Editorial Note

The United States Delegation to the First Part of the First Session of the General Assembly arrived in London during the first week of January 1946; for information regarding the composition and organization of the Delegation, see ante, pp. 57. Mr. John Foster Dulles was given responsibility for representing the Delegation on Fourth Committee matters (trusteeship and non-self-governing territories), and on January 8 he presided at a meeting of trusteeship advisers and experts from the Advisory Staff of the Delegation. The subject under discussion was the resolution on trusteeship that had been drafted by the Preparatory Commission of the United Nations; and Mr. Dulles made a particular point of urging that this resolution be broadened by a United States Delegation proposal that would include an appeal to the colonial powers in general rather than limiting the resolution to the matter of the conversion of the old League of Nations mandates into trusteeships under the United Nations.

The relevant portion of the minutes of the meeting (Second Meeting of the United States Group on Trusteeship, January 8, 1946) read:

“Mr. Dulles said that he wondered whether the General Assembly in its resolution should not call on other states, not just the mandatory powers, since there were other types of territories eligible for trusteeship in addition to the mandated territories. He was particularly concerned, Mr. Dulles went on, with the necessity of appealing to dependent peoples throughout the world and of reassuring them at this meeting of the General Assembly that the United Nations was taking steps to promote their welfare. The Trusteeship Council was the only organ of the United Nations which could not be created at this time. He had reluctantly come to this conclusion on the basis of the technical difficulty of creating the Trusteeship Council and he, therefore, thought it all the more important to make plain to public opinion throughout the world that the question of trusteeship and the broad question of dependent territories was not being completely neglected at the first meeting of the General Assembly.” Later in the discussion Mr. Dulles “commented that he wanted to put the whole emphasis on people, not on land”, adding that “The real problem in this whole field of dependent areas was that people of one color were ruling those of another.” (IO Files, document USTC/Prel/W.P. Min. 1)