The Assistant Secretary of State for Economic Affairs (Clayton) to the Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Harriman)

No. 531

Sir: The Soviet Government, as you are aware, was invited to participate in the International Civil Aviation Conference at Chicago last Fall but did not send delegates. The Soviet Government was, therefore, not one of those which would ordinarily receive from this Government a certified copy of the Final Act. However, in planning for the establishment of an Interim Council of the Provisional International Civil Aviation Organization, the Conference clearly indicated its hope that the Soviet Government would see fit to accept a seat on that Council. The provisional organization provides for a council of 21 members, and 20 members only were elected to seats, thus leaving the way open for the Soviet Government to be elected as the 21st state if that Government indicates its willingness to accept.

In order that the Soviet Government may be informed of the results of the International Aviation Conference, the Department is transmitting herewith a certified copy of the Final Act,4 which you may deliver to the appropriate official of the Soviet Government in such manner as you consider most appropriate, at the same time informing him of the seat reserved on the Interim Council.

For your information, this Government is very desirous of seeing the Soviet Government adhere to the Chicago documents in the manner which is prescribed in the documents and is particularly desirous of seeing the Soviet Government join the provisional international organization. The Department, however, leaves it to your discretion whether any expression of such hopes should be conveyed to the Soviet authorities at this time.

Very truly yours,

William L. Clayton
[Page 1458]

[In a statement released to the press on June 7 (Department of State Bulletin, June 10, 1945, page 1056) the Department announced the coming into force on June 6, 1945 of the Interim Agreement on International Civil Aviation, with the required acceptance by twenty-six states having been achieved and surpassed. The Department’s statement said that the interim agreement provided, among other things

“for the establishment of the Provisional International Civil Aviation Organization (PICAO), which will consist of an assembly of all nations accepting the agreement, as well as a 21-member council elected by the assembly every 2 years. The PICAO will have advisory and technical functions but will not be empowered to regulate the economic phases of air transport. The Interim Council will formulate and recommend the adoption of technical standards and procedures and will study, report, and recommend on problems relating to air navigation and international air transport. The provisional organization will function for an interim period not to exceed 3 years from June 6, 1945. It is expected to be superseded within that time by the permanent International Civil Aviation Organization, which will be established after 26 countries have ratified or adhered to the Convention on International Civil Aviation, which was also concluded at the 1944 Chicago air conference.”

For summaries of the First and Second Sessions of the Interim Council of the Provisional International Civil Aviation Organization, held at Montreal, August 15–30 and October 15–November 30, 1945, see Participation of the United States Government in International Conferences, July 1, 1945–June 30, 1946 (Department of State publication No. 2817), pages 169–173.]

  1. For text, see Department of State Conference Series No. 64: International Civil Aviation Conference, Chicago, Illinois, November 1 to December 7, 1944, Final Act and Related Documents (Washington, Government Printing Office, 1945).