710 Conference (W & PW)/3–145: Telegram

The American Delegation to the Acting Secretary of State

291. From the Secretary. Senator Connally arrived late yesterday afternoon and was met by the Secretary at the station. He attended [Page 133] this morning’s meeting of the United States delegation which he addressed briefly stressing his interest in the success of this and the San Francisco Conference.

The subcommittee of Committee I has now prepared and approved resolutions (1) on military cooperation; (2) on subversive activities; (3) on war criminals. These resolutions amend those submitted by the United States delegation to incorporate provisions from other resolutions. In fundamentals there has been no departure from the United States point of view. This Committee has had a minimum of problems.

Committee II postponed until tomorrow its meeting scheduled for today to receive and discuss the views of the various Republics on the Dumbarton Oaks proposals. The postponement ostensibly because of a luncheon given in Cuernavaca by the Mexican Minister of Economy9 to which the Secretary and other delegates have gone. In fact the postponement was requested by the United States since the Secretary was not yet in a position to announce invitations to San Francisco and the voting procedure in security council.

So far all has gone smoothly with this group with the following exceptions:

The United States delegation arranged with the Mexicans that they should present the United States draft resolution for approval of Dumbarton Oaks. This the Mexicans first did saying it was “on behalf of the United States”. As this was contrary to the understanding, the resolution was withdrawn. It has not since been introduced apparently because of differences within the Mexican delegation. Instead the Mexicans introduced a rather hostile resolution attributable to Castillo Najera. But Ambassador Messersmith is confident that at the right moment Padilla will come through with the resolution of approval.
Gutierrez,10 a member of the Cuban delegation made a long speech in subcommittee yesterday attacking the plan of Dumbarton Oaks. Since, however, the Cuban delegation appears not to function as a unit, this is regarded as a purely individual performance.
Brazil has introduced a proposal, which seems to have some support, that the world organization shall have no jurisdiction over hemisphere matters unless they directly affect the rest of the world.

On the whole, confidence is felt that the work of this Committee will result in a satisfactory conclusion.

Committee III commenced this morning a paragraph by paragraph consideration of the revised resolution on strengthening of the inter-American system which was prepared by the subcommittee [Page 134] and incorporates some of the Mexican proposals into that submitted by the United States. Principal changes from United States draft were:

Prohibition against Ambassador’s serving on governing board of Union. The theory of Mexicans is that Ambassadors are too much under thumb of United States. As indicated yesterday, there is strong opposition to this from a number of countries, particularly small ones, on ground of cost of maintaining two persons of Ambassadorial rank in Washington and on ground of possible conflict between Ambassador to United States of a country and its representative on board. We have taken neutral position on this considering it as a matter for Latin American countries to decide for themselves.
Provision limiting term of Director General to 10 years and prohibiting his reelection or election of person of same nationality to succeed him. This has seemed satisfactory to us.
The principal changes in the system are made effective immediately without waiting for ninth conference of American States.
The Pan American Union is directed to prepare a charter setting forth adherence to international law, and declaration of the rights and duties of man and of states using the inter-American juridical committee and other organizations. This is to be submitted to the governments by December 1, 1945.
Ninth conference of American states is set for 1946 and is to consider the above charter.

On the whole we regard the above as a satisfactory compromise since it preserves the Pan American Union, the traditional inter-American system, and Washington as the seat of the Pan American Union. They adhere to the fundamentals for which we have stood.

The proposed education and culture council of the Pan American Union was eliminated since there appeared a tendency to hitch to it all kinds of specialized provisions and duties.

Consideration of the resolution for joint action against aggression has been deferred until tomorrow in order to give Senator Connally time to crystallize his views. At a United States delegation Steering Committee meeting this morning this proposal was gone over in detail with Senators Connally and Austin.

There is great enthusiasm for this resolution among the Latin American countries, partly directed against Argentina and partly as a symbol of solidarity. Both in the press and in conversations, United States support of this proposal, now called “The Declaration of Chapultepee”, is regarded as one of the keystones of the Conference. We believe it important that the United States should support this proposal which we have endeavored to so modify with the cooperation of Senator Austin and Mr. Hackworth as to avoid constitutional difficulties and to avoid any conflict with world organization. We are awaiting the opinion of Senator Connally after which we will clear with President before acting.

[Page 135]

In the economic field, until yesterday there was a tendency to mark time waiting for Mr. Clayton’s statement. A number of resolutions were introduced and the press has been full of rumors and interpretations but the real work only commenced yesterday and is continuing today with basic discussions in subcommittees pointing up Latin American desires for US commitment to continue purchases and United States unwillingness to go beyond Clayton’s statement.

In Subcommittee A of Committee V yesterday afternoon appeared the expected coffee price issue11 with 2 hours of statements asking a United States price rise. Further discussion this morning points to agreement on a resolution saying that prices should be fair to both producer and consumer. In this, as in other economic fields, there seems no disposition to force issues over our opposition.

In Subcommittee B of Committee V yesterday afternoon the issue of continuation of United States purchases of Latin American products was presented in the form of a suggested draft of resolution combining all the suggestions of various selling countries. The United States delegation met last night to consider this proposal in detail and map strategy. The basic discussions are going on today.

In the subcommittees of Committee IV, there has been unanimity on social resolutions but argument over various restrictive measures designed to protect Latin American infant industries, balances of foreign exchange, and restrictive measures against foreign capital. These discussions have continued today and are believed to be going satisfactorily. There are strong signs that the other American Republics want to go along with us on the principle of freedom of international trade but to insert all sorts of individual specialized reservations.

With reference to [your?] memorandum of February 27 to Raynor,12 please wire if this telegram meets the Department’s requirements. Please repeat to the President. [Stettinius.]

  1. Gustavo P. Serrano.
  2. Gustavo Gutierrez Sanchez, Secretary of the Cuban Board of Economic Warfare.
  3. For documentation on the interest of the United States in the problems of the Inter-American Coffee Board, see pp. 351 ff.
  4. Not printed.