710 Conference (W & PW)/3–645: Telegram
The American Delegation to the Acting Secretary of State
[Received March 7—2:27 p.m.]
327. For Grew from the Secretary and please inform the President. Commission III today approved three resolutions of broad public and international interest. The first was resolution on freedom of access to information which was adopted unanimously with minor changes. This resolution was favorably commented among 65 US news, radio and picture correspondents covering Conference and is believed to conform in principle and purposes with ideas advanced in recent months by Press Associations and publishers’ groups. Study was originally initiated at instance of Kent Cooper, General Manager of Associated Press, in personal letter to Secretary and Mr. Rockefeller and matter has been followed very closely by Press Association correspondents here. Language of resolution is very broad [Page 145] and intentionally encouraging to radio and photograph as well as news men. Second resolution was Haitian proposal against racial discrimination. This was discussed lengthily in US delegation staff meeting and language was revised to avoid possible statements which would invite controversies. As adopted resolution reaffirms principle that all men are entitled to equal rights and opportunities and also proposes that governments discourage any efforts to incite racial discrimination. Third resolution was expression of American Republics homage to Dominion of Canada. It expresses gratitude to Canada for her part in war effort and observes that relations between American Republics and Canada are becoming closer daily. This was adopted by acclamation and conforms to generally favorable feeling of American Republics toward Canada and her extension of diplomatic relations with some of these Republics in recent years. Present resolution does not mention participation of Canada in Pan-American Union, but attitude of delegates suggests this might become lively topic at Bogotá Conference of American States in 1946.
Commission III referred to Pan-American Union for study resolutions related to proposed codification of international law. Mexican delegation withdrew resolution to extend diplomatic immunity to officials of Pan-American Union and other official inter-American organizations after discussion revealed this was highly controversial matter. This does not affect pending proposals of Pan-American Union to American Governments for consideration of immunity.
Berle at staff meeting and background press conference made highly informative exposition of completed labors of Commission I. Resolution of that Commission regards American Republics as constituting an integrated defense area for purposes of repelling any aggression. It therefore recommends a permanent organization of representatives of general staffs of American Republics which had worked out machinery for collaboration in defense. This organization will not replace the present inter-American Defense Boards until after the war as General Embick and other military authorities thought present staff methods working effectively.
Commission I has also approved resolution which reserves to the governments of the American Republics respectively the rights to control the manufacture and distribution of armaments. This does not mean government ownership and manufacture exclusively, but means that the armaments manufacture and traffic is subject to controls. This will be subject for future discussion through military staffs.
Berle saw additional help to war effort and protection to American Republics in resolution declining to give refuge to war criminals. [Page 146] This provides for surrender of war criminals to United Nations agency, except that each country will handle criminals of its own nationality. Inter-American Juridical Committee will prepare procedures in this matter for recommendation to governments.
Commission I heretofore approved resolution to control subversive action of Axis agents prejudicial to peace and welfare of American States. Berle said that the Emergency Committee for Political Defense at Montevideo would draft procedures in this connection. Berle cited two difficulties in Commission handling of these matters. The first is to distinguish between war criminals and political exiles. It had not been intended to throw overboard the right of asylum. Second, Berle said subversive action must be defined so as not to hit the revolutionary activities which sometime occur within the American Republics. The resolution had not intended to frustrate possibilities of political change.
Newspapers here and news agency correspondents all gave urgent coverage to Secretary’s address Monday and Commission II resolution on Dumbarton Oaks. This resolution when coupled with Act of Chapultepec gives direction to inter-American efforts capable of integration at San Francisco Conference deliberation and likelihood of conflict between Regional and World Organization has been discontinued in press statements here. Everyone feels that noteworthy progress has been made toward cooperation of American Republics with World Organization and no negative criticism voiced beyond some indications of disappointment that France not among nations sponsoring San Francisco Conference.
Resolution regarding Argentina is in draft form but unlikely presented until meeting of Steering Committee Thursday. Meanwhile, active press interest in this situation.
Although Conference working at high speed Dr. Padilla today reported impossible to adjourn before Thursday evening. Impossibility of earlier adjournment arose from difficulty of coordinating and finally revising verbiage of Conference resolutions as adopted by Commissions. Total of 157 resolutions were submitted to Conference—some in two or more drafts—and purely mechanical work of translating—typing and printing is heavy burden on Secretary General as well as delegation staffs. [Stettinius.]