IO Files:USGA/Gen 30/Conv 13

Minutes by the United States Delegation of the Five-Power Informal Meeting, Held at London, Foreign Office, January 10, 1946, 10 a.m. 44

  • Present:
    • United Kingdom:
      • Sir Alexander Cadogan
      • Sir Charles K. Webster
    • China:
      • Ambassador Wellington Koo
      • Mr. Tsien Tai
    • U.S.S.R.:
      • Ambassador Andrey Gromyko
      • M. A. I. Lavrentyev
      • Mr. Yunin
    • France:
      • M. J. Paul-Boncour
      • M. J. Fouques Duparc
      • An interpreter
    • United States:
      • Mr. Adlai Stevenson
      • Mr. Alger Hiss

Sir Alexander Cadogan opened the meeting by stating that during the course of the preceding evening he had occasion to talk to the representatives of other delegations and had found general agreement on the selection of M. Spaak for the Presidency of the Assembly. He said that the question of the Presidency could not be settled at the present meeting.

He then said that with respect to the Security Council his government still favored the Netherlands, although their position on that [Page 149] might to some extent be affected by the outcome of the election of the President of the General Assembly. Mr. Stevenson restated the position he had expressed at the preceding meeting with respect to M. Lie and Monsieur Spaak and added that as long as there is support for Monsieur Lie and no common agreement among the Big Five for Spaak the United States will vote for M. Lie but that the United States is not attempting to influence the votes of others. Sir Charles Webster remarked that Lie has withdrawn and when surprise was expressed at this statement he said that the morning issue of the Times so stated. Ambassador Gromyko said that the Soviet Union would vote against Spaak and would speak against Spaak. He said that all the discussion about candidates had made a very bad impression on the Soviet Delegation and shows that the five powers are not united. He said that the British press have sung Spaak’s praises for weeks and that perhaps other delegations have made commitments. Cadogan objected that his delegation had made no promises. Mr. Paul-Boncour said that it would be regrettable if agreement could not be reached. He inquired why Ambassador Gromyko was opposed to Monsieur Spaak. In reply Ambassador Gromyko said he thought Spaak had been too closely identified with the League, that he was an able man but that there were other factors of more importance. He said that he saw some attempts by other delegations to discredit the efforts of the Soviet Delegation to reach a fair solution and he wondered why there had been no consultation with the Soviet Delegation before decisions had been reached. Sir Alexander said there had been no consultation at all before Gromyko arrived in London. Ambassador Gromyko then said that Spaak himself had the preceding day said it had been agreed he would be selected as President. Ambassador Gromyko said he wanted it to be reported to the foreign ministers of the other representatives present that the Soviet Delegation has received a bad impression because of the lack of cooperation. He referred to the “myth” of cooperation and said he thought this was a very bad beginning and that if there was to be no cooperation the Charter would be a paper document. He added that if the other delegations do not wish to cooperate his delegation would give the same answer. Ambassador Koo said that although he thought either Monsieur Lie or Monsieur Spaak would be a good choice he wished to point out that if Spaak were elected President of the Assembly, Belgium could not be on the Security Council and Norway would receive no recognition.

The discussion then turned to the choice of chairmen of committees and Cadogan said that the choice for the first Committee appeared to be the Ukraine. Mr. Stevenson said that the Ukraine had not been the choice of the United States Delegation but that if it proved to be the [Page 150] choice of all the others he could agree although he had intended to suggest Czechoslovakia for this position and that he would also like to suggest Uruguay instead of Panama for the Chairmanship of the Trusteeship Committee, Committee 4. Ambassador Koo expressed his agreement with respect to Uruguay and so did Monsieur Paul-Boncour. Sir Charles Webster suggested Mr. Fraser as Chairman of Committee 3 and Czechoslovakia as Chairman of Committee 5.

Ambassador Gromyko said he stood for the selection of the Ukraine for Committee 1, Ambassador Koo said that he would agree to that and to Mr. Fraser as Chairman of Committee 3. Cadogan said he would agree to the Ukraine as Chairman of Committee 1. Mr. Stevenson then said that if Gromyko preferred the Ukraine to Czechoslovakia and would agree to the choice of Uruguay for the Trusteeship Committee he would agree to the Ukraine for Committee 1. Gromyko agreed to this proposal.

Mr. Stevenson then asked whether the others present preferred Bolivia or Uruguay as Chairman of Committee 4. Cadogan said that he preferred Uruguay and the others present agreed upon Uruguay as Chairman of Committee 4.

All present then agreed upon Mr. Fraser as Chairman of Committee 3.

Committees 2 and 5 were discussed jointly and Sir Alexander Cadogan suggested India as Chairman of either committee. Mr. Stevenson suggested Norway, Belgium or Denmark for Committee 2 depending upon other developments. Ambassador Koo supported India for either Committee 2 or Committee 5 suggesting that perhaps Committee 5 might be the preferable choice in order to avoid perpetuating Sir Ramaswami Mudaliar in the same post. Ambassador Gromyko said that he could agree to only one British Dominion for a Chairmanship. He did not know how two out of six would look. Cadogan said it would disturb the balance of the General Committee unless there were two Dominions on it. Gromyko then suggested that Poland be a chairman of one of the committees and that a British Dominion be made a Vice-President. Cadogan agreed and suggested that Poland be Chairman of Committee 5 and India receive a Vice-Presidency. Gromyko suggested Poland be Chairman of Committee 2. This was agreed upon tentatively, Gromyko saying that he wished to think over the suggestion that India receive a Vice-Presidency. As to Committees 5 and 6 Gromyko, Cadogan and Stevenson agreed upon Syria and Panama respectively. Koo accepted Panama for Committee 6 but suggested Iran for Committee 5. Paul-Boncour agreed provisionally to Syria and Panama.

[Page 151]

On the subject of Vice-Chairmen of the Committees Mr. Stevenson suggested Iran for Committee 1, Denmark for Committee 2, Yugoslavia for Committee 3 and South Africa for Committee 5. Gromyko proposed Yugoslavia for Committee 4. Mr. Stevenson then suggested Denmark for Committee 4, South Africa for Committee 2, Costa Rica for Committee 3, and Czechoslovakia for Committee 5.

Sir Charles Webster then returned to the subject of chairmanships and raised the possibility of Turkey being made Chairman of Committee 5 but dropped the suggestion when Gromyko opposed it.

The discussion then continued with respect to Vice-Chairmanships. Gromyko again suggested Yugoslovia for Committee 4 and added Byelo Russia as an alternative. In the course of discussion on Gromyko’s suggestion Cadogan and Webster appeared to agree to both Byelo Russia and Yugoslavia being named rapporteurs of committees.

There seemed to be general agreement on Turkey as Vice-Chairman of Committee 6 but Gromyko wanted the question of the Vice-Chairmanship or Rapporteurship of Committee 4 settled first. He also suggested Chile as Vice-Chairman of Committee 6. Paul-Boncour suggested Luxembourg to which Gromyko agreed if Yugoslavia could be made a Vice-President. Ambassador Koo expressed a preference for Turkey as Vice-Chairman of Committee 6. Mr. Stevenson then suggested Turkey as Chairman of Committee 5 and Syria as Vice-Chairman of Committee 6 but this was opposed by Gromyko who suggested Yugoslavia as Rapporteur for Committee 5 and said he would agree to Luxembourg as Vice-Chairman of Committee 6. Ambassador Koo said that he could accept this proposal.

Gromyko then said that he wanted Yugoslavia and Byelo Russia as rapporteurs. Mr. Stevenson opposed this position.

As the meeting was adjourned Monsieur Paul-Boncour suggested that the election of the President of the General Assembly should be postponed until agreement could be reached among the representatives of the Big Five on that subject. Monsieur Paul-Boncour then suggested that the Big Five agree to the proposal earlier made by Ambassador Koo, that Lie be elected President of the General Assembly and Belgium be put on the Security Council.

Ambassador Gromyko then asked Sir Charles Webster whether Mr. Attlee’s address at the opening plenary session would be only a speech of welcome or a political speech defining the British attitude toward the organization. He said that if it would be the latter kind of speech he thought the other powers should also be given an opportunity to speak at the same meeting. Sir Charles Webster agreed to try to find out the nature of Mr. Attlee’s speech.

  1. Drafted by Mr. Hiss.