500.CC(PC)/9–1945: Telegram

The United States Representative on the Preparatory Commission (Stettinius) to the Acting Secretary of State

9652. Copre 119. I invited the representatives of the Big Five to tea on Monday for an informal discussion of several of the important [Page 1450] problems which lie ahead of us. At the meeting Noel-Baker renewed previous expressions of disapproval of preliminary efforts to reach Big Five agreement. Although not opposed to informal talks, he took position that other states would resist and resent Big Five direction; that final decisions must be made in the organs of UNO and that the other states did not want to be bound by any previous Big Five agreements. I believe we overcame some of his doubts and that he will agree to further meetings on a discussion basis. I placed before the group the following list of 9 questions with the statement that these were questions which I thought we might want to discuss among ourselves at an early date.

Presidency of PreCo.
Presidency of GA (General Assembly).
Selection of non-permanent members of SC (Security Council).
Selection of members of EcoSoC (Economic and Social Council).
Method of selection of president of SC (Security Council).
SyG (Secretary General).
Admission of new members at the organized [organizing?] meeting.
Organization of MSC (Military Staff Committee).
Permanent headquarters of the organization.

We had a preliminary discussion on the first six of these items without attempting to go into any detail or to reach conclusions. The main points of interest were as follows: Item 1. There seemed to be agreement that the representative of one of the smaller nations should be chosen, probably one of the nations represented on ExCom (Executive Committee). Item 2. Noel-Baker stated that the choice should be based on qualification as presiding officer rather than nationality. Items 3 and 4. There was general agreement that an effort should be made to avoid seating smaller nations on both Councils at the same time, and on the criteria for choosing members of these two Councils along the lines discussed with you in Washington before we left. Item 5. There was general agreement that the presidency must rotate at specified intervals. There was no discussion of whether the rotation should be among the five or among all eleven. Item 6. It was generally agreed that the Big Five must choose their nominee for SyG (Secretary General) several weeks before the GA (General Assembly) meeting so that there would be an opportunity to sound him out to be sure he was available. Also that we should avoid if possible any debate and therefore should attempt to assure general agreement beforehand by informal discussions.