Council of Foreign Ministers Files: Lot M–88

Record of the Second Meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers, Lancaster House, London, September 12, 1945, 4 p.m.62

C.F.M.(P) (45) 2nd Meeting


U.K. U.S.A U.S.S.R
Mr. Bevin Mr. Byrnes M. Molotov (Chairman)
Sir R. I. Campbell Mr. B. V. Cohen M. F. T. Gousev
Sir A. Clark Kerr Mr. J. Dunn M. K. V. Novikov
Mr. A. Duff Cooper Mr. J. F. Dulles M. S. A. Golunski
Mr. Ivanoff Mr. C. E. Bohlen M. V. N. Pavlov
France China
M. Bidault Dr. Wang Shih Chieh
M. Couve de Murville Dr. Wellington Koo
M. Massigli Dr. Victor Hoo
M. Fouques Duparc Dr. Hollington Tong
M. Mathieu Mr. Yang Yun Chu


(Previous Reference: C.F.M.(D) (45) 1st Meeting,63 Minute 2)

Sir Ronald Campbell reported the views expressed at the meeting of Deputies held that morning, which are recorded in the Minutes of that meeting (C.F.M.(D) (45) 1st Meeting, Minute 2).64

[Page 126]

The Council first discussed the suggestion of the United States Delegation that the telegram to be sent to the Allied Commanders-in-Chief in Austria should invite their views on “the extension of the authority of the Austrian Provisional Government to all of Austria” instead of “the possible recognition of a central Government”.

On this point Mr. Bevin said that the United Kingdom Delegation had deliberately used the original words so as to enable the Allied Council to discuss the question on its merits and without having its hands tied by the more restricted wording used in the Protocol of the Berlin Conference. If no agreement were reached about the extension of the authority of the present Austrian Government to the whole of Austria, the Council would be no further forward. Under the British proposal the Council could make constructive proposals. It was desirable that the Austrian Government should be set up on a proper basis so as to get the economic life of the country going, and members of the Allied Council should be able to express their views freely. He had, however, no objection to mentioning also the decision of the Berlin Conference.

Mr. Byrnes said that it was the view of the United States Delegation that it would be better to frame the instructions to the Allied representatives in Austria in the language which had been agreed to at the Berlin Conference.

[Page 127]

M. Molotov suggested that, to save time, they should retain the language used at Berlin; the result, he said, would be the same in either case.

Mr. Bevin said that in his view it would be a pity to limit the Allied Council by using the language of the Berlin decisions as that would preclude them from giving this Conference any advice on possible alternative government. He would, however, be content to use the Berlin language if it were also indicated that the Control Council was not thereby precluded from suggesting an alternative government.

M. Bidault said that the text as it appeared in the draft telegram was quite satisfactory to him, but that he had no objection to the use of the language employed at Berlin. He would, however, have strong objection to a text which referred specifically to decisions to which the French were not a party.

Mr. Bevin said that in the circumstances he would prefer to delete (b) altogether and ask for the views of the Allied Council on (a) only. He agreed with M. Molotov that this would not preclude further discussion at this Conference of the question of a Central Government for Austria.

It was agreed that the views of the Allied Council should be sought only on the question of long-term supply arrangements for Austria; and that all words after (b) should be deleted from the draft telegram.

It was further agreed to insert the words “so far as possible” after “recognition” in the second paragraph of the draft telegram; and that the date to be inserted in the third paragraph of the draft telegram should be 18th September.

The text of the telegram as agreed by the Council is set out in C.F.M.(45) 5.65

2. Italy: Draft Peace Treaty
(Previous Reference C. F. M. (D) (45) 1st Meeting, Minute 3)

Sir Ronald Campbell reported the views expressed at the meeting of Deputies that morning on the procedure to be followed in the preparation of the Italian Peace Treaty; and said that the Deputies desired guidance from the Council on the question which Governments not represented at the Council should be invited to express their views at this stage on those aspects of the Italian settlement which were of particular concern to them.

Mr. Byrnes said that, in the view of the United States Delegation, only those Governments directly interested should be invited to express their views at this stage. He fully realised the difficulties arising [Page 128] from the fact that many of the United Nations were interested in this question to a greater or less extent, but he had hoped that, by limiting the invitations to those Governments whose countries had been attacked, it would be possible to secure their presence in London before the end of the present Conference. If, however, invitations were to be extended to all countries which had contributed to the defeat of Italy, it would be impossible to secure their attendance in time; for in addition to the countries already mentioned, Brazil, Poland and many other countries which considered that they had made a military or economic contribution towards Italy’s defeat would have to be invited. He therefore suggested that this point should be passed over for the time being in the hope that, as the discussions proceeded and the principles involved became more clear, it might be possible to find some other yardstick by which it could be decided which Governments should be invited. Before the text of the Treaty was finally settled, it would, of course, have to be submitted to all the United Nations concerned.

Mr. Bevin said that, in spite of the fact that the United States Delegation had withdrawn their proposal for consultation with certain interested States, he must still press the claims of the British Dominions and India who would object strongly to any decisions being taken without their having been heard. In particular, the Government of South Africa was vitally interested in the whole question of their connections with Europe through the Mediterranean. He had, of course, no objection to the other countries concerned also being heard.

M. Molotov said that Mr. Bevin’s remarks were of great practical moment. They all shared his views about the merits of the Dominions’ claims and about their services and sacrifices in the war. He thought, however, that the United States proposal about the principles on which the selection should be made was in general correct. They could discuss at a later stage what arrangement should be made to ensure that the Dominions were given an opportunity to express their views. If, however, they were to extend the number of countries which should be invited to discuss the Treaty at this stage, the work of the Conference would be dragged out inordinately. He asked whether there were any practical suggestions as to how this very complicated question might be settled.

M. Bidault said that the French Delegation would have no objection to the largest possible number of States being invited to take part in the discussions, but in view of the practical difficulties they had [Page 129] suggested at the meeting that morning that, as a compromise, those nations which had contributed largely to the defeat of Italy should be invited to submit their views to the Council in writing. Perhaps this suggestion could be further considered by the Deputies.

Mr. Byrnes suggested that the Deputies should examine the question whether all interested Governments should be asked to submit their views in writing. At the end of the present visit of Foreign Ministers, the Deputies would have to devote some considerable time to this matter. Before the Foreign Secretaries met again to consider the result of the Deputies’ work, it could be determined which Governments, if any, should be invited to appear before the Council. It might be that a workable plan for the attendance of interested Governments could be worked out before the end of the present visit of Foreign Ministers; but in his view it was more important to proceed with discussion of the actual provision of the Treaty, than to wait until all the United Nations had expressed their views to the Council.

Mr. Bevin asked whether Mr. Byrnes’ proposal could be put as follows. The States interested in the Italian Peace Treaty should first be invited to make their comments in writing; then the Deputies should consider the whole question of who should be heard by the Council itself and by what method. The invitation to States to express their views in writing would be without prejudice to their claim to be heard later.

M. Molotov said that the Soviet Delegation accepted the United States proposals for inviting representations from Yugoslavia, Ethiopia and Greece; and they would add Albania, since Albania also was attacked by Italy. They would find it difficult to discuss the future of Istria and Trieste without having the views of Yugoslavia, who were interested in this aspect of the matter and had asked to appear before the Council. He was also in favour of admitting Greece to the discussions; all must recognise the rights and interests of Greece in this question; but he would find it difficult to do so so long as there was not in Greece a Government which he could regard as representative. When there was such a Government he would favour inviting it to send representatives to the Council. His views on this matter were set out in a memorandum which he was now circulating (C.F.M. (45) 9).66 He suggested, therefore, that the Deputies should continue their discussions on the procedure for obtaining the views of the other interested States, and that as soon as the Delegations had studied the [Page 130] United Kingdom proposals (C.F.M. (45) 3) the Foreign Ministers should begin consideration of the draft Treaty itself.

Mr. Bevin said he must make the position of the United Kingdom Delegation clear. He would raise no objection to the appearance before the Council of representatives of any Government whom any other member of the Council wished to invite. If, however, any Governments were heard, the British Dominions must also be heard; and he could not accept the position that any one Delegation could impose a veto on the appearance before the Council of a particular Government. He supported the proposal that all the United Nations concerned should be asked to submit their views in writing in the first instance, so long as it was clear that this would not prejudice their being heard by the Council at a later stage.

Dr. Wang Shih Chieh67 said that there seemed to be three categories of States:—

those attacked by Italy: these might be given an immediate hearing during the present visit of the Foreign Ministers;
those States which had made a contribution to the defeat of Italy: these might be given a hearing, but how and when might be considered by the Deputies;
other States interested in the Peace Treaty with Italy: these might submit their views in writing.

If the Deputies were to consider the general question of procedure, he hoped they would consider the possibility of finding a solution on these lines.

Mr. Bevin said that he could not accept such a solution. He must stand by the position he had already outlined.

M. Molotov asked whether it was proposed that all the United Nations, or only those concerned with the Treaty, should be invited to submit their views in writing. Mr. Byrnes said that it was his intention that the invitation should be limited to those States which were at war with Italy.

The Council:—

Agreed that members of the United Nations which were at war with Italy should be invited to submit in writing their views on the Peace Treaty with Italy, without prejudice to any claim they might have to make oral representations to the Council at a later stage;
Invited the Deputies to consider at their meeting on the following day how the invitations under (1) above could best be extended; [Page 131] and what would be the most convenient procedure for arranging which Governments should be invited to make oral representations to the Council at a later stage.

3. Peace Treaties With Bulgaria, Finland, Hungary and Roumania

M. Molotov submitted memoranda by the Soviet Delegation setting out the Soviet Government’s suggestions for Peace Treaties with Bulgaria (C.F.M. (45)6), Finland (C.F.M. (45)7), Hungary (C.F.M. (45)4), and Roumania (C.F.M.(45)8).68

4. Repatriation of Soviet Citizens

M. Molotov handed in copies of a memorandum on the repatriation of Soviet citizens, which was subsequently circulated as C.F.M. (45) 10.69

5. Agenda for Future Meetings

M. Molotov said that he would not be in a position to discuss on the following day the British draft heads of a Treaty with Italy (C.F.M. (45)3).

Mr. Byrnes therefore asked whether the Council would consider that day the United States paper on an Emergency Regime for European Inland Waterways (C.F.M.(45)1). He emphasized that this paper was concerned only with temporary measures to deal with a pressing emergency, and he was content that consideration of United States proposals for more permanent arrangements for inland waterways should be postponed for the time being. It was reported by UNRRA,70 and confirmed by United States representatives in the countries concerned, that the transportation of relief to the peoples of Europe was seriously hampered by the conditions of the inland waterways, and measures were therefore urgently necessary to enable relief supplies to work.

After discussion it was agreed that the next meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers should be held on Friday, 14th September at 11 o’clock to consider the Draft Heads of a Treaty with Italy (C.F.M.(45)3).

  1. For text of the brief communiqué issued after this meeting, see Department of State Bulletin, October 14, 1945, p. 564.
  2. Document designation for the agreed record of the 1st meeting of the Deputies of the Council of Foreign Ministers, held at Lancaster House, London, September 12, 1945, at 11:30 a.m. Deputies present were as follows: For the United States—James C. Dunn; for the United Kingdom—Sir Ronald Campbell; for the Soviet Union—Fedor Tarasovich Gusev; for France—Maurice Couve de Murville; for China—Dr. Wellington Koo.
  3. Acting under instructions from the Deputies, the Secretaries of the delegations prepared the following draft telegram to be sent to the Allied Council for Austria:

    “At the first meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers on 11th September the British Foreign Secretary suggested that two of the items for discussion at the Conference should be (a) long term supply arrangements for Austria, and (b) possible recognition of a central Government.

    “It was agreed that the four Governments represented on the Allied Council for Austria should instruct their respective representatives on the Council to consult immediately on these questions and submit their recommendations in time for them to be considered before the end of the present series of meetings of Foreign Ministers.

    “You should consult with your colleagues with a view to an immediate consideration of these matters and submission of reports not later than September with such agreed recommendations as may be possible.

    “An identical telegram has been addressed to each of your colleagues.”

    In the course of the discussion among the Deputies regarding this draft telegram, Mr. Dunn suggested that, in substitution for the words following (&) in the first paragraph of the draft, it would be preferable to employ the language used in the Protocol of the Berlin Conference, viz., “the extension of the authority of the Austrian Provisional Government to all of Austria”. Ambassador Gusev suggested that the telegram should include a reference to the need for giving early effect to the decision of the Berlin Conference on this point, viz., that the three Governments were prepared to examine, after the entry of the British and American Forces into Vienna, the question of the extension of the authority of the Austrian Provisional Government to all of Austria. The Deputies agreed that the draft telegram and the suggestions raised with regard to it in the Deputies’ meeting be referred to the Foreign Ministers for decision. (Council of Foreign Ministers File: Lot M-88: File CFM London Deputies Minutes)

  4. CFM (45) 5, September 12, 1945, not printed. For text of the telegram as sent, see telegram 9375, Delsec 9, September 12, 9 p.m., from London, vol. iii, p. 590.
  5. Dated September 12, entitled “The Situation in Greece”, p. 150.
  6. The American minutes of this meeting record the speaker as Dr. Wellington Koo.
  7. Post, pp. 148, 148, 147, and 149, respectively.
  8. Post, p. 151.
  9. United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration.