710 Consultation 4/9–1945: Telegram

The Acting Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Argentina (Braden)

1304. There follows text of policy memorandum referred to in Depts tel 1250, Sept 12,9 concerning provisions of treaty to be drafted Rio de Janeiro Conference. This memorandum has been prepared by policy group consisting of Pasvolsky, chairman, Hackworth, Warren, Hiss, Admiral Willson, Admiral Spears, General Fairchild, General Hertford, and representative working group headed by Spaeth.10 It is tentative and exploratory and is submitted to you for comment. Meanwhile our group is continuing discussion and further study of memorandum. The schedule of clearance and discussion with other American republics indicated in our previous telegram has been somewhat delayed. These discussions are not likely to begin until your arrival in Washington, but we are anxious to have your comments as soon as possible in order to go forward with clearance in the government.

Part I

Provisions to be Included in the Treaty

Introduction of the Treaty

1. As an opening declaration, the signatories should state that they are motivated by a desire to strengthen inter-American arrangements for the prevention of armed conflict involving any of them, and to that end, (a) to provide, in the exercise of their inherent right of individual and collective self-defense, for effective reciprocal assistance in order to meet armed attacks, and (b) to deal with alleged threats of aggression against any one of them; and that in undertaking these obligations they intend to carry out the recommendations of the Act of Chapultepec within the framework of the Charter of the United Nations, particularly of Articles 51 and 53.11

Principle of Peaceful Settlement

2. Preliminary to the statement of the specific obligations assumed in the treaty, there should be a reaffirmation of the obligations previously undertaken by the signatories: (a) to settle their international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, and justice, are not endangered; and (b) to refrain in [Page 157] their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations.

Basis of the Treaty

3. The treaty should state that any armed attack or threat of aggression against an American state would be considered an attack or threat against all the Parties to the treaty.

4. The treaty should then clearly distinguish between the procedures that would be applicable in case of (a) an armed attack and (b) an alleged threat of aggression.

Armed Attack

5. With respect to the case of an armed attack, the treaty should be related to Article 51 of the United Nations Charter, and should provide that, in the event of an armed attack by any state against an American state there would be a general obligation on all Contracting Parties to take appropriate measures to meet the attack. The Contracting Parties should immediately consult at the request of any of them to agree upon measures to be taken. Agreement upon measures to be taken should be reached by a vote of not less than two-thirds of the Contracting Parties, and all Parties voting for such action would be bound by the decision. The particular measures should be executed by all or by some of the Parties as might be agreed upon in the consultation.

6. The treaty should provide that the measures to be taken under paragraph 5 would be executed subject to any action that might be taken by the Security Council of the United Nations.

7. The treaty should state that the term ‘armed attack’ includes in any case invasion of the territory of one state, in any manner inconsistent with the Charter of the United Nations, by armed forces of another state trespassing boundaries established by treaty and demarcated in accordance therewith.

Threats of Aggression

8. With respect to an alleged threat of aggression against an American Republic, the treaty should be related to Article 53 of the Charter and should provide for immediate consultation of the Contracting Parties at the request of any one of them to determine the measures which should be adopted. Decisions of these consultations should be reached by a vote of not less than two-thirds of the Contracting Parties, and all Parties concurring in the decisions would be bound thereby. Any enforcement measures deemed necessary as a result of such consultation should be taken only with the authorization of the Security Council of the United Nations.

Other Provisions

9. Consultations and actions envisaged in the treaty would be carried out through such procedures and agencies as have heretofore been, or would hereafter be, established by agreement among the Contracting Parties.

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10. The Security Council of the United Nations should be furnished with complete information on all action contemplated or taken under the treaty, as required by Articles 51 and 54 of the Charter.

11. The treaty should contain a provision that nothing in the treaty impairs or prejudices the rights and obligations under the Charter of the United Nations, of the Contracting Parties.

Ratification and Termination

12. (a) The effective date of the entry into force of the treaty for the signatories ratifying would be upon deposit in the Pan American Union of ratifications by two-thirds of the signatories in accordance with their constitutional processes.

(b) The treaty could be denounced by any Contracting Party on six months notice.

Part II

Provisions Which Should Not Be Included in the Treaty

The treaty—or correlative agreements or resolutions of the Rio Conference—should not contain provisions for the following since separate inter-American action on these is already provided for and should be completed prior to or at the Bogotá Conference in 1946:12
Machinery or procedures of pacific settlement related to Articles 33 and 52 of the Charter.
Specific military arrangements, including establishment of a military staff committee.
No provisions should be made for the following since they are, from a policy standpoint, deemed undesirable for inclusion in the treaty:
Language explicitly or implicitly qualifying the authority of the United Nations or of the provisions of the Charter.
A definition of the respective jurisdictions of the regional and world systems, except in the terms of Articles 51 and 53.
A distinction between an inter-American attack or threat, and an attack or threat from outside the Continent.
The enumeration of the enforcement measures mentioned in the Act of Chapultepec.
A request for the prior blanket authorization of the Security Council to take enforcement measures.
A limit to the obligations of the signatories on the basis of their geographical position and their military or naval situation.
Requiring the signatories to prevent activities in their territories directed against the political and social systems of any of the parties.
Joint inter-American action in the case of an extracontinental conflict.
Language formally or expressly continentalizing the Monroe Doctrine.”
  1. Not printed.
  2. The Department of State representatives were Leo Pasvolsky, Executive Director, Department of State Committee on Post War Problems; Green H. Hackworth, Legal Adviser; Avra Warren, Director, Office of American Republic Affairs; Alger Hiss, Director, Office of Special Political Affairs; and Carl B. Spaeth of the same office.
  3. Signed at San Francisco, June 26, 1945; for text, see Department of State Treaty Series No. 993, or 59 Stat. (pt. 2) 1031.
  4. This Conference met from March 30 to May 2, 1948.