IO Files, Lot 60–D224: Box 89

Memorandum Prepared by the United States Representative on the Preparatory Commission (Stettinius)

Matters To Be Reviewed With the President and Secretary Byrnes

(1) Time and Place of the Organization Meetings of the General Assembly, the Security Council, and the Economic and Social Council

The necessary ratifications of the Charter may be deposited by early October, thus making it possible to set November 15 as the target date for the organization meetings of the General Assembly, the Security Council and the Economic and Social Council. It is recommended that the United States urge the necessity for speed, and propose this target date.

It is also recommended that the organization meeting of the United Nations be held in London. The choice of any other location would cause some delay.

(2) Location of Permanent Headquarters of the United Nations

It appears that a majority of the United Nations may be in favor of the permanent headquarters of the organization being in the United States. Russia and China have so advised us. France, Australia, New Zealand, and the Netherlands have given similar indications informally. The Latin Americans and Near Eastern countries will almost all favor the United States. Great Britain apparently favors Europe.

I favor the United States as the permanent location and recommend that my instructions be to state informally to my colleagues in London that the United States would be glad to become the host to [Page 1438] the United Nations if that is the desire of the other countries; that no effort should be made initially, at least, to enlist support for the United States as the seat of the Organization; that we should propose that the Assembly and other organs of the United Nations should meet in various parts of the world from time to time.

(3) Selection of Non-Permanent Members of the Security Council

The following slate is recommended for the first three elections as a basis for negotiations in London:

First Year Second Year Third Year
Brazil Brazil Peru
Canada Canada Australia
Netherlands Netherlands Belgium
Poland Czechoslovakia Czechoslovakia
Egypt Turkey Turkey
Venezuela (or Mexico (or Mexico (or
Mexico Venezuela Venezuela

(4) Selection of Members of the Economic and Social Council

It is recommended that two principles be agreed upon: first, that States elected as non-permanent members of the Security Council should not also be elected members of the Economic and Social Council; second, that about ten of the most important economic countries, and about eight countries of high social achievement would make the best composition of membership.

The following tentative slate for the first election is recommended as a basis for negotiations in London:

  • United States
  • U.S.S.R.
  • United Kingdom
  • China
  • France
  • India
  • Colombia
  • Greece
  • Belgium
  • Denmark
  • Chile
  • Australia
  • Iraq
  • Czechoslovakia
  • Ukrainian S.S.R.
  • Mexico
  • Uruguay
  • Turkey

(5) Procedure for Selecting the President of the Security Coimcil

I recommend that the United States favor the rotation of the Presidency among all the members of the Security Council on a monthly basis. Rotation among the Big Five only would emphasize unduly the position of the Great Powers on the Council.

(6) Selection of the President of the Preparatory Commission and the President of the First General Assembly

It is recommended that Czechoslovakia be given the Presidency of the Preparatory Commission and that Norway be given the Presidency of the first General Assembly.

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(7) Selection of the Secretary-General

The Secretary General should, if possible, not be a national of one of the Big Five; he should be chosen because of his qualifications. It is recommended that our first choice should be Mr. Norman A. Robertson, Under Secretary of State for External Affairs of Canada. Other possibilities are: Ambassador L. B. Pearson, Canada; Mr. Adrian Pelt, Netherlands; Mr. Stanley M. Bruce, Australia; Mr. D. D. Forsyth, South Africa; and Mr. C. Parra Perez, Venezuela.

(8) Admission of New Members of the United Nations Organization

It is recommended that no action should be taken at the organization meeting of the United Nations to admit new members, and that this matter be postponed until the first annual meeting of the General Assembly.