CFM Files

United States Delegation Journal

USDel(PC) (Journal) 8

The Ukrainian and Polish Delegations spoke in favor of the two-thirds majority rule for the recommendations of the Conference. Mr. [Page 126] Byrnes replied to the previous day’s remarks of M. Molotov. He spoke in favor of the U.K. amendment and defended his right to support amendments to the suggested rules of procedure, citing reservations which he had made when these rules were being drawn up by the Council of Foreign Ministers. He said that he was willing to have the record judged by public opinion and challenged M. Molotov to have published in the Soviet Union the statement which he (Mr. Byrnes) had just made.45 M. Molotov replied to Mr. Byrnes to the effect that agreement on rules of procedure had been reached in the Council of Foreign Ministers and that members of the Council should retain the unanimity they had achieved there. He accepted Mr. Byrnes’ challenge to have his statement published in the Soviet press.46 The Soviet position was supported by the Yugoslav Delegation.

When the Committee reconvened at 4 p.m. M. Masaryk (Czechoslovakia) proposed the establishment of a subcommittee to attempt to work out a compromise on the question of voting. M. Molotov favored this idea. The United States, U.K., and Netherlands Delegations opposed it. A vote was taken and the proposal was defeated by 11 to 8. The following delegations voted for the proposal: Byelorussia, France, Norway, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Ukraine, U.S.S.R., Yugoslavia. The following delegations voted against it: United States, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, U.K., Greece, India, New Zealand, Netherlands and Union of South Africa. China and Ethiopia abstained. It was then announced that the Brazilian and Netherlands Delegations withdrew their amendments and supported the New Zealand amendment since the latter was very similar to theirs. M. Molotov then suggested that the vote on the proposed amendments be by two-thirds majority. Mr. Byrnes was surprised that the Soviet Delegation was now advocating a measure contrary to the rules suggested by the Council of Foreign Ministers. Dr. Evatt said that there was no reason for any other procedure than by majority vote. M. Molotov’s arguments were then repeated by the Ukrainian and Yugoslav Delegations. Mr. Byrnes recorded his earnest protest against the argument that it was impossible to create an organization except by a two-thirds vote. He thought that such a decision here would be a most unfortunate precedent.47

  1. For text of Byrnes’ remarks, see Department of State Bulletin, August 18, 1946, p. 315.
  2. For text of Molotov’s remarks, see Molotov, Problems of Foreign Policy, p. 89.
  3. For text of the remarks made by Byrnes at this point, see infra.