he said, would put the general organization in a very weak position: from the start.

The Secretary asked that Mr. Raynor and Mr. Hickerson proceed immediately to have a redraft made of the memorandum which would then be brought to the Delegation for its approval.

Report of Drafting Subcommittee of Five-Power Group

Mr. Pasvolsky announced that the subcommittee appointed by the five-power group44 had agreed upon ten broad topics that would be used as a basis for reaching agreement on the proposals:

Increase in the powers of the General Assembly on security matters.
Obligation of all members to carry out decisions of the Security Council.
Increase in the number of members of the Security Council.
Veto powers of the permanent members of the Security Council.
Purposes and Principles of the Organization.
Regional arrangements.
Mutual aid pacts.
Economic and social arrangements.
Definition of aggression.
Compulsory jurisdiction of the international court.
Peaceful change.
Admission, expulsion and suspension of members.

Mr. Pasvolsky announced that the international secretariat was preparing a collection of the proposals on all these ten topics. The procedure will be to go over the proposals on each of the topics and report [Page 648] the results of the preliminary discussion to the meeting of foreign ministers. Mr. Pasvolsky added that the Secretariat was having considerable difficulty in preparing the documentation and that discussion would be delayed in view of the fact that all the amendments would have to be available in order that they might all be considered on the same footing.

Mr. Stassen indicated that the ten points were very good. He thought that if we gave way to the smaller powers on a number of these points, we would be able to get agreement on a Charter in rather short order.

(The Secretary then left the meeting.)

Discussion of Regional Problem

Mr. Rockefeller felt that further consideration should be given to backing up our position that the Organization does not affect the Monroe Doctrine. He felt personally that the two were now mutually exclusive. Under the provisions of Chapter VIII, if we were attacked, the only way we could take action would be to ask permission of the Security Council. On the Security Council one state could veto action. He felt the Monroe Doctrine was not safeguarded unless we could take action to protect ourselves. If we did take action in spite of the Security Council, it would, as Mr. Stassen said, break up the Organization. Mr. Dulles indicated that he had prepared a memorandum45 on the question of the Monroe Doctrine which he thought covered the point raised by Mr. Rockefeller. Senator Vandenberg thought Mr. Dulles’ memorandum was totally disillusioning. Mr. Stassen thought that the memorandum was good, and that, in so far as the Monroe Doctrine meant that an attack on one American state was an attack on all, he thought it was not inconsistent with the General Organization. Senator Vandenberg commented, that Mr. Dulles’ point of view reduced itself to the principle that we have the right to do anything we please in self-defense, Mr. Rockefeller stated that that was perhaps our own interpretation, but that it was not expressed in the Charter. Mr. Stassen said that the Charter was limited to describing the methods by which to prevent the necessity of resorting to self-defense.

Senator Connally stated that he felt that the question under discussion was a very critical one, and that we were facing a very difficult problem, particularly in view of the attitude taken by the Latin American representatives that they want absolute control of action in this Hemisphere. Mr. Rockefeller thought that the Latin American representatives would be willing to take a compromise.

Dean Gildersleeve asked why we were not proceeding with the proposal for protocol, under which prior authorization would be [Page 649] given to the Pan American system. Mr. Pasvolsky indicated that prior authorization was in fact the same as an exception, as it would always be possible for us to prevent the Security Council from taking over responsibility for action in this Hemisphere. Senator Vandenberg stated that he could not get away from the feeling that Mr. Dulles’ interpretation made every state a law unto itself.

Senator Connally asked Mr. Rockefeller how far he thought the American republics would be willing to go. Would they oppose the General Organization altogether? Mr. Rockefeller replied that they had faith in the Secretary and wanted to find a solution of the problem. He believed that they were hopeful that a solution could be worked out, and that their main concern was not to permit the liquidation of the inter-American system.

Revised Memorandum for Secretary at Foreign Ministers’ Meeting 46

. . . . . . .

Discussion of Regional Problem

Mr. Dunn stated that for background the delegates might wish to know that the British and French were engaged in setting tip a Western European bloc. The question of the establishment of this bloc was no longer in doubt. The only problem was who would dominate it. He thought that other regional blocs would possibly be developed along similar lines in other areas. Senator Vandenberg stated that this might be a healthy thing in order to prevent control by Russia of the entire European Continent.

Mr. Stassen thought it was very important for us not to weaken our hand out in the areas of the world where difficulties begin. We wanted to preserve the solidarity of the Hemisphere, but we should also keep a strong hand in other areas so that we could meet problems when they first came up rather than when they had already developed into first-class wars.

Mr. MacLeish questioned what the result would be if we put our faith in the Western Hemisphere alone. Would it not in the last analysis result in our being thrown back on preserving the peace in this Hemisphere alone and at the same time preparing for possible attack from abroad? While we would keep up our Army in any event in joining the General International Organization, would we not be in a position where we would have to have an even larger army if we pulled into the shell of this Hemisphere?

Mr. McCloy stated that from the military point of view it Was important to have the strength of this Continent in order to be able to branch out. We could not, for example, get to North Africa unless we had a considerable area in this Hemisphere from which to operate. [Page 650] We depended on Brazil, for example. He added that of course the more consultation we had with the Latin American powers the better, and that we could not afford to ignore the significance of the western continental land mass as a factor in any of our military operations. Mr. MacLeish repeated that he questioned where dependence on the Western Hemisphere exclusively would leave us.

Mr. Pasvolsky suggested that the South American representatives should consider what was involved in the use of force in the Western Hemisphere under the inter-American system. That system, he said, had been built on the basis of consultative arrangements and procedures for peaceful settlement and the principle of non-intervention. Now it was proposed to use force under this system. If this policy was adopted, what we have had at its best would exist no longer. We would have intervention on a grand scale. Where would we be, he asked, if we had intervened with our military might in Argentina? General Embick pointed out that the Argentinian situation had seriously worried the military. Our policy had been not to foment a situation there unless we could count upon the neighboring countries. If we attempted anything alone, we would have greatly prejudiced the war in Europe, but with the cooperation of adjoining countries we could have easily handled the situation. The fact of the matter was, he said, that in order to have essential bases for our security, the solidarity of the Western Hemisphere was indispensable. Admiral Hepburn suggested that he feared that the use of force in this Hemisphere might result in the extension of subversive political principles.

The meeting was adjourned by Senator Connally at 6:30 p.m.

  1. Senator Pat McCarran of Nevada.
  2. Not printed.
  3. Doc. 164, Ex/9, May 9, UNCIO Documents, vol. 5, p. 421.
  4. Doc. 165, ST/4, May 9, ibid., p. 187.
  5. The meeting of the Big Five at 7 p.m. at the Fairmont Hotel was to be the last meeting of the Foreign Ministers. Mr. Stettinius recorded in his Diary of May 8 that there apparently had been some misunderstanding, for Mr. Molotov did not show up. Representatives of the United States at this meeting included Mr. Stettinius and six others; the United Kingdom, Mr. Eden and two others; China, Mr. Koo and one other; the Soviet Union, only Mr. Gromyko; and France, Mr. Bidault and four others. Mr. Stettinius said he would make his two-minute statement and then repeat it to Mr. Molotov at his meeting with him later at 8:30 o’clock. He then talked from a prepared statement and outlined three main points to be considered by the meeting (see record of meeting with Mr. Molotov, infra). Mr. Stettinius noted that Mr. Eden’s response was immediate—namely, that the first two questions were minor but the third (that the Latin Americans proposed to make reservations in favor of the Inter-American system) raised all kinds of questions and made him “very unhappy”.
  6. With reference to a meeting with Latin American Foreign Ministers, May 8, 9 a.m., in the Penthouse, Mr. Stettinius reported to the President and Mr. Hull in telegram 2, May 9, as follows: “The chiefs of eight Latin American delegations called on me this morning and presented a very urgent plea that the implementation of the Act of Chapultepec not be made subject to the veto of a single non-American power. On the other hand members of the United States delegation pointed out to them the disadvantages which would ensue if the focus of international security were to be placed in regional understandings rather than in the General International Organization. No conclusion was reached and the American delegation is still working actively on the question in the hope of finding a satisfactory formula which will relieve the Latin American apprehensions without seriously weakening the Charter.” (500.CC/5–945)
  7. For address broadcast from Washington on April 25, for the opening session of the Conference, see Department of State Bulletin, April 29, 1945, p. 789.
  8. For information on appointment of Five-Power Deputies, see minutes of Five-Power meeting, May 7, 3 p.m., p. 628.
  9. Not printed.
  10. See memorandum of conversation, May 8, 8:30 p.m., infra.