RSC Lot 60–D 224, Box 96: US Cr Min 70

Minutes of the Seventieth Meeting of the United States Delegation, Held at San Francisco, June 13, 1945, 9 a.m.

[Informal Notes—Extracts]

[Here follows list of names of persons (29) present at meeting.]

The Secretary convened the meeting at 9:00 a.m.


. . . . . . .

The Secretary also announced that he had received a statement from President Truman on two important subjects: (a) the Charter will be sent to the Senate immediately after the close of the Conference; and (b) the President is planning to go abroad shortly and will take the Secretary of State with him.

The Secretary expressed the appreciation of the Delegation to Senator Connally for the successful outcome on the vote the previous evening on the Australian amendment to Chapter VI, C.25

[Page 1274]

Amendment and Withdrawal

Commander Stassen observed that now that the veto question apparently had been settled, the attack of the smaller nations was shifting to the provision on ratification of amendments. Mr. Armstrong agreed, saying that the subjects of amendment and withdrawal had now become the main battle. Mr. Hickerson thought we were in trouble on the amending procedure and said that the attack of the smaller powers had begun to shift three days ago and came out in the open the day before yesterday and at last night’s meeting of Committee III/1. The small powers, he said, are agreeable to the ratification procedure as it now stands but want to be able after ten years to make a complete review of the Charter without the veto being applicable. Commander Stassen said that the smaller powers were under a misunderstanding when they said that the present draft of the amending procedure freezes the Charter. This, he said, is not true. You cannot freeze the world and as long as you have the necessary machinery you can meet any situation which arises. He pointed out that the Covenant of the League of Nations did not say that the Organization could be terminated nor did the Statute of the World Court26 say that seventeen members could be removed and a new beginning made. Yet, in effect, exactly this had happened. Mr. Armstrong agreed that in fact this was true but that it had been accomplished only as the result of a terrible war and that we cannot say to these other states that in order to effect any change in the future, they will have to scrap the Organization. Commander Stassen made a further observation to the effect that the Charter as now drafted is not terrible, as so many people have tried to insist.

Mr. Hickerson pointed out that we had told our people that the United States could not sign the Charter unless we could pass on future amendments. He foresaw trouble with the smaller powers on this subject and suggested that, if possible, something be done to revise the amending procedure. Mr. Rockefeller remarked that we had told the Latin American States that the United States could not accept the Charter without a veto on future amendments.

Mr. Dulles thought that we should reconsider liberalizing the amendment procedure. He did not think this beyond human resourcefulness. Representative Bloom commented that, if we should open the door an inch, the other countries would open it wide in one way or another. To this, Mr. Hickerson observed that we might have to consider the possibility that they, the other states, might “take the [Page 1275] door off the hinges”. Mr. Notter thought the problem a technical one and that, if we should change our position on the amending, procedure, we would have to supply a good reason. He suggested that the change be made in the withdrawal clause rather than in the amending procedure. Representative Bloom and Mr. Dulles both suggested that we not take the initiative on this, but wait for the proposal to come from the other States.

Mr. Armstrong said that the Soviets had stated27 that they do not consider that there was any agreement on withdrawal or amendment in the Big Five meeting the other morning. Secretary Stettinius remarked that there apparently was some misunderstanding. Mr. Armstrong said that the Soviet views he had reported were those of their Ambassador. The issue, he declared, was a fundamental one now before the Conference and inasmuch as he and several others were going at 11 o’clock to a meeting of Committee I/228 at which the subject would probably be discussed, he wished instructions on the matter. At this point, The Secretary asked to be excused, saying that he had to call the President in three minutes and that he expected to return.

Chapter XII, Paragraph 1

With reference to the draft on “Chapter XII, Transitional Arrangements” Senator Connally and Mr. Pasvolsky observed that this new draft, dated June 12, prepared by the Little Five, would have to go back to the technical committee for consideration. The matter, Mr. Pasvolsky said, would be brought up at the Big Five meeting at 2:30 that afternoon.

Domestic Jurisdiction

The Committee turned next to a discussion of the “Australian Proposal on Domestic Jurisdiction” dated June 12, 1945,29 which would limit the exception clause of the paragraph on domestic jurisdiction to “enforcement measures under Chapter VIII, Section B”. Mr. Dulles remarked that the United States Delegation would have to vote for this Australian amendment. Commander Stassen contested this view inquiring if we should go along on complete freedom of action. Mr. Dulles said that, although he hated to vote for Australia against China, nevertheless, the more we limit the field of domestic jurisdiction, the more police power is given to the Security Council. He recalled to Senator Connally a recent meeting attended by the Senator, the Secretary of State, Lord Halifax, Dr. Evatt, and himself [Page 1276] (Mr. Dulles) in which the United States representatives had given the impression that, if free to do so, they would accept the Australian amendment. In view of this commitment, Senators, Connally and Vandenberg and Commander Stassen expressed agreement to support the Australian amendment, although Commander Stassen thought that on its merits the Australian proposal was wrong. Mr. Sandifer said that it should be made clear that they were pushed on the subject by the British. Mr. Pasvolsky said he thought acceptance of that amendment a terrible recession, while Mr. Hackworth, said that the British actually were against it and would like to have us say that we would not recede. Now, however, that the question has been opened up they would have to vote with the Australians.

Mr. Dulles pointed out that the Australians were apprehensive lest the Security Council under Section B of Chapter VIII should repeat the Munich deal or the Hoare–Laval Agreement30 that is, they might try to avoid war at the expense of the smaller powers. The purpose of their amendment accordingly was to make clear that recommendations under Chapter VIII, Section B will not be such as to impair domestic integrity following a finding that a threat to the peace exists. Mr. Pasvolsky repeated his belief that the document would be weakened by the adoption of this language and thought that the Australians were trying to accomplish through charter language something which will be possible only if the big powers behave. Senator Vandenberg thought that the Australian amendment was totally sound.

It was finally decided that the Delegation would not lend positive support to the proposed Australian amendment but that we would vote for the amendment when it came up.31 Commander Stassen predicted that it would be presented to the Committee as a United States proposal.

Military Staff Committee Consultations With Regional Agencies

It was pointed out that the phrase, “after an exchange of views” contained in the June 12 draft paragraph entitled Military Staff Committee,32 which was before the Delegation, had been developed the previous day in the Little Five meeting. Mr. Hickerson pointed [Page 1277] out that several Latin. American Delegates had originally wanted the phrase “after agreement with”, but that this had been changed to “after consultation”, and in that: form had been adopted by the technical committee. After originally agreeing to this latter phrase, the Soviets had decided that they did not like it and Mr. Hickerson thought that, if we reopen the question now, we may have trouble. The Soviets, he said, wanted to add a sentence to the effect that the paragraph did not in any way limit the freedom of action of the Military Staff Committee or of the Security Council. They were afraid that the word “consultation” might be interpreted to mean “agreement” and so would provide opportunity for obstruction, Neither Mr. Kane nor General Embick saw any objection to use of the phrase “after an exchange of views” but thought it undesirable to reopen debate on the matter. It was agreed to accept the phrase “an exchange of views” if this language were found agreeable to the Five Powers and if it proved acceptable to Peru and others concerned so that it would not have to be put to a debate in the Committee. It was suggested that, if this were generally acceptable, the change could be handled as a matter of drafting in the Coordination Committee.

Time of Removal of “Restricted” From Conference Documents

. . . . . . .

Provision for Withdrawal

The Delegation returned to a discussion of the provision for amendment of the Charter and withdrawal from the Organization, Mr. Armstrong saying that the meeting of the Big Five had left the situation with respect to withdrawal unclear.33 The American Delegation, he recalled, had hoped that the smaller nations would not press for a withdrawal clause but that their desire in this connection would be satisfied by the insertion of an interpretive statement in the record. The Soviet Delegate, he said, intends to push for incorporation of a general withdrawal clause in the Charter. He also reported that after the second part of paragraph 3 of Chapter XI (a four power amendment) had been adopted by the subcommittee of Committee I/2 the previous evening, the Delegate of Canada had remarked that his Delegation would have to press for a withdrawal clause.34 The smaller powers, Mr. Armstrong remarked, are inclined to consider the proposal for a revision conference a mere front in view of the present provision for the operation of a veto in the acceptance of amendments proposed by such a conference. Australia [Page 1278] and Mexico, he said, supported Canada in their intention to press for a withdrawal provision.

Mr. Armstrong further reported that, at the meeting referred to, M. Rolin of the Belgian Delegation had proposed that the ordinary amendment clause in the Dumbarton Oaks Proposals be changed to provide that such amendments would come into effect only when approved by two-thirds of the members of the organization including the five permanent members, which motion was adopted by a subcommittee vote of 6–5. Such a provision, Mr. Armstrong stated, was regarded by the small powers as an added protection to themselves. The Soviet Delegation, however, had insisted in standing on the letter of the text of the Dumbarton Oaks Proposals and we joined them in voting against this change. Observing our opposition to his proposal, M. Rolin then changed his position with regard to the four power amendment providing for a Permanent Member veto on special conference amendments and although he had previously moved to accept this clause, he withdrew that motion and abstained on the final vote. This four power amendment, Mr. Armstrong reported, was approved in the subcommittee by a vote of 7–5, Costa Rica and Norway voting with the United States. Mr. Armstrong also reported that the statement was made last night that the Organization now being created is a temporary one to last for five or ten years. Mr. Pasvolsky suggested that in view of the opposition which was developing, a draft provision providing for a special review conference in five or ten years should be prepared as soon as possible. Mr. Armstrong said that the Soviets would not accept such a proposal.

With reference to a provision for withdrawal, Senator Connally said that he thought every member of the American Delegation had voted for the inclusion of such a clause in the Charter. Mr. Sandifer pointed out that that position had been reversed in the U.S. Delegation meeting on Monday.35 To an inquiry by Mr. Notter whether it would be better to put the provision in the Charter or in the record, Senator Connally said he would prefer incorporation of such a clause in the Charter. Commander Stassen thought that the smaller powers will certainly require either a clause in the Charter or a statement in the record.

Although no decision was taken, it appeared to be the sense of the Delegation to await developments on the question of withdrawal and to recede on our present position only if necessary.

Senator Connally referred at this point to the pressure which had been put on him to make a public statement with reference to the voting procedure which had been under consideration in Committee [Page 1279] III/1. He asked that he be free to make such comments as he thought necessary. Mr. Stevenson thought this perfectly agreeable and Mr. Dulles supported him saying that he thought it desirable that we should release a correct statement on the matter.


The Delegation proceeded to consideration of the Exploratory Revised U.S. Redraft of Section A Paragraph 1 of the Chapter on Trusteeship dated June 12, 1945.36 In this draft, Commander Stassen pointed out that an attempt has been made to incorporate several of the Australian amendments. In addition, the phrase “to assist them in the development of free political institutions” was incorporated to meet the desire of General Romulo.37 The draft, he said, steers cleat both of the word “independence” and of “self government”. Mr. Taussig reported that Mr. Fortas was agreeable to this redraft. Mr. Gerig remarked that both the British and French find it difficult to accept paragraph (d) of the draft and that we have had to press them hard to gain their acceptance thereof.

Mr. Hickerson inquired if it would not be possible to get the British and French to accept inclusion of the word “political” as one of the types of information required to be transmitted to the Secretary General. Commander Stassen said that he was against the addition of this word. Mr. Hickerson replied that he did not have in mind a report on the entire political situation in any territory but rather reports on such subjects as suffrage. Mr. Taussig supported Mr. Hickerson in this matter saying that this whole Section A constituted a tremendous advance and that inclusion of the word “political” would make it a paragraph of even more importance. As an example, he pointed out that the British have granted a new constitution to Jamaica and that in the Anglo-American Caribbean Commission they have made a great deal of information on this and related subjects available to us. Commander Stassen remarked that he believed it was best to leave this matter on a voluntary basis. Mr. Stone suggested that the word “civic” might reflect the intentions of Messrs. Hickerson and Taussig better than the word “political”. Asked for his opinion, Mr. Gerig said that he saw no objection to the use of the word “political”.

As a substitute Mr. Taussig suggested insertion of the words “and the political status of said territories”. He said that this would include progress of the individual territories towards self-government. [Page 1280] Commander Stassen said that he feared a debate in Congress were any of these suggested words or phrases added and thought that nothing was needed in the text to obtain the information desired. Congressmen Bloom and Eaton and Dean Gildersleeve agreed that the word “political” should not be included. Mr. Notter suggested ending the paragraph after the word “nature”.

Mr. Kane remarked that the text of the redraft looked satisfactory to him but he thought the Congressional members of the Delegation should be prepared to discuss the whole subject with the Military Affairs committees of the two branches of Congress as well as with the committees on Insular Affairs. He reiterated the objection of the Secretary of the Navy to giving too much freedom to territories over which we exercise sovereignty. Secretary Forrestal, Mr. Kane said, had been informed on this whole matter.

Mr. Gerig remarked that Under Secretary Grew should be instructed to send the text to the Department of Interior. Mr. Taussig said that the Department of Interior approved the entire Section A of the draft under consideration although in paragraph C it would prefer to see the reference to “regional advisory bodies” reinserted.

Commander Stassen explained that this whole matter was still under consideration with the other members of the Big Five and therefore requested that no information on it be released at the present time.

The Delegation meeting adjourned at 10:30.

  1. Doc. 956, III/1/47 June 13, UNCIO Documents, vol. 11, p. 494.
  2. For text of Statute of the Permanent Court of International Justice, as amended by the Protocol of Sept. 14, 1929, see Conference Series No. 84: The International Court of Justice (Department of State publication No. 1491), p. 1.
  3. See minutes of the Five-Power meeting of June 11, 3 p.m., p. 1256.
  4. Seventh meeting of Subcommittee I/2/E, June 13, 11:00 a.m.; minutes not printed.
  5. Not printed.
  6. For text of the Franco-British proposals for a settlement of the Italo-Abyssinian dispute (agreement between Sir Samuel Hoare, British Foreign Secretary, and Pierre Laval, French Minister for Foreign Affairs), December 10, 1935, see League of Nations, Official Journal, January 1936, p. 39; for documentation on this subject, see Foreign Relations, 1935, vol. i, pp. 699 ff.
  7. Doc. 976, I/1/40, June 14, UNCIO Documents, vol. 6, p. 494.
  8. Draft prepared by the Five-Power Deputies, thirty-fifth meeting, June 12, not printed.
  9. See minutes of the June 11, 3 p.m., meeting, p. 1256.
  10. Minutes of sixth meeting of Subcommittee I/2/E, June 12, 8:30 p.m., not printed.
  11. Meeting of June 11, 12:06 p.m., p. 1236.
  12. Not printed; text transmitted by Mr. Stettinius to the Under Secretary of the Department of the Interior (Fortas) in telegram 7, June 13, not printed.
  13. Brig. Gen. Carlos P. Romulo, Resident Commissioner of the Philippines to the United States; Chairman of the Philippine delegation.