710 Conference (W & PW)/2–2345: Telegram

The American Delegation to the Acting Secretary of State

243. From the Secretary. The following are the most important developments today at the Inter-American Conference on the Problems of Peace and War.

The Steering Committee of the Conference met this morning and assigned numbers of resolutions to the appropriate committees92 of the Conference. The Steering Committee also agreed to extend until Monday the time for the introduction of resolutions by the delegations.

Committees met at noon. Committee No. I on Inter-American Military Cooperation during War and Peace under the chairmanship of the Brazilian Foreign Minister, elected the Panamanian delegate93 Vice President and Ambassador Berle, reporter.

Committee No. II on international organization met at noon under my chairmanship. I made the following remarks in opening the first meeting: “This moment takes me back to the weeks that I presided at Dumbarton Oaks.95 I am confident that the results of these deliberations that will take place in this historic castle will prove as valuable to the world of the future as the results of the Dumbarton Oaks Conference.”

Dr. Belt,96 delegate from Cuba, was elected Vice Chairman and the Venezuelan Foreign Minister, reporter. The Mexican delegation stated that it desired to introduce the observations drawn up by the Mexican Foreign Office with regard to the Dumbarton Oaks proposals.

At my suggestion the committee agreed to the appointment of a subcommittee under the chairmanship of the Venezuelan Foreign Minister to analyze the resolutions thus far presented and to report to the full committee at the next meeting tomorrow. Members of the sub-committee in addition to the Venezuelan Foreign Minister are delegation members from Cuba, Mexico, Brazil and the United States.

Committee No. III, which concerns itself with the Inter-American system, elected Sr. Escudero97 of Ecuador as Vice President and Sr. Anderson98 of Costa Rica as reporter.

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The only important matter which came up was the Uruguayan delegate’s proposal for a permanent subcommittee to consider immediately the Uruguayan project for an Inter-American security pact. It was agreed that this proposal could be properly handled by a subcommittee previously created consisting of delegates of the United States, Cuba, Mexico, Brazil, Nicaragua, and Uruguay. No chairman of this subcommittee has yet been appointed.

Committee No. IV on postwar economic and social problems, met very briefly, and discussed what subjects would be proper for the present Conference to consider and what subjects should be held over for the forthcoming technical economic conference to be held in Washington in June.99

In Committee No. V, on economic problems of the war and transition period, the chairman, Dr. Gallagher, Peruvian Foreign Minister, made some interesting observations. He stressed that the raw material producing countries had made the greatest possible effort on behalf of the United Nations to produce strategic materials and had lived up to their contracts. He added that in facing the transition period from war to peace it was his opinion that the purchasing countries had assumed reciprocal obligations versus the raw material producing countries and he made the suggestion that for the transition period present contracts be extended or new contracts negotiated.

Delegate of Dominican Republic1 was elected Vice Chairman of this committee and the delegate of Chile2 was named reporter. Two sub-committees were appointed; one comprising the delegates of Venezuela, Guatemala, and Colombia to consider the economic problems of the war, and the other to be formed by the delegates of Brazil, Uruguay, and Ecuador to report on economic problems of the transition period.

Committee No. IV agreed to a joint meeting with committee No. V on Tuesday, February 27.

Following the committee meetings at Chapultepec, I held a press conference at the headquarters of the United States delegation and invited all members of the Mexican and Foreign Press to be present. At this time there was released to the press the draft resolution of the United States delegation entitled “The Employment [Improvement] and Strengthening of the Inter-American System”, as well as our resolution concerning free access to information.3

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During the question period I was asked whether I had any remarks which I cared to make with regard to the Argentine. I said that I had nothing to say on this matter. A second question related to whether or not anything definite had been decided with regard to the voting procedure which was discussed at the Yalta Conference. In answering this question I said: “Discussions with China and France as agreed upon at Yalta have not yet been completed and it is impossible for me to discuss the matter at this time”.4 The only other question which arose and in answer to which I expressed an opinion was whether I anticipated any serious obstacle to the integration of the Inter-American system into the world organization. I said: “I do not anticipate any trouble”.

In reviewing the day’s activities I feel that the work of the committees got under way with dispatch. The committees have now been set up, procedures defined, and I believe that the atmosphere is good.

Please repeat to the President in condensed form. [Stettinius.]

  1. For a narrative account of the work of the Committees, see Department of State, Report of the Delegation of the United States of America to the Inter-American Conference on Problems of War and Peace, Mexico City, February 21–March 8, 1945, pp. 8–36.
  2. Roberto Jiménez, Panamanian Minister for Foreign Affairs.
  3. For the conversations at Dumbarton Oaks, see Foreign Relations, 1944, vol. i, pp. 713 ff.
  4. Guillermo Belt, Cuban Ambassador to the United States.
  5. Gonzalo Escudero, Ecuadoran Minister to Uruguay.
  6. Luis Anderson, former Costa Rican Secretary for Foreign Affairs.
  7. For documentation on the proposed conference, see pp. 172 ff.
  8. Manuel A. Pena Batlle, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs.
  9. Joaquin Fernandez Fernández, Minister for Foreign Affairs.
  10. For draft resolutions, see Department of State, Report of the Delegation of the United States of America to the Inter-American Conference on Problems of War and Peace, pp. 193 and 194.
  11. See Report of the Crimea Conference, Section IV, Conferences at Malta and Yalta, p. 968.