500.CC(PC)/10–545: Telegram

The United States Representative on the Preparatory Commission (Stettinius) to President Truman and the Secretary of State

10393. Copre 199. Have sent Department full report on Wednesday meeting of the Executive Committee of Preparatory Commission at which recommendation of US for permanent site was decided upon. Executive Committee will meet soon to discuss particular city in US but I doubt if discussion will produce a final decision at this time.

I think it is important that I be authorized to state that it is up to the United Nations themselves to decide the specific location in the United States they will choose as their permanent headquarters. While the suggestion has been made that it should be left largely to the US, I feel that the majority of the United Nations would want to make the decision themselves and that it might be embarrassing for us to attempt to control the decision. I presume you would prefer to place responsibility on the United Nations in any case in order to avoid political difficulties for yourself. You may also consider it advisable to make a statement to this effect in Washington.28

Unless you have other views I propose to steer discussion at such meeting away from choice of a particular city with a view to leaving that decision to the General Assembly in December. I propose also to suggest that the US will gladly furnish to the Preparatory Commission and the General Assembly full information on any places which they care to consider. I propose furthermore to support a proposal that the Executive Committee send a subcommittee to the [Page 1455] US soon to consider proposals from the interested cities and places. In our consideration of permanent location in US, we must bear in mind that organization should move to temporary quarters in January pending availability of suitable facilities at permanent site. Such temporary quarters should be in same location as permanent location if possible.

We are making splendid headway in our work. It is now likely that we will complete work of Executive Committee within 2 weeks and I shall immediately return to Washington for a period of consultation with you, planning, of course, to return to London in November for the full meeting of the Preparatory Commission and remaining in London for the constituent meeting of the Assembly in December.

  1. In telegram 9027 (Preco 185), October 11, 4 p.m., Mr. Stettinius was informed that he was fully authorized to make such a statement. He was further informed that the President had made statements regarding the question of location at his press conferences on September 26 and October 3. (500.CC(PC)/10–545)