740.00119 Council/3–2146: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Chargé in the United Kingdom (Gallman)

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2539. For Gallman from the Secretary. Please deliver following message to Bevin from me:

“I greatly regret you cannot agree to my sending a suggestion at this time to the Council of Foreign Ministers asking them to meet a few days prior to May 1 to consider the work we directed our deputies to perform in the drafting of treaties.

“If we wait, as you suggest, until we have had discussion of the Persian matter in the Security Council of the United Nations the deputies will continue to drift along remaining in doubt as to whether we intend to hold the conference May 1. The earlier the five Foreign Ministers know they must meet to consider the work of their deputies the more quickly they will get decisions.

“I do not agree with your suggestion that the Council of Foreign Ministers would also deal with questions raised by the French about Germany. Under the Potsdam agreement the Council is directed first to draft the treaties.57 There could be no change of this program except by the heads of governments. There has been no such direction. As I see it the Council of Foreign Ministers could consider and should consider nothing but the work of the deputies preparatory to submission of treaties by the Council to the peace conference on May 1. Until the treaties are disposed of the Council of Foreign Ministers should not consider any other matters. The sole question is whether we meet a few days before May 1 to pass upon the deputies’ work or whether we wait until the conference opens and then the five Foreign Ministers consider the report while the representatives of sixteen other nations are awaiting our action.

“However, if you are opposed to meeting, I shall not communicate with the other Foreign Ministers.”

  1. Regarding the agreement of the American, British, and Soviet Heads of Government at the Berlin Conference of July–August 1945, for the establishment of a Council of Foreign Ministers, see the Report of the Tripartite Conference of Berlin, August 2, 1945, Foreign Relations, The Conference of Berlin (The Potsdam Conference), 1945, vol. ii, p. 1500.