RSC Lot 60–D 224, Box 96: US Cr Min 48 (Exec)

Minutes of the Forty-Eighth Meeting (Executive Session), of the United States Delegation, Held at San Francisco, Sunday, May 20, 1945, 12 Noon

[Informal Notes]

[Here follows list of names of persons (27) present at meeting.]

The Secretary opened the meeting at 12:00 noon.

[Here follow comments on distribution of draft revision of Chapter VIII, C to Military Advisers.]

Discussion of Regional Drafts

The members had before them a copy of the Russian draft of Chapter VIII, Section B, New Paragraph 12, reading as follows:

“Chapter VIII, Section B, New Paragraph 12. Nothing in this Charter impairs the inherent right of self-defense, either individual or collective, in the event that the Security Council does not maintain international peace and security and if prior to undertaking the measures for the maintenance of international peace and security by the Security Council an armed attack against a member state occurs. Measures taken in the exercise of this right shall be immediately reported to the Security Council and shall not in any way affect the authority and responsibility of the Security Council under this Charter to take at any time such action as it may deem necessary in order to maintain or restore international peace and security.”

Also before the Delegation was the May 15, 1945, draft of Chapter VIII, Section C:

“1. Nothing in the Charter should preclude the existence of regional arrangements or agencies for dealing with such matters relating to the maintenance of international peace and security as are appropriate for regional action, provided such arrangements or agencies and their activities are consistent with the purposes and principles of the Organization. The member states comprising such agencies or entering into such arrangements should make every effort to achieve [Page 814] peaceful settlement of local disputes through such agencies or arrangements before referring them to the Security Council. The Security Council should encourage the development of peaceful settlement of local disputes through such regional arrangements or by such regional agencies, either on the initiative of the states concerned or by reference from the Security Council.”

The Secretary remarked that to start off the discussion he would report that Mr. Gates and General Embick had called him with respect to the new proposal by the Soviet Union and had stated that they preferred the original United States language but that they did not feel the Soviet changes were very serious. General Embick added that the military preferred a reference to “adequate” or “effective” before “measures” instead of the use of the word “measures” alone. Mr. Kane said Mr. Gates was not as happy about the Russian wording as he had been about our previous wording, particularly because the double negative did not seem to him as clear. He asked the Secretary if he could make a brief statement on Mr. Gates’ position, and The Secretary said he would welcome it.

Mr. Kane stated Mr. Gates felt that there was no fundamental difference remaining on policies and objectives and that the question was now one of putting a policy into words. He said that Mr. Gates had approached the matter from the point of view of Chapter VIII as a whole. Section A, he said, dealt with pacific settlement and in Section A, paragraph 3 the regional agencies and arrangements were specifically related to the process of peaceful settlement. Section B dealt with the use of force and regional arrangements were associated with this function under the provisions of the New Paragraph 12, particularly in connection with the word “collective”. Section C he said did not deal with functions but with agencies—regional agreements. In the last sentence of paragraph 1, Section C, Mr. Gates felt there was some danger, with the addition of the phrase “the development of peaceful” that regional arrangements might be so specifically associated with procedures of peaceful settlement that they would be interpreted to have been disassociated from the function of enforcement. Looking at the whole draft then, Mr. Gates had felt that the tendency had been to increasingly associate regional arrangements with pacific settlement and to disassociate them from forceful settlement.

Mr. Kane explained that our policy was to associate regional arrangements with defense measures which might be necessary in the event of armed attack. In this event no authorization by the Security Council was needed. In other cases moreover our policy was to use regional arrangements as the normal means of enforcement. A tendency then to disassociate regional arrangements from enforcement functions makes crucially important the language under discussion. [Page 815] To put the matter differently, he said, unless it was necessary to add these words, there was some real danger in adopting them. If the phrase “adequate measures” was used, however, he felt the Secretary of the Navy would go along and feel that the document did the trick. A question still remained, however, as to the wisdom of adopting either the Soviet or the American language at this point and Mr. Kane suggested that it might be best to use for opening sentence of paragraph 12 simply “Nothing in this Charter impairs the inherent right of self defense, either individual or collective.” The Secretary asked if General Embick had anything to add to Mr. Kane’s statement. General Embick replied in the negative, except to say that he had always thought that the normal method by which enforcement action would be taken was by regional arrangements.

Senator Vandenberg wondered why the addition of the phrase “the development of peaceful” did not actually strengthen Section C. He thought that when regional facilities were emphasized and identified in this way Chapultepec and the entire regional mechanism was strengthened. He said he was unable to see how the change under Section C diluted emphasis on regional arrangements, and he thought it was good to emphasize the role of regional arrangements in peaceful settlement. Mr. Kane said the question was whether by adding this phrase in the last sentence of Section C we were placing any limitation on regional arrangements not elsewhere explicitly stated. Admiral Hepburn pointed out that Mr. Kane had correctly stated the issue. He thought, however, that it was quite clear that Section C, paragraph 1 dealt only with pacific settlement, while paragraph 2 dealt with enforcement. He noted that the four words in dispute were in paragraph 1 and, therefore, had no direct relationship to the role of regional agencies in enforcement.

Mr. Dulles expressed the view that the added phrase did not affect paragraph 2 or place any further limitations on enforcement action by regional organizations. Admiral Hepburn said he tended to agree with Mr. Dulles that paragraph 12 of Section B was quite explicit on the matter. General Embick felt, however, that the addition of the words in Section C de-emphasized the role of regional arrangements in enforcement action.

The Secretary called on Mr. Pasvolsky to state the results of the consultations with the Subcommittee of Five on this question. Mr. Pasvolsky stated that the policy he had followed in that Committee was to find out exactly what we all wanted to say in paragraph 12 and then to put the matter into a draft. First, however, he said he would like to go back to Dumbarton Oaks to give a bit of explanation. He pointed out that it had been clear to all who participated at Dumbarton Oaks that regional arrangements would be used for pacific settlement as one of the means of pacific settlement which a state could [Page 816] resort to by choice. He explained that at one time there had been in Section A a specific reference to regional arrangements. Moreover, he said, it had been perfectly clear at Dumbarton Oaks that paragraph 1 of Section C applies only to pacific settlement. There had been a clear understanding that paragraph 1 referred to peaceful settlement under regional arrangements, and paragraph 2 to enforcement procedures. Whereas the word “peaceful” was omitted in the early part of paragraph 1, it was omitted only because it was understood. He said that there never had been any doubt on this.

Mr. Pasvolsky stated that in the meeting with the six Latin American foreign ministers,34 the suggestion had been made that the word “support” be used in paragraph 1 of Section C. This, he said, he had proposed in the Subcommittee of Five. He was asked there what the Latin American foreign ministers wanted as they had told him they wanted to emphasize the fact that regional arrangements would be used by states in the settlement of disputes normally before resort to the Security Council. At the meeting of the five this intention had been thought satisfactory. Mr. Pasvolsky added that the South Americans themselves had found the word “encourage” too weak and that in order to strengthen the sentence and make more definite what we meant he had suggested the phrase “the development of peaceful”. When this had been shown to the South Americans, Mr. Parra-Pérez had expressed satisfaction with it. Others had expressed the view that it was exactly what they wanted and liked it even better than the word “support”.

As far as enforcement action by regional organizations goes, Mr. Pasvolsky stated this was covered in two places. It was covered in Section C regional arrangements where it is provided that the Security Council where appropriate may utilize regional agencies for enforcement action. There would be two conditions—regional agencies would have to show they were capable of being used and the case would have to be suitable for regional enforcement action. The possibility existed that the Security Council might want to give prior authority to a particular regional agency to take enforcement action, but this was left to the discretion of the Security Council.

Mr. Pasvolsky added that the proposals also provided that all or some states might be called upon to participate in enforcement action. Under this provision, a flexible system was provided which conformed to our basic position. Forces could be sent into action only with the approval of the Security Council. Unless we voted for the action, forces would not be sent out.

In the light of our study of the Soviet proposal, Mr. Pasvolsky added, we reached the conclusion that this is what the Soviet Union [Page 817] is trying to say. Mr. Pasvolsky then read a brief statement along the following lines: “In the event that armed attack occurs against a member state, nothing impairs the exercise of the inherent right of self-defense, either individual or collective, during the period elapsing between the attack and the time the Security Council takes adequate measures to restore international peace and security.” Admiral Hepburn stated that Mr. Pasvolsky was right in his interpretation, If we want to handle enforcement action in this hemisphere ourselves, we have power to stop other action by the Security Council.

Mr. Pasvolsky stated that in the light of general agreement that this statement expressed what we were trying to get at, a draft was prepared which he asked to have circulated. The draft read as follows:

“Alternative ‘A’

Chapter VIII, Section B

New Paragraph 12

Nothing in this Charter impairs the inherent right of self-defense, either individual or collective, if an armed attack occurs against a member state before the Security Council has taken adequate measures to maintain international peace and security. Measures taken in the exercise of this right shall be immediately reported to the Security Council and shall not in any way affect the authority and responsibility of the Security Council under this Charter to take at any time such action as it may deem necessary in order to maintain or restore international peace and security.

May 19, 1945”

Senator Connally said he thought this statement was a good one, but indicated he would prefer the phrase “until such time as the Security Council has taken adequate measures.” He added that he understood that the right of self-defense continued until the Security Council took adequate measures. Mr. Pasvolsky agreed that the right continued until this point. Senator Connally added that in his view the exercise of the right of self-defense should not be limited until the Security Council took effective action. Senator Vandenberg expressed whole-hearted agreement with this position.

Dean Gildersleeve indicated that the draft of Alternative A, May 19, 1945, contained an ambiguity in that the word “measures” at the beginning of the second sentence might refer to measures by the Council or measures in self-defense.

Mr. Pasvolsky suggested that one might add the words “exercise of” before the phrase in the first sentence “inherent right of self-defense”. Mr. Dulles urged that the sentence be left as it stood since we should say clearly that nothing impaired the right itself. Mr. Stassen agreed that any reference to the exercise of the right in that first sentence would by inference suggest that we were impairing the right itself.

[Page 818]

Senator Vandenberg urged that Senator Connally’s suggestion be adopted to substitute the word “until” for “before”. The Secretary agreed that this was a great improvement. Mr. Pasvolsky suggested that a comma after the words “member state” be added. General agreement was expressed with these two modifications.

Mr. Hackworth expressed the view that the present draft greatly qualified the right of self-defense by limiting it to the occasion of an armed attack. Mr. Stassen stated that this was intentional and sound. We did not want exercised the right of self-defense before an armed attack had occurred.

Mr. Pasvolsky pointed out that in the Subcommittee of Five there had been some question whether the phrase “maintain international peace and security” was satisfactory. It was felt that since an attack involved a breach of the peace that the reference should be to “maintain or restore international peace and security.”

The Secretary asked Mr. Pasvolsky what procedure would be followed in having these changes adopted. Mr. Pasvolsky stated that he was meeting at 5:00 o’clock with the Subcommittee of Five and would talk these questions over and report at 6:00 o’clock to the Meeting of the Five. The Secretary asked whether Mr. Pasvolsky thought the changes being suggested would be acceptable. Mr. Pasvolsky remarked that he had every reason to believe they would be acceptable, although he did not like to commit himself prior to the discussions. The Secretary asked whether after the 6:00 o’clock meeting it would probably be necessary to wait five days for a reply from the Soviet Union. Mr. Pasvolsky thought that the Soviet representative would accept the paragraph today. He thought they had authority to close the issue and said he would be willing to so bet. Senator Vandenberg stated that he would move anyway the next day at noon and that that was final.35 Mr. Dulles suggested that Mr. Pasvolsky’s proposal be adopted to use the phrase “adequate measures to maintain or restore international peace and security.” This was generally agreed to.

Senator Connally suggested that the addition might be made in the first sentence of the words “or its exercise” after the word “self-defense”. He thought it might be wise to thus double the concept in the first sentence. Admiral Hepburn thought this was implicit. Mr. Hackworth indicated that there was something to the suggestion. Mr. Stassen questioned whether, in view of the fact that we had been working on this draft for so long, it was now wise to monkey with the wording unless it was absolutely necessary. Senator [Page 819] Connally indicated that he did not insist. Mr. Dulles thought that with the word “exercise” in the second sentence the matter was quite clear. He added, however, that to take care of Dean Gildersleeve’s point it would be well to add the phrase “of self-defense” following the word “right”. Mr. Pasvolsky suggested the word “action” in place of the word “measures” at the beginning of the second sentence. This was generally agreed to. Mr. Pasvolsky then pointed out that the word “action” in the last sentence toward the end of the sentence would then have to be changed to “measures”. Mr. Dulles indicated his preference for, the phrasing “measures taken in the exercise of this right of self-defense. …” This was then generally agreed to and the earlier decision was overridden.

The Secretary asked whether members of the Delegation would care to give their views. Mr. Armstrong indicated that he had nothing to add; he thought only that the changes suggested made our position even clearer. Mr. Bowman said, “okay” and Mr. Dunn replied “fine” to the question of the Secretary. Senator Connally stated that his approval was predicated on Mr. Pasvolsky getting the changes that had been suggested. The Secretary then read the draft as revised with members of the Delegation supplementing the changes that he had made on his own draft. It read as follows:

“Nothing in this Charter impairs the inherent right of self-defense, either individual or collective, if an armed attack occurs against a member state, until the Security Council has taken adequate measures to maintain or restore international peace and security. Measures taken in the exercise of this right of self-defense shall be immediately reported to the Security Council and shall not in any way affect the authority and responsibility of the Security Council under this Charter to take at any time such action as it may deem necessary in order to maintain or restore international peace and security.”

The Secretary asked Mr. Rockefeller whether this draft would be acceptable to the Latin Americans. Mr. Rockefeller reported that he had already had an informal discussion with them this morning, although he did not give them any drafts and that he thought that they would go along with the proposal since the change was not one of substance.

Mr. Kane stated that the new draft “looked good”. General Embick indicated that it was “fine”. He added that in the light of Mr. Pasvolsky’s statement that Section C paragraph 1 was definitely limited to peaceful settlement, he could now say that there had been some misunderstanding on the part of the War and Navy Departments as to the scope of those two paragraphs and that he felt that the matter was cleared up. Mr. Eaton asked whether it followed from this draft that our forces would not be used in Europe unless we wished. [Page 820] The Secretary replied that this was basic and that under the proposals our forces would not be used without the consent of the United States. We would have a veto on their use.

The Secretary asked whether all the members of the Delegation would be willing to give Mr. Pasvolsky authority to go forward and negotiate this agreement. Dean Gildersleeve said she was “satisfied”. Mr. Bloom indicated that it was “okay”. The Secretary replied that the decision was unanimous as always, or rather as usual. Mr. Stassen said that it looked 100% good to him.

The Secretary said he did not want the draft shown to the Latin American foreign ministers for the present but that arrangements should be made promptly to discuss the question with them. Mr. Pasvolsky pointed out that in the end it was quite possible that the regional arrangements provisions would be in an article by themselves but that of course this remained to be decided and negotiated.

Procedure for Dealing With Regional Drafts

Senator Vandenberg asked what procedure would now be followed in committees to handle these drafts. Mr. Johnson said it was our understanding that all three drafts would be discussed and voted on in Committee III/4, which would then report to Commission III and for their information only would report the matter to Committees 2 and 3 of Commission III. Mr. Johnson said it had been recommended in a previous draft to the Delegates, a draft which had not been discussed, however, that Senator Vandenberg’s committee37 should handle the whole problem. Senator Vandenberg indicated that this procedure satisfied him completely. The Secretary asked Mr. Sandifer for his views. Mr. Sandifer thought Mr. Johnson’s proposal was good and the procedure was then generally agreed to.

Discussion of Additional Paragraph Proposed by Soviet Union in Chapter VIII, Section C

Mr. Pasvolsky stated that a brief discussion was necessary on the new sentence proposed by the Soviet Union for addition to paragraph 1 of Chapter VIII, Section C. This paragraph read, “This paragraph by no means prejudices paragraphs 1 and 2, Section A of this Chapter, which fully preserve their power.” Mr. Pasvolsky proposed that a revision of this sentence be used which he thought would be more satisfactory. This revision was before the members in a draft entitled “Additional sentence to paragraph 1 of Section C, Chapter VIII, May 19, 1945.” The draft read “This paragraph in no way impairs the application of paragraphs 1 and 2 of Section A of this Chapter”. Mr. Pasvolsky explained that the Soviet representatives had felt it was important to put in this paragraph in order to safeguard [Page 821] the right of the Security Council to investigate disputes as defined in Section A, paragraph 1, and to safeguard the right of states to bring cases before the Assembly and the Council. Senator Vandenberg said he could see no objection to this. Mr. Pasvolsky said it simply safeguarded the right of appeal to the World Organization as well as to regional organizations.

Mr. Rockefeller indicated that a similar amendment had been offered by the Latin Americans38 and that Mr. Pasvolsky had objected to that amendment at that time. Mr. Pasvolsky remarked that the other amendment had involved a substantive change which contrasted with the present one offered by the Soviet Union. He added, however, that he did not like the addition particularly and did not think it was necessary. He thought he would try to talk the Soviet Union out of it. Mr. Stassen pointed out that in fact the addition did no harm. Mr. Rockefeller said the one difficulty with it was that the Latins might insist on re-introducing their proposal if this one was accepted. The Secretary indicated that the Delegation’s recommendation was then to have the paragraph eliminated if possible in the course of the meeting at 5:00 o’clock.

Voting Procedure in the Security Council

Senator Connally stated that in Committee III/3 strong opposition was being expressed to the Yalta Agreement on voting and that the going was tough.39 So far, he said, most of the discussion had been on what was meant by the Yalta Agreement on voting. He then called on Mr. Johnson to report on the work of the Subcommittee that had been set up to deal with this problem. Mr. Johnson indicated that things had developed rather favorably. Mr. Blaisdell had been selected head of the Subcommittee.40 A series of questions had been prepared on which the four powers were being asked to concert their reply. This procedure, he said, gave us time to get agreement on our interpretation, the next committee meeting being on Tuesday.41 He thought the matter had worked out quite well for our interests. The Secretary suggested that we should realize that if there was any departure from the Yalta Agreement, the Soviet Union would probably not sign the Charter.

[Page 822]

Senator Connally pointed out that Sir Alexander Cadogan had interpreted the Yalta Agreement to the effect that the veto power does not apply to paragraphs 1 and 3 of Section A.42 Our advisers felt, however, that the veto power does apply to these paragraphs. It was important, therefore, to achieve some harmony of interpretation on this matter. Senator Connally stressed that this was a very vital problem and went to the heart of the whole Organization and we couldn’t lose on the question of voting in the Security Council. Mr. Stassen pointed out that in adding functions to Section A, in fact, the Yalta Agreement had been altered. Moreover, he thought that if the major powers could agree on the interpretation made by Sir Alexander Cadogan, the Chapter would not be as bad as it now was and the small countries would be greatly cheered. The important problem, he stated, was to get agreement by the major powers on an interpretation of the Yalta Agreement. Mr. Warren stated that in an informal poll of the committee, it now looked as though there were 32 against 8 with Canada, New Zealand, and Australia leading the opposition. He pointed out that we were in a tough situation. The Secretary said that our political officers would have to get to work. Mr. Johnson thought that the situation was very fortunate at the moment since the four powers had to concert their views on the questions before the Subcommittee. He added that he thought that we would be in a better position on the voting if a decision could be postponed until after the Canadians had received satisfaction by the amendment under Section B, Chapter VIII.

Mr. Rockefeller stated that he had had two meetings with the Latin Americans on this problem. They were perfectly satisfied with the veto power on the Security Council, he said, so far as it affected the regional situation. However, the Latin Americans felt that the United States would be losing its moral position if the veto power remained, since we could be prevented from taking any action in Europe. The Latin Americans, he said, did not see how we could accept the veto power. Mr. Pasvolsky indicated that he would like to meet with the Latin Americans on this question and that he thought the statement that we were losing our moral authority by accepting the veto power was bunk. He felt we were too much preoccupied with the veto problem. We should approach the problem from the point of view of what the Organization could do and what it was supposed to do. If its recommendations were to be worth anything, they required the backing of the five major powers, together with the support of some of the non-permanent members. The recommendations of the Assembly could be of another type, he said. If we are going to handle this problem properly, we must keep our eyes on the [Page 823] effectiveness of the Security Council. This approach, Mr. Pasvolsky felt, needed to be made with the Latin Americans.

Mr. Pasvolsky added that one way of bargaining with the South Americans, to give them some satisfaction, would be to put the reference to treaty obligations in the chapter on Principles instead of the Preamble.

Mr. Stassen indicated that he would be absolutely against any deal by which we would further weaken the charter in order to prevent a weakness being removed from the charter. He felt that if Sir Alexander Cadogan’s interpretation could be agreed upon, it would be a great step forward and would considerably lessen resentment against the Four Powers. The Secretary questioned whether it would not mean backing out on the Yalta Agreement if we proposed Sir Alexander Cadogan’s interpretation to the Soviet Union. Mr. Dunn replied that there was no reason why we could not discuss this question with the Soviet Union and see what their interpretation was and sound out whether this matter could be considered procedural.

Election of Judges

Mr. Hackworth indicated that a problem had arisen as to whether the vote for the election of judges could be construed to be a procedural one. After brief discussion it was agreed that this matter should be considered at the meeting of the Delegation the next morning.

In closing the meeting at 1:10, the Secretary announced that any persons present could return that evening to the 6:00 o’clock meeting, so that members of the Delegation could keep up-to-date on this problem.

  1. See summary notes on first informal consultative meeting, May 14. 2:30 p.m., p. 712.
  2. Senator Vandenberg presented the Five-Power formula to the Subcommittee of Committee III/4 on May 21; Australia, France, and Czechoslovakia urged acceptance of the proposals, but Egypt asked for 24 hours’ delay; minutes not printed (US III/4/A Doc. 9, May 21).
  3. Committee III/4.
  4. See summary notes on informal consultative meeting with certain Latin American Ambassadors, May 14, p. 712. For pertinent excerpts from draft amendments and comments submitted by Latin American delegations, see Doc. 269, III/4/5, May 14, UNCIO Documents, vol. 12, pp. 765 ff. and 835–837.
  5. See Doc. 417, III/1/19, May 18, ibid., vol. 11, p. 305; reference is made apparently to Committee III/1, which considered chapter VI, section C, on the question of voting procedure in the Security Council.
  6. Subcommittee B of Committee III/1 first met on May 19, 3:30 p.m., in response to a resolution adopted by Committee III/1 the previous day (Doc. 459, III/1/22, May 21, ibid., p. 336), its terms of reference being in effect to attempt to clarify the meaning of the Yalta voting formula (Doc. 481, III/1/B/1, May 22, ibid., p. 817).
  7. Doc. 531, III/1/26, May 23, ibid., p. 364.
  8. WD 3, May 17, UNCIO Documents, p. 323.