RSC Lot 60–D 224, Box 96: U.S. Cr. Min. 49

Minutes of the Forty-Ninth Meeting of the United States Delegation, Held at San Francisco, Monday, May 21, 1945, 9 a.m.

[Informal Notes]

[Here follows list of names of persons (33) present at meeting, and announcements (5) by the Secretary.]

Voting Procedure in the Security Council

The Secretary asked Mr. Hiss to give to the Delegation his interpretation of the agreement reached at Yalta. Mr. Hiss stated that he doubted he could add much to what was already known, but that he would say a word as to how the question had come up and as to what had happened. In December, he said, a proposal had been sent to Stalin and Churchill43 recommending a compromise for solving the voting difficulty practically identical with the one finally agreed to. Accompanying this recommendation was a statement of why we thought it would be a reasonable compromise. Up to that time, he said, the argument had been over the question whether there should be a veto on every question or whether there should be a veto on every question except when a state was involved in a dispute. Mr. Churchill, he added, had been inclining towards the Russian position of okaying a veto on every matter. The basis of the compromise was to provide that, when a state with a permanent seat on the Security Council was involved in a dispute, it should not have a veto on the pacific settlement of that dispute.

Mr. Hiss added that, before going to Yalta and after sending the draft in December, we had concluded that there was one drafting defect in our earlier recommendation where we had included a general exception from the veto power for paragraph 2 [1], Section C, Chapter [Page 827] VIII. In rethinking the matter we had decided to include an exception only for the second sentence of paragraph 1, Section C, Chapter VIII.44 Then at Yalta Mr. Stettinius was asked by the President to make a statement on our voting compromise.45 The statement by the Secretary, Mr. Hiss said, saved the day. The Russians were somewhat confused since Stalin was speaking from the text originally sent him rather than from the revised text so that at this first session on voting no conclusive discussion took place. At the next plenary session, however, Stalin had said he would accept the compromise and Churchill said he also would accept it.46

The Secretary said he wanted Mr. Hiss to bring out particularly the question as to whether a state had a veto on the pacific settlement of a dispute to which it was not a party. Mr. Hiss commented that in meeting the proposal that there should be a veto on all matters, we had been able to cut out one slice, so that the veto power would not apply to states involved in disputes under the provisions for peaceful settlement. In all other respects, he said, the veto power remained unimpaired.

Senator Connally asked whether the veto power applied under Section A of Chapter VIII. Mr. Hiss replied that, except where a state was a party to a dispute, the veto power applied. Senator Connally asked whether Mr. Hiss agreed with Sir Alexander Cadogan’s interpretation that the veto power did not apply under paragraphs 1 and 3 of Section A. Mr. Hiss said he had not known of this interpretation. Senator Connally reported that we were really in quite a fix in Committee III/1 where a definite attack was being made on the veto power in connection with the settlement of disputes.47 Mr. Notter agreed with Mr. Hiss that the Yalta agreement implied a veto beginning with paragraph 1the stage of investigation. Mr. Hiss stated that, if any country thought it had a case, it could raise the matter with the Security Council and presumably the Council could take jurisdiction of the case. Moreover, in the course of discussion it would be quite normal for the Council to go into the facts of the case and there would be considerable freedom for the Council to fix its own rules and determine what came within the procedural vote. A thorough investigation, however, would probably come within the veto. Mr. Bloom said that the vote might well be taken after an investigation had taken place. Mr. Hiss thought that the veto would apply unless matters were construed to be procedural, and he emphasized [Page 828] that the Council would have some freedom in making its own rules.

Mr. Notter said the question then arose as to what vote was necessary to determine procedural matters. It was clear only that matters under Section D, Chapter VI would be procedural. On these a vote of any seven would be satisfactory. Senator Vandenberg asked how it was possible to find out what came within the procedural category. Mr. Notter replied we must settle the matter here. Senator Connally asked why investigation was not a procedural matter. Mr. Dulles replied that the decision to go ahead on an investigation was a very important substantive matter.

The Secretary suggested that we should await our decision until we had the interpretation of the Subcommittee of Five. Mr. Pasvolsky reported that the other four powers were unanimous that paragraph 1 dealt with substantive matters and that the procedural vote did not apply there. The British, he said, had made it clear that Sir Alexander Cadogan was out of line on this matter.48 It was interesting that the Chinese were proving the most vociferous on behalf of the veto on investigations as a result of their experience with the Lytton Commission.49 Senator Connally indicated that we were in a very serious situation on this whole question. Mr. Pasvolsky remarked that the Big Five had agreed to isolate the questions that might be considered to fall under the procedural vote. There were nine decisions of the Council outside of Chapter VIII which had to be examined from this point of view, two of which had already been examined. It had been agreed that the convocation of the Assembly should be by procedural vote and that the constitutional convention should be called by a procedural vote as already provided. Other decisions to be discussed dealt with the election of judges, the election of the Secretary-General, the admission of new members, the suspension of the rights of membership, expulsion, request by the Council for the help of the Assembly, and trusteeship matters.

The Secretary felt that this question must be brought to a close as soon as possible since he would have to spend a day very soon in Washington and he would like to feel that this voting question was well along. Mr. Dunn stated that the Subcommittee was now drawing up a list of questions which we would then have before us. Senator Connally agreed that the matter should be expedited, but he [Page 829] wanted the Secretary to know that we were really up against the buzz saw.

Relations of Economic and Social Council With Non-Governmental Organizations

Dean Gildersleeve asked for an opportunity to present a number of questions pending before a subcommittee meeting that morning at 9:45. Mr. Stinebower and Mr. Mulliken then joined the meeting.

Mr. Stinebower presented a compromise draft worked out in Subcommittee II/3/A. He pointed out that we had made an effort to get as much of the consultant’s draft50 into the proposal as possible, but that the Soviet Union had spent two hours of discussion adamantly opposing putting so much emphasis on national non-governmental organizations. A draft had been worked out, however, which was now generally approved by the Soviets, which read as follows:

“The Economic and Social Council shall be authorized to make suitable arrangements for consultation with non-governmental organizations, international and where appropriate national, which are concerned with matters within the competence of the Council.”

Mr. Rockefeller explained that there might be some reaction if we opposed the consultants on this matter. They were particularly interested in getting away from narrow pressure groups and emphasizing national groups. Mr. Dulles questioned whether the draft suggested by Mr. Stinebower would be disapproved by the consultants. Mr. Stinebower thought we were in a rather vulnerable spot. The Russians had said that we had emphasized that we could not envision the Economic and Social Council going over the heads of governments and interfering in local domestic affairs. However, we were providing that national associations, private ones, would work directly with the Economic and Social Council. They felt we were somewhat inconsistent.

The Secretary expressed the view that the draft would give the consultants about what they wanted. Mr. Mulliken and Mr. Dickey agreed. Mr. Dickey pointed out that the present draft would not rule out the International Chamber of Commerce in which they were particularly interested. He thought the consultants would accept the proposal and he would undertake to present it to them in its best light. General agreement was then reached that the text as proposed by Mr. Stinebower was acceptable.

Calling of Conference by the Economic and Social Council

Mr. Stinebower noted that the Soviet Union objected to the Economic and Social Council being empowered to call conferences and [Page 830] favored a provision by which it would recommend the calling of a conference. As a working basis the following draft had been prepared reading as follows:

“If circumstances of an international economic, social, cultural, health or other related character which, in the opinion of the Economic and Social Council, require a conference of all or any members of the Organization, the Economic and Social Council may recommend that such conference be called in accordance with the rules of procedure determined by the General Assembly.”

Mr. Pasvolsky thought this was perfectly satisfactory and the members of the Delegation in general expressed approval of the draft as revised.

Mr. Stinebower explained that things had gone well in Committee II/3/a for the position taken by the United States, except that we had been voted down on the proposal that “receive” should be substituted for “obtain”.

Full Employment as an Objective of the Organization

Dean Gildersleeve pointed out that the question of the use of the term “full employment” was still pending. The Secretary pointed out that a complete statement on the matter had appeared that morning in the papers and that he just could not see how the material could get out. He asked Mr. Stevenson if he could shed any light on the matter. Mr. Stevenson stated that, in so far as the interpretations in the morning papers suggested that the use of the term “full employment” suggested that the world organization might interfere in internal affairs, this had been obtained from conversations with our own representatives. He said that nothing had been stated by his men concerning procedural matters and he added that he had denied that the United States was opposed to full employment.

Dean Gildersleeve indicated that she wished the view of the Delegation on the strategy she should adopt in securing reconsideration of this question. She pointed out that she now planned to try to have the first paragraph referred back to the subcommittee for revision on the grounds (1) that a proposal for the addition of the word “educational” had come up and that this matter should be given further consideration, and (2) that, as worded, the matter of promotion of full employment might be interpreted to mean interference in the domestic affairs of states, so that the wording of this provision heeds clarification.

The Secretary expressed approval of this procedure. Mr. Stassen also indicated his agreement and the Delegation in general gave their consent.

The Secretary asked what our actual position was on the use of the words “full employment”. Mr. Dunn indicated that we had [Page 831] decided to try for the term “high and stable levels of employment”, but that, if this was not possible, we hoped to have the phrase “full employment” stated as an aim rather than as a function of the Organization. The Secretary wondered whether it would not be wise to issue a statement concerning our position on this matter in view of the press statements of the morning. He felt that we could not be against “full employment”. Mr. Stevenson agreed that we could not afford to be put in that position—on the side of the devil. The words “full employment” had become an American idiom, a way of stating a fundamental aspiration, and he felt it would be too bad to be caught on the wrong side on this matter. Senator Connally asked if it were of sufficient importance to vigorously oppose “full employment”. Mr. Stassen replied that he did not think so. Mr. Bowman suggested that we stand on “full employment” and explain that we mean by full employment “high and stable levels of employment”.

Mr. Stassen thought that we had agreed that the real problem was the context in which the phrase was used and not the phrase itself. If it could be used as an aim of the Organization rather than appearing after the word “promote”, he thought there was really little fundamental objection to it. Dean Gildersleeve agreed that the problem was not to get the word out so much as to rearrange its position. Mr. Stassen agreed that the rearrangement of language was the primary task in order to make the draft acceptable to the Senate. Mr. Sandifer indicated that this was in fact the directive agreed to at a previous meeting.

Newsreel Pictures of the Delegation

The Secretary announced that, in view of the fact that it did not prove possible to get the President’s speech on the radio, the Delegation should proceed to the roof to have newsreel pictures taken. The Secretary then reviewed a brief statement51 prepared for use in the newsreel.

The meeting was adjourned at 10:05 a.m.

  1. See telegram 2784, December 5, 1944, to Moscow, Conferences at Malta and Yalta, p. 58.
  2. See letter of January 14 from the Acting Counselor of the British Embassy (Wright) to Mr. Pasvolsky, Conferences at Malta and Yalta, p. 77; for Mr. Pasvolsky’s reply dated January 17, see ante, p. 22.
  3. See Conferences at Malta and Yalta, pp. 661 and 682686.
  4. Ibid., pp. 712713.
  5. See Doc. 486, III/1/24, May 22, UNCIO Documents, vol. 11, p. 347.
  6. The United States delegation was informed by Senator Connally at its executive session. May 20, noon, of Sir Alexander Cadogan’s interpretation of the formula; see p. 822.
  7. The Earl of Lytton, Edward Robert Bulwer, British member and chairman. League of Nations Commission of Inquiry concerning Manchuria. For text of “Lytton Reoort”, see League of Nations, Appeal by the Chinese Government, Report of the Commission of Enquiry (Geneva, October 1, 1982); for documentation on this subject, see indexes, Foreign Relations, 1931, vol. iii , and ibid., 1932, vols, iii and iv .
  8. Draft entitled “Committee II/3, Economic and Social Cooperation: Recommendations of the U.S. Advisers Based on Proposals of U.S. Consultants” (U.S. Gen. 131), not printed.
  9. For a statement of May 21 by the Secretary on the directive of the Steering Committee to review progress of the Conference, see Department of State Bulletin, May 27, 1945, p. 949; see also Doc. 499, ST/11, May 22, UNCIO Documents, vol. 5, p. 237.