740.0011 E W/1–1145

The Acting Secretary of State to the Ambassador in Uruguay ( Dawson )1

No. 2326

Sir: In the Department’s instruction of March 25, 19422 it was stated that this Government, as depository for the Declaration by United Nations,3 considers that a nation “at war” with any of the Axis powers and “rendering material assistance and contributions” in the struggle, becomes eligible for adherence. It was stated also that if the activities of the Axis should force Uruguay into the war, it would obviously be advantageous for that country to adhere to the Declaration.

Recently Ecuador, one of the South American Republics which has broken relations with the Axis and is making common cause with the United Nations but which has not entered into a state of war, consulted us on the question of that Republic’s adhering to the United Nations Declaration at this time.4 We replied that we would welcome a step which would entitle it to become a full member of the United Nations with the advantages which would result from such membership; that a state of war between that Republic and Germany or Japan or both is necessary before it is eligible to become a member of the United Nations.

Obviously if the six South American countries which have broken relations with the Axis and are making common cause with the United Nations, but which are not at war, should join the United Nations, it would eliminate the second of the two categories in this hemisphere of “United Nations” and “Associated Nations”.

This entire matter has become increasingly important in view of the enlarging concept of the United Nations. In the Declaration by [Page 1363] United Nations of January 1, 1942 twenty-six nations (1) pledged themselves to employ their full resources against the Axis powers with which they were at war, and (2) pledged themselves to cooperate with the other signatory Governments and not to make a separate armistice or peace with the enemies. Since that date ten other nations have adhered to the Declaration, making a total of thirty-six nations joined together in what President Roosevelt has referred to as the “mightiest coalition in history”.

At Moscow on October 30, 19435 four of the United Nations which are carrying the principal burden in the war against the Axis declared that their united action which had been pledged for the prosecution of the war would be continued for the organization and maintenance of peace and security. The four nations declared further that they recognize the necessity of establishing at the earliest practicable date a general international organization, based on the principle of the sovereign equality of all peace-loving states, and open to membership by all such states, large and small, for the maintenance of international peace and security.6

At Dumbarton Oaks these four nations, in implementing the Moscow Declaration, agreed upon proposals for the establishment of a general international organization under the Title of “The United Nations”.7 These proposals were transmitted by this Government to all of the American Republics, with the exception of Argentina. After these proposals have been completed they are to serve as the basis of discussion at a full United Nations Conference at which the charter for the international organization of United Nations will be drafted.

Thus it is clear that the concept of the United Nations has enlarged to encompass a projected international organization to maintain peace and security in the future.

We feel that this situation should be frankly presented to the six South American countries concerned. While we realize that they are making their full contribution in the struggle against the Axis, we would be lacking in candor if we did not inform these Republics that there has been emerging recently in several of the United Nations a strong feeling that in postwar matters the United Nations should have some sort of preferred status. It is possible that when the time comes for the proposed United Nations conference on international organization some members of the United Nations might find their people, as a result of the ravages of this cruel war, insistent upon limiting the [Page 1364] attendance at that conference to United Nations. This Government will do everything feasible to have these six South American Republics invited to the conference. However, so many other nations are concerned that there can be no certainty that our efforts would be successful. The same situation might arise in future conferences connected with the peace settlement.

In view of this situation, our regard for these six countries impels us to recommend that in their own interest they consider very carefully the question of making themselves eligible for adherence to the United Nations Declaration by entering into a state of war against Germany or Japan or both. This action would formalize the existing situation in which they are making common cause with the United Nations but have not formally entered into a state of war and would serve to re-emphasize hemispheric solidarity itself within the framework of the complete unity of the nations engaged in the present war for human freedom.

The awkward position of the six American “Associated Nations” was manifest on January 1, when the French Ambassador here signed the Declaration by United Nations at a ceremony to which were invited only representatives of the United Nations.8 Furthermore, there is increasing evidence that very soon will arise concretely the problem of what nations will be invited to the forthcoming United Nations Conference to consider the Dumbarton Oaks proposals.

The great importance, not only to Uruguay but also to the inter-American system, of the American republics standing shoulder to shoulder in this war as full members of the United Nations and taking part on an absolutely equal footing in the international deliberations ahead, cannot be over-emphasized. If Uruguay and the other five American republics would put themselves in a position to adhere to the United Nations Declaration, this action would certainly help to speed the conclusion of the war.

Please present this situation at once to the President or the Foreign Minister, stating that it is also being brought to the attention of the Governments of Chile, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, and Venezuela.9 You should use with great discretion and great care the points mentioned above, emphasizing that we feel Uruguay in its own interest will desire to give this matter immediate attention. You will realize that Uruguay’s reaction to this proposition is likely to be negative unless it is presented as a significant opportunity for Uruguay to improve its own position and at the same time to make a positive contribution not only to inter-American solidarity in the war but also to the building of an international security organization.

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You should impress upon the President10 or the Foreign Minister11 the importance of keeping this matter entirely confidential at this time, and inform him that we are not bringing it to the attention of his Ambassador here.12

Please report by cable as soon as you have presented this matter to the appropriate authority.

Very truly yours,

J[oseph] C. G[rew]
  1. A similar instruction was sent to the Ambassador in Paraguay, of which a portion is printed on p. 1279.
  2. No. 395, not printed.
  3. For documentation concerning the Declaration, see Foreign Relations, 1942, vol. i, pp. 1 ff.; for text, see ibid., p. 25.
  4. For documentation on Ecuador’s entry into the war and adherence to the United Nation’s Declaration, see pp. 998 ff.
  5. The Tripartite Conference of Foreign Ministers in Moscow, October 18–November 1, 1943.
  6. The “Declaration of Four Nations on General Security,” signed at Moscow, November 1, 1943; for text, see Foreign Relations, 1943, vol. i, p. 755.
  7. For documentation on the Dumbarton Oaks conversations, see Foreign Relations, 1944, vol. i, pp. 713 ff.
  8. For a record of these ceremonies, see Department of State Bulletin, January 7, 1945, pp. 17–20.
  9. For documentation on the adherence of each of these countries to the United Nations Declaration, see pp. 755 ff., 998 ff., 1279 ff., 1312 ff., and 1418 ff., respectively.
  10. Juan José Amézaga.
  11. José Serrato.
  12. Marcial Mora.