FW 862S.01/2–446

The Deputy Director of the Office of European Affairs (Hickerson) to the Secretary of State


The attached draft note34 to the British Government makes a claim that the United States is one of the “States directly concerned” to participate in the approval of the proposed trusteeship arrangement for Tanganyika. The arguments used in the note are good ones and I feel that the United States can, if it wishes to do so, establish its right to participate in this agreement as a State directly concerned.35

Whether, taking everything into account, this is advantageous from the standpoint of our over-all national interests, requires careful consideration. If we take this position in regard to Tanganyika, we could scarcely deny a similar position on behalf of the United Kingdom and France in respect of the Japanese Mandated Islands. This might strengthen the case of the Soviet Union as a State directly concerned in regard to Pacific islands.

It might be to the advantage of the United States as regards Pacific islands to take the position that the States directly concerned are the United States, Australia and New Zealand, the Pacific States which bore the brunt of the war against Japan. I have no final views in regard to this matter. I do feel strongly, however, that the attached note should be brought to the Secretary’s attention and should be considered by him from the standpoint of the over-all national interests [Page 563] of the United States, including a careful examination of the effect of this proposed position on trusteeship matters in the Pacific.

John Hickerson
  1. Not printed. Dated February 21 and drafted by the Deputy Director of the Office of African Affairs (Villard), it was almost identical with a draft prepared originally by the U.S. Delegation at the London session of the General Assembly (see footnote 33, p. 561).
  2. The draft note said in pertinent part: “… it is the firm view of this Government that for several reasons the United States is one of the ‘States directly concerned’ in not only the African mandated territories referred to, but in all of the mandated territories Among these reasons is the fact that the United States is one of the remaining principal Allied and Associated Powers in favor of which these territories were specifically renounced at the termination of the First World War. Also in this connection attention is directed to the treaties between the United States and the mandatory powers regarding the rights of the United States and its nationals in such territories.

    “4. The Government of the United States therefore assumes that there will be no question as to its being a party to any trusteeship agreements affecting the African territories mandated to Great Britain which may be submitted to the United Nations for approval in accordance with articles 83 or 85 of the Charter and that it will participate in the decision as to which are the States directly concerned in the territories referred to. …

    “6. This Government would further suggest that it might be found desirable, if the observations of directly interested governments should be numerous, to hold a short conference of these States for the purpose of completing negotiations upon the trusteeship agreements to be submitted by them to the United Nations Organization for approval. …” (862S.01/2–446)