840.50 UNRRA/7–2445

Mr. Edward G. Miller, Jr., Special Assistant to the Under Secretary of State (Acheson), to the Assistant Solicitor General (Judson)

My Dear Mr. Judson: I refer to our conversation last week on the subject of the proposed legislation to extend privileges and immunities to international organizations and their staffs, which legislation was submitted to the Attorney General for his approval in a letter from the Acting Secretary of State dated July 2, 1945.

As I advised you during our conversation, other governments have taken action in various forms to extend privileges and immunities to international organizations. An early example of this is the Modus Vivendi entered into in 1926 by the Swiss Government concerning diplomatic immunities of the staff of the League of Nations and related organizations at Geneva, a copy of which is enclosed.15 A more exact precedent to the legislation under consideration is the Diplomatic Privileges (Extension) Act, 1944, of the United Kingdom, a copy of which is also enclosed.16 There is also enclosed an Order in Council whereby Canada extended privileges to UNRRA;17 similar action has been taken in Canada, I understand, with respect to other international organizations located there, notably the International [Page 1561] Labor Organization and the Provisional International Civil Aviation Organization.

At our conference you asked for information as to the number of persons who would be affected by the proposed legislation. The available figures as to the number of employees of international organizations located in this country indicate that the total of such employees at the present time is approximately 1,470, of which some 1,245 are United States citizens. Of these, however, some 1,200, of which some 1,025 are United States citizens, are employed by UNRRA which, as you know, should be practically wound up within the next two years. As to what the figures might be in five years, after all of the projected international organizations have been agreed upon by the nations and launched in operation, it is extremely difficult to foretell. It depends upon the number of organizations which will have their headquarters in this country and particularly upon the location of the United Nations Organization. I can therefore only hazard a guess of my own, which would be to the effect that the total number of persons employed by international organizations and located in this country would amount to a few thousand—perhaps not more than 3,000—of which the greater number would be American citizens.

This compares with a total of between 15,000 to 20,000 alien employees of foreign governments located in this country at the present time. Even assuming that this figure is somewhat inflated owing to wartime activities, it is clear that the proposed bill would involve only a relatively small increase in the number of persons normally entitled to official privileges and immunities.

Sincerely yours,

Edward G. Miller, Jr.
  1. For text, see League of Nations, Official Journal, 1926, p. 1422.
  2. For text of the Diplomatic Privileges (Extension) Act, dated November 17, 1944, see Public General Acts, 7 & 8 George VI, ch. 44, pp. 402–407.
  3. P.C. 9132, December 15, 1944.