500.CC(PC)/11–2845: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Acting United States Representative on the Preparatory Commission (Stevenson), at London

10333. Preco 324. We have had indications that the British are giving the impression that this Government prefers not to have the permanent headquarters of the organization located in the United [Page 1480] States. If these reports are accurate they may be due to the fact that the British feel warranted in giving such an impression as a result of remarks which I made to Lord Halifax and Noel-Baker on October 24, 1945. You are familiar with these remarks and you will observe that I did not deviate from the official position which we have consistently taken that this Government will not seek the location of the headquarters of the organization in the United States but that if the United Nations desire to place their headquarters here we will welcome it. I also indicated that in view of the vote of the Executive Committee I considered the question of location had already been decided. You are authorized to deny that this Government does not wish the location to be in the United States and to state that our position remains as stated in the third sentence of this telegram.45

  1. In telegram 12562, Copre 445, December 1, 3 p.m., from London, Mr. Stevenson reported, inter alia, “I informed Noel-Baker yesterday of the substance of Preco 324. He replied: ‘I have never said anything to anyone that was not textually in accord with what Mr. Byrnes said to me, and I hope you will assure him that I have always understood and understand now the absolutely loyal and generous attitude of the United States Govt. But you have seen the message from Washington in the Times and I think a number of delegations have independently had messages from their govts to the effect that US opinion was by no means unanimous. I am more anxious than I can say that this business should not become a question of being pro or anti-American, and I hope that I shall be able to get everybody who takes our view to do everything in their power to ensure that this is the chief object they have in view. I will make clear to everyone I can reach exactly what Mr. Byrnes said to me. When the vote comes, it is, of course, very likely to uphold the Executive Committee’s decision; and if it does, I am extremely anxious that it should be accepted by everybody with the fullest goodwill. As for myself, I only say that the happiest times of my life have always been in the U.S. So my goodwill will be very keen and personal.’

    “This reply indicates to me that Noel-Baker intends to continue to use his memorandum of conversation with the Secretary of Oct. 24.” (500.CC (PC)/12–145)