Editorial Note

At the Third Session of the Economic Commission for Europe, April 26–May 8, 1948, the Soviet Union proposed the immediate establishment of two special Commission bodies: a standing Committee on Trade concerned with the encouragement of intra-European trade, and a standing Sub-Committee on Industrial Development. The United States and the member countries of the Organization for European Economic Cooperation opposed the immediate creation of the new machinery, but stated their willingness to have the matter studied more thoroughly. After vigorous debate of the issue, agreement was reached for the creation of an ad hoc Committee which would (a) examine [Page 557] in the light of the responsibilities of other United Nations bodies, and in consultation with them, the functions which the Commission might appropriately undertake to promote industrial reconstruction and development and expand international trade, (b) consider in this connection the proposals on these subjects made by the Soviet Union, (c) report to the Commission by November 30, 1948.

The Annual Report of the Economic Commission for Europe for the period July 1947–May 1948 was submitted to the Commission’s parent body, the United Nations Economic and Social Council, at the latter’s Seventh Session held at Geneva during the summer of 1948. The Commission’s report was discussed by the Council at plenary meetings on July 27, 28, 29, and 31. At its 190th Plenary Meeting, August 4, the Council unanimously agreed to a resolution which approved the Report of the ECE. The resolution noted with satisfaction the Commission’s action in establishing the ad hoc Committee, expressed the hope that the work of the Committee would lead to fruitful results, and authorized the ECE to set up such bodies as might be necessary to carry out its work.

Documention regarding the Third Session of the Economic Commission for Europe is included in Department of State file 501.BD Europe. For a summary of the discussion in ECOSOC of the ECE Annual Report and for the text of the resolution of August 4, see Yearbook of the United Nations 1947–1948 (New York: United Nations Department of Public Information, 1949), pages 529–530.