710 Conference (W and PW)/1–2445

Memorandum of Department Policy Committee Meeting Preparatory to the Inter-American Conference on Problems of War and Peace

Policy Meeting, January 12, 1945—Action on Agenda

Points raised in connection with proposed agenda for the coming “The Inter-American Conference on War and Peace”, to be held in Mexico City commencing February 15, 1945, developed at meeting attended by Assistant Secretary Rockefeller, Ambassador Berle, Ambassador Warren, Messrs. Lockwood, McClintock, Munro, Kelchner, Sanders and Bonsal,6 held January 12, 1945:

(The topics given below are taken from the previous suggested agenda which was communicated by the IT. S. Government to the Governments of the other participating republics.)

I. Further Cooperative Measures for the Prosecution of the War to Complete Victory.

This topic was left open for discussion at a subsequent meeting. It was felt that care should be taken not to become involved in further wartime restrictions which are only half enforced. It was also agreed that neither military nor manpower problems should be included.

II. Consideration of Problems of International Organization for Peace and Security.


World Organization

This part of the agenda would involve an exposition of Dumbarton Oaks to be handled by the Secretary.

The Further Development of the Inter-American System, and Its Relation to World Organization.
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Dr. Berle proposed the following draft resolution as the first resolution under this topic:

1. Atlantic Charter 7

The Foreign Ministers of the American republics, cooperating in the defense of the Hemisphere in the present World War.

Considering that the necessity is evident of establishing a worldwide organization for the maintenance and enforcement of peace;

Being convinced that the maintenance of peace requires not merely organization and power, but also a common base of aims and policy which may be the foundation of the further development of international law;

Taking into account that under the Declaration by United Nations8 many of the American Republics have already signified their agreement to the Atlantic Charter as a statement of the principles which should govern the making of a permanent peace and the relationship of nations thereunder;


That they and all of them affirm as American policy the Atlantic Charter, which reads as follows: [Here follows text of the Atlantic Charter.]

That they undertake the responsibility for putting into effect so far as may be practicable and continuing to work towards the realization of the principles embodied in the foregoing Charter within the Western Hemisphere;

That they advocate and will strive for the implementation of those principles in post-war settlements and through their representation in any world organization for security in areas outside the Western Hemisphere, considering these principles as a necessary guide to the functioning of an effective world organization for the maintenance of peace.

Dr. Berle elaborated on the foregoing resolution urging that the Inter-American System follow the precepts of the Atlantic Charter in peace as well as in war and that the American republics should assume the responsibility of putting its provisions into effect in the Hemisphere. He also suggested that the American republics should urge the adoption of the principles of the Charter outside the Hemisphere.

As the second resolution under this topic, Dr. Berle proposed the following:

2. Relation of Inter-American System to World Security Organization.

The Foreign Ministers of the American Republics, cooperating in the defense of the Hemisphere in the present World War;

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Having considered the project of an agreement for world organization drafted at Dumbarton Oaks by representatives of the United States, Great Britain, the Soviet Union, and China;

Believing that the interests of the American continent are served by forwarding the objectives of the said project;

Believing also, however, that the primary responsibility for maintaining peace and security in the American continent must always rest upon the American nations;


That the world organization contemplated by the Dumbarton Oaks project should not take action in respect of any matter upon the American continent, except:

Where it is requested so to do by a consultation of the American nations;
Where the proposed world organization shall have requested the American nations to take effective action for the maintenance of peace and such effective action shall not have been taken;
Where a condition of affairs shall have arisen in the American continent which threatens the peace and security of nations outside that continent.

Dr. Berle will furnish documentation with regard to the basis for the foregoing resolution.

As the third resolution under this topic, Dr. Berle proposed the following:

3. Consultation on Postwar Settlements

The Foreign Ministers of the American Republics, cooperating in the defense of the Hemisphere in the present World War.

Taking into account the community of interest of the American nations in the political and economic decisions affecting or looking toward postwar settlements, whether taken through the medium of action by the principal Allies, or through the medium of a world organization.


That before entering into any agreement relating to postwar settlements, they will consult each other and endeavor by means of such consultation to arrive at a common and solidary view, will support and represent such view in dealing with matters looking toward postwar settlements arising thereunder.

Such consultation may take place through meetings of Foreign Ministers for the purpose of consultation, or through diplomatic channels as may be most convenient.

Dr. Berle explained the underlying thoughts behind this resolution.

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4. Boundaries

There followed a discussion of the advisability of a resolution with regard to the borders of the American Republics. In this connection, it was brought out that there were a number of existing border questions unsettled, including the so-called Chamizal question between the U. S. and Mexico.9 Others mentioned were the Ecuador-Peru boundary10 and the various Bolivian boundary questions. Dr. Berle favored including such a resolution if it were found practicable, and it was agreed that as a preliminary, some basis would have to be worked out to resolve the Chamizal question. Dr. Sanders suggested the possibility that existing boundary questions would be settled bilaterally and the settlements guaranteed by a proposed general resolution.

5. Annual Consultations

Suggestion was made that a resolution be included to provide for annual consultations between the American republics under the auspices of the Pan American Union. There was general agreement as to the desirability of such a resolution. The following draft resolution prepared by Dr. Berle was considered:

The Foreign Ministers of the American Republics, cooperating in the defense of the Hemisphere in the present World War.

Considering that the practice of consultation between the Foreign Ministers of the American Republics is now the established means by which they exchange ideas and arrive at concerted section [action?] in matters of mutual interest;

Considering that there is an increased need of common policy and action in dealing with world problems arising out of the present war and postwar settlements, as well as of an increased community of action in respect of problems arising within the Hemisphere;


That consultations between them should take place regularly in February of each year, without prejudice to the right of any American republic to request special consultations at other times, and that at each regular consultative meeting the place of the next regular consultative meeting should be fixed;

Further Resolve:

That the next regular meeting of Foreign Ministers for the purpose of consultation should take place in February 1946 at . . . . . . .

6. Doctrine of Recognition

Discussion was had as to the desirability of a resolution under this title affirming the so-called “Estrada” doctrine.11 It was agreed that further consideration would be given to such a resolution following a study of the background of this doctrine; also of effect of such a resolution [Page 54] on existing situations such as Argentina and Mexico’s Salvador policy. It was brought out that such a resolution might be instrumental in resolving the question of the recognition of the U.S.S.K. and certain of the other American republics.

7. Continuation of Certain Inter-American Bodies

Mr. Rockefeller suggested for discussion the inclusion of a resolution providing for the continuance of certain inter-American bodies such as IFEAC, IADC,12 Inter-American Defense Board, and Inter-American Juridical Committee. It was pointed out that this would be further confirmation of the Pan American Union concept.

8. Suggestions for Strengthening the Pan-American Union Structure

III. Consideration of the Economic and Social Problems of the Americas.


War and Transitional Economic Cooperation.

Dr. Berle proposed the following three subjects for discussion with respect to which resolutions might be worked out for inclusion under this topic:

Provision for the financing of coffee, sugar and other products produced in the other American republics for rehabilitation of Europe. Dr. Berle pointed out that Canada would be a very important factor in such an arrangement and this matter should be discussed with Canada prior to the meeting.
Making available surplus war property to other American republics where useful to their economic development. Particular reference was made to types of Hudson houses which would only have a junk value in the United States after the war but would be extremely useful in more backward countries. Such property could be useful in implementing existing programs in the fields of health and sanitation and food supply.
Price control resolution designed to increase economic cooperation through the control of extravagant prices. There was general agreement that this topic would be a very difficult one to raise at the Conference.


Consideration of Methods of Further Cooperation for the Improvement of Economic and Social Conditions of the Peoples of the Americas with the End of Raising Their General Standard of Living.

Reserved for discussion at a later meeting.

IV. Other Matters of General and Immediate Concern to the Participating Governments.

It was pointed out that in Dr. Padilla’s13 invitation dated January tenth,14 the Fourth item of the Agenda is the consideration of the [Page 55] resolution adopted by the Governing Board of the Pan American Union, regarding the request of the Argentine Government.

With respect to this matter, there was agreement on the necessity of handling this part of the Agenda in the way which would most effectively reach the Argentine people. It was also determined to discuss this item in further detail at subsequent meetings.

  1. Adolf A. Berle, Ambassador to Brazil; Avra M. Warren, Director, Office of American Republic Affairs; John C. McClintock, Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of State for American Republic Affairs; Dana Munro, Special Adviser to the Assistant Secretary of State for American Republic Affairs; Warren Kelchner, Chief, Division of International Conferences; Dudley B. Bonsal, Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of State for American Republic Affairs.
  2. Joint statement by President Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Churchill, August 14, 1941, Foreign Relations, 1941, vol. i, p. 367.
  3. Signed January 1, 1942; for text, see Foreign Relations, 1942, vol. i, p. 25.
  4. See Foreign Relations, 1933, vol. v, bracketed note on p. 823.
  5. See bracketed note, p. 365.
  6. Doctrine concerning recognition set forth by the Mexican Minister for Foreign Affairs, Genero Estrada, in 1930; see Instituto Americano de Direcho y Legislación Comparada, La Doctrina Estrada (Mexico, 1930).
  7. Inter-American Financial and Economic Advisory Committee and the Inter-American Development Commission.
  8. Ezequiel Padilla, Mexican Minister for Foreign Affairs.
  9. Ante, p. 3.