Memorandum of Conversation, by the Principal Adviser to the United States Delegation (Hiss)

Participants: Mr. Stettinius
Ambassador Eduardo Zuleta Angel, Colombia
Ambassador Luis Padilla Nervo, Mexico
Ambassador C. de Freitas-Valle, Brazil
Mr. Alger Hiss

The call of the three visitors was made on their initiative. They said that they realized Mr. Stettinius was not receiving callers regularly on detailed matters and that they had been selected as a committee to pay their respects to him on behalf of all the Latin American Delegations. They were, however, anxious to take up with him certain points prior to a meeting of the Latin American Delegations.

The point in which they were most interested was whether it would be possible for the Latin American countries to have two Vice-Presidents of the General Assembly and two chairmen of the Assembly committees. Mr. Stettinius said that frankly in his opinion it would not be feasible for representatives of the Latin American countries to be named two of the Vice-Presidents. Mr. Stettinius pointed out that it was generally assumed that five of the seven Vice-Presidents would be representatives of the five powers with permanent seats on the Security Council. This would leave only two Vice-Presidents for election at large and it did not seem reasonable for both of these to be filled by Latin Americans. The three visitors seemed to accept this comment in good part.

In the course of the discussion Mr. Stettinius mentioned that we had received word directly from the Australians that Dr. Evatt is not coming to London for the meeting of the General Assembly. He and his three visitors seemed to feel that this clearly ruled out any possibility of Dr. Evatt being considered for this post. Mr. Stettinius also mentioned that we had been informed indirectly that Mr. Spaak is not available for the position of the Secretary General. There was some discussion as to our preferences for the post of President of the General Assembly in view of the above developments. Mr. Stettinius indicated that since we had originally contemplated Mr. Spaak as a candidate for Secretary General and as we had also been favorably impressed by Dr. Evatt’s qualifications for President of the General Assembly that our attitude with reference to this latter position was now not quite the same as it had been during the period of the Preparatory Commission. Mr. Stettinius thought that either Mr. Lie of Norway, [Page 141] whom we had initially suggested for this position, or Mr. Spaak would be an appropriate President. He said that he understood there was a good deal of favorable sentiment for Mr. Spaak and that perhaps he might become a unanimous choice. His three visitors indicated that they preferred Spaak to Lie for this position.