Memorandum by the Principal Adviser to the United States Delegation ( Hiss ) to the Secretary of State 55
[ London ,] January 16, 1946.
Issues relating to selection of Secretary General on which United States position has not yet been taken or if it has been taken, has not been made definitely clear to other delegations.
- Is the United States opposed to General Eisenhower’s selection as Secretary General? If so, the political advisers should impress this upon the other delegations, especially the Latin American Delegations as there is a real possibility of the present movement for General Eisenhower getting out of hand.56
- Does the United States feel that none of the British candidates whose names have been mentioned would be suitable?57 If so, it is presumed that the United States should continue vigorously to press its former position that no national of the Big Five should be selected for the post.
- Does the United States definitely prefer Pearson or Robertson58 to Lie? We have heretofore taken the position that with the site in the United States we would assume that the organization would wish to have a European as Secretary General if a qualified European were available. This formula, if repeated under present conditions, would tend to encourage Lie’s candidacy and would make it difficult, if not impossible, for us to oppose it directly or indirectly. No other European [Page 160] not a national of one of the Big Five has so far received serious consideration or seems likely to.
- What is the United States preference as between Pearson and Robertson?
- Forwarded to the Secretary of State on January 18.↩
- General of the Army Dwight D. Eisenhower, at this time Chief of Staff of the United States Army. General Eisenhower’s name had been suggested informally by the British Government as early as November 1945; see footnote 43, p. 1478, Foreign Relations, 1945, vol. I. Though the British interest in General Eisenhower continued to the end of the Preparatory Commission period, the Department of State did not encourage the idea; see telegram 13582, Copre 671, December 24, 1945, 9 p.m. from London, ibid., p. 1506, and footnote reference to Department’s telegram 11124, Preco 452, December 29, 1945, to London, ibid., p. 1507. Early in January the London press gave considerable attention to the proposed Eisenhower candidacy, and on January 11 in a United States Delegation Press Release (Number 6) Secretary Byrnes made the following statement: “Before leaving Washington, General Eisenhower advised me that he had been informed that his name would be suggested, and in case it was, he wished me to state that he would not be interested, that he intended to continue in the office of Chief of Staff.” (IO Files, U.S. Delegation Press Releases, London)↩
- There had been mentioned at various times the names of Sir Winston Churchill, wartime Prime Minister; Anthony Eden, formerly Foreign Minister; and Gladwyn Jebb, British Assistant Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and former Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Commission at this time functioning in the capacity of Executive Secretary for the United Nations.↩
- Norman A. Robertson, Canadian Under Secretary of State for External Affairs.↩