501.BB International Law/10–846

Memorandum by the Associate Chief of the Division of International Organization Affairs (Maktos)14

There is attached hereto Miss Whitemairs memorandum15 commenting on the document entitled “Proposed Resolution on the Development and Codification of International Law” which Dr. Liang, of the United Nations Legal Department left with Mr. Fahy and Mr. Maktos last week.

I was waiting for the said memorandum before sending you my memorandum of conversation which Dr. Liang had with Mr. Fahy and me regarding this subject. I agree with Miss Whiteman’s conclusion that the Secretariat should not constitute “The Committee on [Page 535] Procedure.” I also agree that the suggestions of procedure contained in the aforesaid document as well as those of Dr. Liang mentioned in Mr. Hiss’ memorandum of October 4, 1946 might appropriately be considered by the proposed assembly committee. I am a little skeptical concerning a resolution authorizing a committee of experts prior to consideration of the scope of the problem by the governments concerned. As you remember at the meeting on General Assembly Preparation with Senator Austin, it was thought that in the beginning codification should be undertaken by experts connected with the governments, particularly since any plans suggested by them would have to be approved by the governments. The Secretariat, of course, would be free at any time to ask the advice of any person or group of persons and submit to the General Assembly Committee such report as it may prepare.

  1. Addressed to Miss Whiteman, Messrs. Hiss and Fahy, and the Chief of the Division of International Organization Affairs (Sandifer).
  2. Ante, p. 532.