The United States Representative at the United Nations ( Stettinius ) to the Secretary of State

Dear Jimmie: I have given a great deal of thought to the memorandum which you sent me recently expressing your views on the organization and operation of the United States Mission to the United Nations. I regret that I am forced to the conclusion that the plan to set up several autonomous missions in New York without provision for central coordination has serious disadvantages.

From the standpoint of orderly administration and necessary correlation of policy and operations in the various fields, I believe the plan will prove unworkable. It will impair the strong, well integrated participation which our Government should assure to the United Nations. My judgment is based upon what I believe are fundamental requirements for the most effective representation of the United States in the United Nations and is without regard to any personal consideration of my own or to other personalities.

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I have always conceived of our representation as a unified mission to the United Nations of which the United States Representative would be the head. I believe this is necessary in the interest of efficient and effective operations. Such centralized responsibility is in line with the organization of our missions abroad. It is consistent with the fact that the activities of the United Nations and our participator in them cannot be separated into security matters, economic and social matters, trusteeship matters, etc. There are problems in the economic field that affect the Security Council and the Trusteeship Council. Similarly, there are problems involving the Security Council and the Trusteeship Council which affect the Economic and Social Council. The United Nations recognized this fact after long and serious consideration by establishing a single Secretariat for all organs, headed by a Secretary-General with over-all responsibility.

It seems clear to me that the intent of the Participation Act of 1945, as passed by Congress, is to establish a unified mission under the United States Representative at the seat of the United Nations with ambassadorial status. This is definitely indicated by the statutory title of the United States Representative and by the broad functions authorized for this office. I continue to believe that this conception is sound and necessary.

Furthermore, the concept of a unified mission was followed in setting up the original budget of the Delegation, which must carry it to July 1947. As developed in the Department and the Bureau of the Budget and as approved by Congress, this budget provides for a single servicing and administrative organization. It assumes that the United States Representative, after consultation with the other representatives, will see that their needs are cared for through the central organization. This assumption is workable only if the United States Representative is regarded as the chief of mission, with clear authority to make necessary administrative decisions. He could not do this on the basis of the proposal that “if the other representatives so desire, it should be possible for them to make mutually satisfactory arrangements along these lines with the United States Representative at the Seat”.

In case the other representatives avail themselves of this principle to set up separate services and administrative arrangements, the result would be a wasteful duplication of effort which the United States Representative would be without authority to prevent. This result would seriously jeopardize Congressional approval of future budgets of the mission.

Equally important from a practical standpoint is the effect which may be produced in our relations with the United Nations by separate and uncoordinated representation in the various fields. I recognize that the determination and coordination of policy is in the first instance a [Page 30] responsibility of the President and the Secretary of State. In order to give full effect at the seat of the United Nations to the basic coordination achieved in Washington, however, there must be comparable coordination in the day-to-day dealings of the United States representation in New York with the various organs of the United Nations.

While I cannot emphasize too strongly my conviction of the need for a unified mission headed by the United States Representative, I am fully aware that wide latitude must be accorded to the other representatives. As I visualize the relationships between the United States Representative and the other representatives, no question arises as to his interfering in any way with the carrying out of their responsibilities in their respective fields.

The United States Representative should facilitate in every way the activities of the other representatives—in the selection of their own professional staffs, and in their direct dealings with their colleagues, both in Washington and in the United Nations. His relationship to them should be primarily that of cooperation and collaboration. At the same time, I believe the principle of maximum freedom and mutual assistance must be accompanied by the vesting of authority in a responsible chief of mission to render basic administrative decisions and to coordinate major differences of view in order to assure the carrying out of the foreign policy of the United States as determined by the President and the Secretary of State.

This is the tested principle of sound organization which, after years of experience, the United States Government has found essential to the successful operation of all our missions to foreign countries.

With best wishes,

Sincerely yours,

Edward R. Stettinius, Jr.