IO Files: USGA/Gen 30/Conv 14

Minutes by the United States Delegation of the Five-Power Informal Meeting, Held at London, Foreign Office, January 11, 194647

  • Present:
    • United Kingdom:
      • Sir Alexander Cadogan
      • Sir Charles Webster
    • China:
      • Ambassador Wellington Koo
      • Mr. Victor Chi-tsai Hoo48
    • U.S.S.R.:
      • Ambassador Andrey Gromyko
      • M. A. I. Lavrentyev
    • France:
      • M. J. Fouques Duparc
      • Interpreter
    • United States:
      • Mr. Adlai Stevenson
      • Mr. Alger Hiss

Ambassador Gromyko at the outset of the meeting proposed that Yugoslavia be substituted for Czechoslovakia for the Chairmanship of Committee 5. This suggestion was agreed to by the others present. Ambassador Gromyko then proposed that a member of the Czech Delegation be selected as Rapporteur of Committee 4. Sir Charles Webster [Page 154] and Mr. Stevenson both expressed disagreement to this proposal. M. Fouques Duparc suggested Czechoslovakia as Rapporteur of Committee 3. Ambassador Gromyko asked why there was objection to a Czech Delegate as Rapporteur of Committee 4 if it was appropriate to have a representative of Uruguay as Chairman of that Committee. At this point Sir Alexander Cadogan suggested a Norwegian Delegate as the Rapporteur of Committee 4 and Ambassador Gromyko suggested that Norway might be given the Vice-Chairmanship of Committee 2 or Committee 1 or be given the Rapporteurship of Committee 1. His suggestions were not agreed to and he then said that if some place were found for Byelo Russia he would agree to Czechoslovakia having the Rapporteurship of Committee 2 or Committee 3. The following tentative list was then suggested as a possible combination of the British and United States proposals:

Committee Vice-Chairman Rapporteur
1 Iran Ecuador
2 Philippines Czechoslovakia
3 Costa Rica Netherlands
4 Denmark Norway
5 Yugoslavia Greece
6 Luxembourg Bolivia

This list was not agreed to by Ambassador Gromyko.

The discussion then turned to the non-permanent members of the Security Council.

Ambassador Koo withdrew his objection to Poland. Ambassador Gromyko continued to object to Mexico on the ground that it would mean that four North American countries were represented in the Security Council at the same time.

The question was then raised by several of those present as to whether there would have to be two Latin American countries on the Council for an indefinite period of time. Mr. Stevenson, speaking on this point, said that he felt confident that certainly there would have to be two Latin American countries elected at this time and also at the next election the retiring Latin American country would have to be replaced by a Latin American country.

Sir Alexander Cadogan asked Ambassador Gromyko what country he would propose instead of Mexico and Gromkyo replied that he had already suggested Belgium as a member of the Security Council but if the Presidential election had changed the situation49 he would like to consult his government on this point and he would propose a postponement of the election of Security Council members.

Sir Alexander Cadogan then suggested that agreement be reached on Egypt as one of the members of the Security Council. Ambassador Gromyko suggested Syria instead of Egypt. Ambassador Koo said [Page 155] that Egypt was acceptable to him provided it was understood that there would not always have to be an Arab State on the Security Council, as contrasted with a state representative of the Middle East and Northern Africa. This qualification was agreed to by the others present and on that basis there was general agreement upon Egypt.

Cadogan then brought up the Netherlands and Mr. Stevenson expressed himself as in favor of the Netherlands. Fouques Duparc agreed to the Netherlands and said that he had dropped his support of Belgium in view of Spaak’s election as President of the Assembly. Gromyko said that he still favored Belgium but if there was a general feeling that there had been a change in the situation as a result of Spaak’s election he would have to ask for instructions and would want the elections delayed. He again suggested Norway instead of Mexico and then specifically asked that those present request their principal delegates to agree to a postponement of the Security Council elections. He said that he might receive his instructions by Monday but he refused to fix a specific date for the elections to be held. He asked that a reply to his request be given to him tonight or tomorrow morning. Both Cadogan and Koo said that if Gromyko could agree to a fixed date for the elections it would make a postponement of the elections easier from their point of view.

The discussion then proceeded to the slate for the Economic and Social Council. Mr. Stevenson read the United States list as follows:

3 Year Term 2 Year Term 1 Year Term
China UK. U.S.
Chile U.S.S.R. Cuba
France Ukraine Colombia
Peru Canada India
Belgium Czechoslovakia Netherlands
Australia Norway Iraq

Ambassador Gromyko read the following proposed Soviet slate: Australia, the Netherlands (on the assumption that they are not elected to the Security Council), Canada or South Africa, Iraq, Norway (if not elected to the Security Council) or Ethiopia, Cuba, Mexico (if not elected to the Security Council), or Peru, Denmark, Ukraine or Byelo Russia, Yugoslavia, Greece, Chile, Czechoslovakia, and the five major powers.

Sir Alexander Cadogan then read the British list which was the same as the United States list except he proposed that the positions of Canada and India be interchanged so that India would receive a two year term and Canada a one year term.

M. Fouques Duparc then said that the French list was the same as the United States list except that his delegation felt three seats would be sufficient for Latin America and so substituted Greece for Colombia. He explained that his delegation felt there should be representation for [Page 156] the Mediterranean area, pointing out that it would be important to save a seat for Italy. He said that he thought it would be unfortunate to establish the principle of four Latin American States being entitled to continuing representation on this Council. Mr. Stevenson said he agreed that in due course the Mediterranean area will need further representation and that when Italy becomes a member of the United Nations the situation will have changed. He said he did not think, however, it would be possible at this time to decide at whose expense any change in representation should be made.

Ambassador Koo then read the following list: Peru, Chile, India, Norway, Canada, Turkey, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, the Ukraine, Australia, Belgium, Colombia, Cuba, and the five major powers. He subsequently agreed that the Netherlands should be a member of this Council but without specifying which country on his list he would drop in favor of the Netherlands.

After considerable discussion it was found that there was agreement by all present upon Australia, the Ukraine, Czechoslovakia, Chile, Cuba and Canada. There was also general agreement, except for Soviet reservations, as to Peru, Belgium, Norway, and the Netherlands. (The Soviet reservation with respect to Peru was to the effect that if Mexico were not elected to the Security Council the Soviets would prefer Mexico to Peru; with respect to Belgium, the Netherlands and Norway its reservation was that it would not support any one of these countries for the Economic and Social Council if it were elected to the Security Council.) Four of those present favored India, Gromyko alone being opposed. Three of those present favored Colombia, the French and Gromyko being opposed. Four also favored Iraq, Koo saying that he would have to consult his delegation on this subject. The French and the Soviets supported Greece. China and the Soviets supported Yugoslavia, Gromyko’s support of Yugoslavia being stated in very strong terms. The Chinese favored Turkey in place of Iraq and suggested Iran if Turkey were not acceptable to the others. Gromyko suggested the possible inclusion of Ethiopia instead of a fourth Latin American State.

  1. Drafted by Mr. Hiss.
  2. Alternate Representative on the Chinese Delegation.
  3. Refers to the election of M. Spaak as President of the General Assembly.