740.00119 Council/8–1545

The British Chargé ( Balfour ) to the Secretary of State

My Dear Mr. Secretary: I have been instructed by the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs2 to give you the following message:

“I am greatly looking forward to seeing you here in London for the opening sessions of the Council of Foreign Ministers. I suggest that the first meeting of Foreign Secretaries should take place on Monday, September 3rd, but it would be convenient if Delegations could arrive in London at least by September 1st in order to establish contact with each other and in order that deputies could meet together to discuss procedure and prepare agenda for the first meeting of Foreign Secretaries.3

I suggest that the first item on the Agenda should be the preparation of the Peace Treaty with Italy,4 and in order to make early progress I hope to circulate to my colleagues in advance the British draft proposals for the Political Sections of the Treaty. I hope at the opening sessions of the Council in September we could also discuss the other subjects referred at Potsdam to the Council, i.e.

Preparation of Peace Treaties with Hungary, Roumania, Bulgaria and Finland.5
Withdrawal of troops from Persia.
Disposal of Italian colonies.
International waterways.7

In view of developments in the Far East it will no doubt be essential to discuss the questions relating to Japan.

I should greatly welcome your observations on these suggestions and I should be glad to know whether there are any further subjects which you would like to discuss.

I am sending a similar message to Russian, French and Chinese Foreign Ministers.”

If you will give me your observations in due course, I shall be glad to transmit them to Mr. Bevin.

I have [etc.]

John Balfour
  1. Ernest Bevin.
  2. At the suggestion of the Secretary of State, the opening of the Conference was postponed. The first meeting was held on September 11.
  3. For documentation on proposals for a revision of the Italian Armistice Agreement and for a preliminary treaty of peace with Italy, see vol. iv, pp. 991 ff. See also the exchange of correspondence concerning the Italian peace treaty printed in the Department of State Bulletin, November 11, 1945, pp. 761–765.
  4. Additional documentation concerning the attitude of the United States with regard to the preparation of peace treaties with the former German satellites is included among the papers relating to the interest of the United States in the establishment of representative government in Hungary, vol. iv, pp. 798 ff., passim; the efforts of the United States to help bring about a democratic solution of the Rumanian constitutional crisis, vol. v, pp. 464 ff., passim; the interest of the United States in the post-armistice problems of occupation and control in Bulgaria, vol. iv, pp. 135 ff., passim; and the interest of the United States in the internal affairs of Finland, ibid., pp. 598 ff., passim.
  5. For additional documentation regarding the interest of the United States in the control of European inland waterways, see pp. 1362 ff.