RSC Lot 60–D 224, Box 99: UNCIO Cons Five Min 4

Minutes of the Fourth Five-Power Informal Consultative Meeting on Proposed Amendments, Held at San Francisco, May 15, 1945, 5 p.m.

[Informal Notes]

[Here follows list of names of participants, including members of the delegations of the United States (11); United Kingdom (4); Soviet Union (3); China (2); and France (5).]

Mr. Stettinius opened the meeting by referring to drafts of three amended paragraphs on the regional question which the group had had under discussion previously. He first read the text of the new proposed paragraph 12 of Chapter VIII, Section B (copy attached26). Mr. Dunn pointed out that the only change in this draft as compared with the one considered at the last meeting was the change to omit the use of the word “fail” with respect to the action in the Security Council. It was thought desirable not to use the term “fail” in this connection. The other difference was the change of the words “shall not” to “does not”.

Mr. Stettinius then read a proposed redraft of Chapter VIII, Section A, paragraph 3 (copy attached26). The change in this paragraph was the insertion of the phrase “resort to regional agencies or arrangements”. This change was merely intended to bring this provision into line with the provision in Chapter VIII, Section C, paragraph 1, that the Security Council should encourage settlement of local disputes through regional arrangements or agencies.

Mr. Stettinius read finally the proposed text of the first paragraph of Chapter VIII, Section C (copy attached26), He emphasized the proposed addition of a second sentence as follows: “The member states comprising such agencies or entering into such arrangements should make every effort to achieve peaceful settlement of local disputes through such agencies or arrangements before referring them to the Security Council.” In the last sentence he called attention to the insertion of the words “the development of peaceful” which would make the sentence read “The Security Council should encourage the development of peaceful settlement of local disputes”, etc.

Mr. Stettinius said that the United States Delegation felt that these proposals taken as a whole would clarify and strengthen the role of regional agencies and arrangements in the peaceful settlement of disputes. At the same time the authority of the world organization with respect to enforcement action would be fully maintained. This the United States Delegation considered to be absolutely essential. Under these proposals if the international organization does not maintain peace and security and an armed attack occurs the right of self-defense [Page 738] would remain unimpaired. However, in case of any action taken in self-defense there would be an obligation to report such action immediately to the Security Council and this would not in any way affect the authority and responsibility of the Council to take at any time such action as it deemed necessary in order to maintain and restore peace and security.

The United States Delegation believed that these provisions would furnish a sound and adequate basis for the integration of the world organization with regional agencies and arrangements. The American Republics would be confronted at the San Francisco Conference with the problem of integrating the inter-American system with the new world organization. There remained the question for the United States and the other American Republics of the manner in which this should be done. This involved the question of implementation of the Act of Chapultepec. Mr. Stettinius called attention to the fact that specific reference to the Act of Chapultepec had been dropped in the present drafts. He wished to make it clear that one of the steps envisaged in the conference held at Mexico City in March was the setting up at a later time the machinery to implement the Act of Chapultepec. It is the intention of the United States some time after the close of the San Francisco Conference to negotiate a permanent treaty pursuant to the Act of Chapultepec providing that an act of aggression against one American Republic would be treated as an act of aggression against all.

The Secretary said that this was the end of his story. He hoped that we had found an acceptable solution.

Ambassador Koo said that in the light of previous discussion his first impression was that this afforded a very happy arrangement. It seemed designed to meet the divergent views which have been expressed and he thought that it worked out into a fair arrangement.

Mr. Stettinius , with the arrival of Sir Alexander Cadogan, emphasized that the Act of Chapultepec was not mentioned in the proposed formula. He said that the Act would be implemented later as a means of giving effect to the historic policy of the United States in the Western Hemisphere.

Mr. Bidault said that he recognized that a great effort had been made to find an acceptable solution. He would be happy to study the drafts presented by Mr. Stettinius and thought that he might be in a position to give an answer tomorrow or the day after.

Lord Halifax said that he had not been present during the earlier discussions of this problem. He could say without hesitation, however, that so far as the British Delegation was concerned the suggested solution seemed to offer a fair and reasonable adjustment of the twin claims of regional and global security. He said that thanks were due to the ingenuity and industry of the United States Delegation [Page 739] in working out the proposed solution. Many would be gratified to see the absence of the Act of Chapultepec in the draft. He would say that the British would associate themselves with the proposal when it was brought forward.

Mr. Stettinius inquired whether the proposed implementation of the Act of Chapultepec would affect this view. Lord Halifax replied that it would not in any way affect the position he had stated.

Mr. Stettinius expressed gratification at the favorable reception of the proposal. He thought that it would be acceptable to most of the American Republics. He said that there had been so much news speculation and so much misinformation in the press that he would like to feel free to make the United States position known promptly. Sir Alexander Cadogan said that he thought there would be no objection to this. He said that a solution was very much wanted and that Committee 4 of Commission III was waiting anxiously for the proposal.

Mr. Stettinius said that he thought it would help a great deal if the proposal could be put forward soon. Sir Alexander Cadogan hoped that this meant perhaps by tomorrow.

Mr. Stettinius referred to the rules concerning the presentation of new proposals and raised the question as to the form in which these drafts should be brought forward. Mr. Pasvolsky thought that they should be brought forward as amendments to existing provisions or as amendments to other amendments which had been proposed to the section on regional procedures. He pointed out that the new paragraph 12 of Chapter VIII, Section B, was in fact an amendment to the French amendment27 on the same subject. The question was raised whether the matter could be brought up in the meeting of Committee 4 scheduled for tonight at 8:30 p.m.28 Ambassador Koo said that he could propose a postponement to the meeting until tomorrow.

Mr. Stettinius remarked that Mr. Bidault and Ambassador Bonnet had a great deal to do in the next few hours in view of their prospective departure, and said that he would not keep the group longer. He regretted that Ambassador Gromyko had not been able to reach the meeting as it had necessarily been called on short notice. He said that he would explain the proposed drafts to Ambassador Gromyko and tell him about the discussion in the meeting.

Note: Mr. Stettinius presented the drafts to Ambassador Gromyko after the meeting. The Ambassador said that he could not express his reaction to the drafts and that he would be glad to refer them to his Government for consideration.

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  4. Doc. 2, G/7(o), March 21, UNCIO Documents, vol. 3, p. 385.
  5. Doc. 363, III/4/7, May 17, ibid., vol. 12, p. 674.