RSC Lot 60–D 224, Box 99: UNCIO Cons Five Min 5

Minutes of the Fifth Five-Power Informal Consultative Meeting on Proposed Amendments, Held at San Francisco, May 16, 1945, 3 p.m.

[Informal Notes]

[Here follows list of participants, including members of delegations of the United States (11); United Kingdom (5); Soviet Union (5); China (3); and France (4); and the International Secretariat (1).]

Mr. Stettinius apologized for bringing the group together on such a busy day, but said that he had very pressing matter to present, that is what position should be taken by the five governments at the committee meeting on the question of the regional formula considered at the meeting yesterday afternoon.61 Mr. Stettinius said that he had met with Ambassador Gromyko after the meeting yesterday afternoon and explained the proposal to him. He asked Senator Vandenberg to state the situation with respect to this matter in the regional committee of Commission IV [III/4].

Senator Vandenberg said that the situation was that for three successive meetings the Committee had adjourned awaiting the report of the consultation on the regional question. The full Committee met last night62 and agreed to have a subcommittee meet this afternoon.63 The Chairman had asked what the Delegate of the United States would be in a position to do at the next meeting. He had suggested [Page 759] the possible reference of the matter to a subcommittee. The Senator submitted that in view of the publication of the Secretary’s press statement and of the general temper of the Committee it was impossible for him to go before the subcommittee again with nothing to present. He asked what latitude he would have in presenting this matter to the subcommittee.

Mr. Stettinius recalled that he had stated yesterday afternoon that there was so much confusion in the public mind that it was important to issue a press statement at once. This had been done.

Senator Vandenberg said that during the morning he had studied all the amendments on regionalism. Sixteen countries had submitted amendments and he was confident that the proposed formula would cover practically all of these amendments.

Mr. Boncour asked what statement Mr. Stettinius had referred to.

Mr. Stettinius replied that it was the statement which he had given to the press last night. He remarked that Mr. Hiss was here to take up the question of speeding up the work in the Committees. This was relevant to Senator Vandenberg’s query with respect to the presentation of the regional formula in the Committee. If we are to complete the work of the Conference on schedule it is necessary to speed up the work of the Committees more than it has been possible to do up to the present time.

Mr. Stettinius said that the principal point was that we cannot discuss the proposal formally until the consultation of the five powers has been completed. He said that Ambassador Halifax had indicated the agreement of his Delegation with the proposal yesterday and that Mr. Bidault had indicated that the reply of his Government might be forthcoming today. He asked if there was any comment.

Ambassador Gromyko said that the latest proposal had been submitted only yesterday.64 He asked whether it was the intention to present it formally to the Committee before the end of the consultation. Mr. Stettinius said that that was what we had met to discuss today. Ambassador Gromyko remarked that it had been stated yesterday that the document would not be presented formally until the consultation had been completed. Mr. Stettinius replied that he did not recall making this statement. He said that he had presented the proposal for consideration and had indicated that there had been only a verbal change to avoid the use of the word “failure” with respect to the Security Council.

Lord Halifax thought that if everyone agreed the paper could be presented formally. If agreement was not reached, in accordance with the procedure which had previously been agreed upon and followed, the United States could, after the completion of the consultation, present the matter as its own proposal.

[Page 760]

Mr. Boncour stated at this point that he accepted the text of the proposal on behalf of the French Delegation.

Ambassador Gromyko said that he considered that it would be expedient to present the proposal after the end of the consultation, that is after each government had given its official reply. For the Soviet Delegation he would remark that he had noticed on reading the document for the first time that there were certain deviations in it from the principles agreed upon at Dumbarton Oaks. He had communicated the text to his Government but had not received a reply. As soon as he had received instructions from his Government he would inform Mr. Stettinius.

Mr. Boncour asked Ambassador Gromyko whether he could specifically state in what respects the proposal differed from the Dumbarton Oaks Proposals. Ambassador Gromyko said that he did not wish to take up a detailed discussion of the provisions but that he would say that it deviated from the Dumbarton Oaks Proposals in permitting any organization to act independently of the Security Council.

Ambassador Koo recalled that he had said previously that his first impression, in light of all the circumstances, was that the present formula offered a fair and happy solution. This impression had been confirmed by further study. In response to a direct question from Mr. Stettinius as to whether the Chinese Delegation was prepared to support the proposal, Ambassador Koo said that it was.

At this point Mr. Stettinius asked Mr. Hiss to comment on the problem of expediting the work of the Conference. He said that he thought this was relevant to the matter under discussion.

Mr. Hiss recalled that he had spoken at the meeting last Saturday65 of a plan for having certain amendments eliminated and others consolidated. He said that this work had not progressed very far. He had had reports from the secretaries of the various Committees indicating that the Delegations of the five powers had not pressed this procedure. Mr. Hiss thought that the steps to expedite the work was especially important in Committees 1 and 2 of Commission II and Committees 1, 2, and 3 of Commission III. He asked that the Delegates of the five powers press this point in these Committees. He said that the consolidation in question had been carried out and that the secretaries were ready to produce the necessary materials on request.

Mr. Boncour fully shared Mr. Hiss’ views on the necessity for expediting the work of the Conference. He referred to the experience in his own Committee66 as showing the need for this.

[Page 761]

Senator Vandenberg said that as to the regional committee (Committee 4 of Commission III) that he was sure that all important amendments would be covered by the proposal in question. As soon as the proposal could be presented in the Committee we would be well on our way to finishing the work of that Committee.

Mr. Stettinius recalled that Ambassador Gromyko had said that he felt that the matter should not be presented until the consultation was completed, to which Ambassador Gromyko rejoined that he thought that this would be the expedient procedure. Mr. Stettinius inquired how Ambassador Gromyko would feel if Senator Vandenberg should present the proposal informally to the Committee.

Ambassador Gromyko recalled that an oral agreement had been reached in Washington67 under which there would be consultation among the sponsoring powers before any amendments to the Dumbarton Oaks Proposals were presented by them. It had been agreed also that there would be consultation on all amendments of other governments involving a change in the meaning of the Dumbarton Oaks Proposals. He regarded this agreement as very important. In his opinion it would be desirable not to present the proposal until the consultation had been completed.

[Here follows further discussion of postponing action on the regional question and on means of expediting the work of the Conference.]

The meeting was adjourned by Mr. Stettinius with the understanding that the group would meet together the following day at 3:00 p.m.68

  1. Minutes of fourth Five-Power informal consultative meeting, May 15, 5 p.m., p. 737.
  2. Doc. 363, III/4/7, May 17, UNCIO Documents, vol. 12, p. 673.
  3. Minutes of fifth meeting of Committee III/4/A, May 16, 5:30 p.m., not Printed.
  4. Minutes of Five-Power meeting, May 15, 5 p.m., p. 737.
  5. Third Five-Power informal consultative meeting. May 12, 2:30 p.m., p. 691.
  6. For list of delegation assignments to commissions and committees, see Doc. 175, G/24(1), May 10, UNCIO Documents, vol. 15, p. 572.
  7. See minutes of the second meeting of the Informal Organizing Group, April 10, 3 p.m., p. 235.
  8. The next meeting of the group was held on May 19.