IO Files: USSC 46/3 (Report 8)

Minutes by the United States Delegation of the Five-Power Informal Meeting, Held at London, Claridge’s Hotel, January 28, 1946, 9 p.m. 93

Participants: For France— Mr. Paul-Boncour
Mr. Fouques Duparc
For China— Mr. Wellington Koo
Mr. Victor Hoo
For USSR— Mr. Vyshinsky
Mr. Gromyko
For UK— Mr. Bevin
Sir Alexander Cadogan
For US— Mr. Stettinius
Dr. Pasvolsky
Mr. Stevenson
Mr. Cohen
Mr. Bohlen

The meeting was convened at the suggestion of Mr. Stettinius to discuss Secretary General and he opened the meeting with a reminder that six names were still in contemplation since the last meeting,94 namely, Simic, Rzymowski, Pearson, Lie, Van Kleffens and Bonnet. He suggested that each representative now express himself candidly.

Wellington Koo asked if other names could be offered.

Mr. Stettinius asked the Soviet representatives what their position was since consulting their government. Vyshinsky replied that they had consulted their government and would no longer insist on Simic or Rzymowski but could not accept Pearson.

At this moment the name of Eden was mentioned briefly but I am not sure whether it was suggested by Boncour or someone else. Stettinius said that discussion of Eden raised the question of whether the Secretary General should be a national of one of the great powers and asked for reactions to Lie of Norway.

Boncour was opposed to Lie on the ground that he did not speak [Page 184] French. Vyshinsky replied that he was ready to think over the proposal of Lie. Bevin stated that he would have to consult his government and there was some conversation about Lie’s good English and the rapidity with which he had learned it. Koo stated that he had previously intimated that if we could not agree on Pearson, he would be willing to accept Lie. Vyshinsky added that he felt he also could accept Lie on his own responsibility. Boncour stated that he would also join in supporting Lie if Lie would accept.

Mr. Stettinius stated that Mr. Lie’s Government had intimated that if drafted for this post he would be able to accept in spite of his importance to Norway as Foreign Minister.

Bevin stated that he would not veto the selection of Lie but for the present he was tied by a Cabinet decision and would consult his government Tuesday morning.

Gromyko stated that they would also ask their government to accept Lie as a compromise.

Boncour stated that Bidault would not be here until Wednesday and that he would ask his government by telegraph or telephone.

Vyshinsky stated that on his own responsibility he was now prepared to vote for Lie.

There ensued a discussion as to whether or not the eleven members of the Security Council should be summoned in a formal or informal meeting and advised of the agreement among the five, and when. It was agreed that upon receipt of confirmation from Bevin and Boncour an informal meeting of the eleven members of the Security Council should be held on Tuesday evening, if possible, and the matter presented formally to the Security Council meeting on Wednesday.

It was also agreed that pending agreement by the French and British governments nothing whatever should be given to the press.95

  1. Drafted by Mr. Stevenson.
  2. Refers apparently to the meeting held at Claridge’s Hotel, January 23, 11 a.m.; see p. 166.
  3. Upon the recommendation of the Security Council, the General Assembly elected Mr. Lie Secretary-General of the United Nations at its first session on February 1; see GA (I/1), Plenary, pp. 303 and 304.