Council of Foreign Ministers Files: Lot M–88: CFM London Minutes

Record of the Third Meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers, Lancaster House, London, September 14, 1945, 11 a.m.

C.F.M.(P) (45) 3rd Meeting


U.K. U.S.A U.S.S.R
Mr. Bevin Mr. Byrnes M. Molotov
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
Sir N. Charles87 Mr. C. E. Bohlen M. V. N. Pavlov
France China
M. Bidault Dr. Wang Shih Chieh (Chairman)
M. Couve de Murville Dr. Wellington Koo
General Catroux88 Dr. Victor Hoo
M. Fouques Duparc Dr. Hollington Tong
Mr. Yang Yun Chu

1. Reparations From Germany

M. Molotov handed in a Memorandum on this subject (C.F.M.(45) 15).89

The Council agreed to consider at their meeting that afternoon whether this question should be added to the Agenda for the present Conference.

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2. Repatriation of Soviet Citizens

M. Molotov asked whether his Memorandum on this subject (subsequently circulated as C.F.M. (45) 1090) could be added to the Agenda.

The Council agreed that this question should be added to the Agenda for the present Conference.

3. Secretariat

(Previous Eeference: C.F.M. (D) (45) 2nd Meeting, Minute 2).

M. Gousev reported that at their Meeting on the previous day the Deputies had agreed upon recommendations regarding the composition and functions of a Joint Secretariat, which were set out in C.F.M.(45) 12.91 These recommendations were now submitted for approval by the Council of Foreign Ministers.

The Council approved the report of the Deputies on the composition and functions of the Joint Secretariat (C.F.M.(45) 12).

4. Italy: Procedure for Preparing Peace Treaty

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

M. Gousev reported that there was a difference of view between the Deputies regarding the agreement reached by the Council of Foreign Ministers on 12th September (C.F.M.(P) (45) 2nd Meeting, Minute 2) with regard to the countries which were to be invited to express their views in writing on the Peace Treaty with Italy. He understood the agreement in the sense that the Governments of all countries at war with Italy would be asked to submit their views in writing.92 Mr. Dunn, Sir Ronald Campbell, M. Couve de Murville and Dr. Wellington Koo had understood the agreement to mean that invitations would be sent to the United Nations at war with Italy. After discussion the Deputies had not reached agreement and had instructed him to report to the Council accordingly.

M. Molotov said that on further consideration the Soviet Delegation had decided that they could agree that invitations to express written views on the Peace Treaty for Italy should be issued to those of the United Nations who were at war with Italy.

The Council invited the Deputies to determine the procedure for enabling those of the United Nations who were at war with Italy to express their views in writing on the Italian Peace Treaty.

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5. Italy: Draft Heads of Peace Treaty

Dr. Wang Shih Chieh proposed that the Conference should consider the memorandum by the United Kingdom Delegation covering Draft Heads of a Peace Treaty with Italy (C.F.M. (45) 3).92a

Mr. Byrnes, M. Molotov, M. Bidault and Dr. Wang Shih Chieh paid tribute to the valuable work done by the British Delegation in preparing the draft heads of a Treaty.

Mr. Byrnes suggested that the British draft should be used as a basis for detailed discussion by the Deputies. It would, however, be desirable for the Foreign Ministers to select the more important subjects and to give the Deputies guidance on these. He handed in a memorandum by the United States Delegation (subsequently circulated as C.F.M.(45) 1693) setting out the points of principle which in their view should be discussed by the Foreign Ministers themselves.

M. Bidault agreed with the procedure suggested by Mr. Byrnes. The French Delegation would submit a memorandum on the minor modifications which they desired in the frontier between France and Italy.

Dr. Wang Shih Chieh said that the Chinese Delegation had circulated memoranda (C.F.M.(45) 13 and 1494) on certain points of special interest to China. These could be considered by the Deputies.

M. Molotov said that he must make one reservation. As he had pointed out at the Council’s meeting on 12th September (C.F.M.(P) (45) 2nd Meeting, Minute 2) the Soviet Delegation would find it difficult to discuss such questions as the frontier between Yugoslavia and Italy without hearing the views of the Yugoslav Government. He suggested that the Council should comply with the request of the Yugoslav Government and invite them to send representatives to put their views before their Conference.

Mr. Byrnes said that, after the Council had exchanged views on points of principle, the Deputies would have to work out detailed proposals. For this purpose the Deputies might decide to visit the territories in question; and they could then hear representations from interested parties and see what conditions were on the spot. They could collect information from any source they deemed appropriate. As a result of their investigations, the Foreign Ministers would have before them all the relevant facts and arguments. At that stage the [Page 161] Council might decide to invite the Yugoslav and Italian Governments to send representatives to put their case orally before the Foreign Ministers.

Mr. Bevin suggested that representatives of interested British Dominions, and perhaps British Colonies, should be given similar facilities to put their views before the Deputies. Some of the British Dominions claimed that they had a vital interest in the port of Trieste.

M. Molotov agreed that the Deputies might visit the territories in question if they found it necessary to do so. But Yugoslavia was one of the United Nations which was not represented at this meeting, although it had a common frontier with Italy, and had asked that its views on the territorial question should be heard. A precedent had been set by inviting the Poles to the Berlin Conference to put forward their views on the western frontier of Poland, and in these circumstances it was difficult to reject the Yugoslav request for similar facilities. He suggested that the Yugoslav Government should be invited to send representatives to put their views before this meeting of the Council. As regards the British Dominions, he was prepared to agree to any proposals that might be put forward for enabling them to state their views either to the Deputies or to the Foreign Ministers.

Mr. Byrnes saw no objection to hearing representatives of any British Dominion which claimed to be heard. He suggested that they should ask the Governments of Yugoslavia and Italy to send representatives to put their views before the Council on Monday, 17th September, and representatives of such of the British Dominions as claimed to be heard could be invited to attend at the same meeting.

The Council asked Dr. Wang Shih Chieh, as Chairman, to arrange for the Governments of Yugoslavia and Italy, and the Governments of such British Dominions as claimed to be heard, to be invited to send representatives to present their views at the meeting of the Council on Monday, 17th September.

The Council then proceeded to discuss the points of principle set out in the United States memorandum (C.F.M.(45) 16).

Section I: Territorial Provisions for Italy in Europe

(1) It was agreed that the frontier with France would be unchanged, subject to hearing the case of the French Government for minor rectifications.

It was further agreed that the Deputies should consider the memorandum which the French Delegation proposed to submit on the minor adjustments desired in the Franco-Italian frontier.

(2) It was agreed that the frontier with Switzerland should remain unchanged.

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(3) It was agreed that the frontier with Austria would be unchanged, subject to hearing any case which Austria might present for minor rectifications in her favour.

(4) It was agreed that discussion of the proposals in the United States memorandum regarding the frontier between Yugoslavia and Italy should be deferred until the Council had heard the representatives of other Governments who were being invited to attend the meeting on Monday, 17th September.

(5) It was proposed in the United States memorandum that the Dodecanese Islands should be ceded to Greece and demilitarized.

Mr. Bevin said that, in the view of the British Government, Castelrosso should be ceded to Turkey. This island was a friction point between the Turks and the Greeks. He was ready to agree that this point should be considered by the Deputies in consultation with the interested parties.

Mr. Byrnes said that there was no evidence to suggest that Turkey wanted Castelrosso, and the population was overwhelmingly Greek. For these reasons he could not agree that the island should go to Turkey. If it were to be demilitarised there would be no military danger to Turkey in leaving it under the control of Greece; if Turkey were asked her views, it was likely that she would claim the island.

M. Molotov said that, in his view, the disposal of the Dodecanese Islands should be considered in connection with the disposal of other Italian possessions overseas, and he therefore proposed to reserve his views until the Council discussed the Italian Colonies.

Mr. Bevin and Mr. Byrnes said that they did not regard the Dodecanese Islands as standing on the same footing as the Italian Colonies; but, as the Italian Colonies would come up for discussion very shortly, they agreed that this point should stand over for the time being.

(6) It was agreed that Italy should be required to renounce all claims in relation to pre-war Albania.

(7) It was proposed in the United States memorandum that Pantellaria and Isole Pelagie should be demilitarized.

M. Molotov asked what was the motive for this proposal. Was it wise to hurt the national feelings of Italy in such a trifling matter?

Mr. Bevin said that the British had not found this a trifling matter during the war.

M. Molotov said that the Council had not given any study to the international importance of these islands, and suggested that this point should be referred to the Deputies.

Mr. Byrnes did not think it would be profitable to refer a question of policy to the Deputies without giving them some guidance. He said that the same principle as regards demilitarisation should apply [Page 163] both to the islands and to the mainland of Italy. He suggested, and it was agreed, that paragraph 7 of the memorandum should be considered together with the proposals on armaments in Section IV.

(8) It was agreed that Zara and the Dalmatian Islands should go to Yugoslavia.

(9) It was agreed that Saseno should go to Albania,

Section II: Human Rights

It was agreed that the Peace Treaty should require Italy voluntarily to undertake to maintain a Bill of Eights corresponding to the freedoms of speech, religious worship, political belief and public meeting which were to be sought for Italy by the United Nations pursuant to the Moscow Declaration of November, 1943,95 and also confirming the human rights and fundamental freedoms of the United Nations Organisation.

It was agreed that the Council of Foreign Ministers should continue their discussion of the United States memorandum at their meeting that afternoon.

  1. Sir Noel H. H. Charles, British Ambassador in Italy.
  2. General of the Army Georges Catroux, French Ambassador to the Soviet Union.
  3. Post, p. 175.
  4. Ante, p. 151.
  5. Ante, p. 155.
  6. According to the record of the second meeting of the Deputies, September 13, 1945, 11 a.m., Minute 1 (not printed), it was Ambassador Gusev’s contention that it was necessary to find some principle for consultation with interested states which would include such countries as Albania, which, although not a member of the United Nations, had been at war with Italy (Council of Foreign Ministers File: Lot M–88: CFM London 1945 Deputies Minutes).
  7. Ante, p. 135.
  8. Post, p. 179.
  9. C.F.M.(45) 13, September 14, 1945, memorandum by the Chinese delegation entitled “Peace Settlements with Italy and China’s Special Questions” (not printed), set forth the desire of the Chinese Government that the abrogation or renunciation of agreements and privileges enjoyed formerly by Italy be specifically included in the peace treaty with Italy. The questions set forth in this memorandum were also presented by the Chinese delegation in the form of draft articles for the Italian Peace Treaty in C.F.M.(45) 14, September 14, 1945, not printed.
  10. Declaration Regarding Italy, by the Foreign Secretaries of the United States, the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union, released to the press on November 1, 1943; for text, see Foreign Relations, 1943, vol. i, p. 759.