Editorial Note

Secretary of State Acheson, British Foreign Secretary Bevin, and French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman and their advisers held a series of meetings on world problems at London, May 11–13, 1950. United States, British, and French Representatives met in London in late April and early May for a series of bipartite and tripartite meetings on the subjects scheduled to be discussed by the Foreign Ministers. The colonial question in the United Nations was one of the issues scheduled for consideration and was discussed in a number of the preconference meetings in early May.

The basic United States position paper on the subject was incorporated into Doc. FM D F–3, April 27, 1950, not printed (Lot M–88, Box 2203). It was a summary version of views set forth in detail in the position papers for the Washington conversations, printed below. Accompanying the basic position paper was an annex of somewhat more than 50 pages, entitled “United States Policy Toward Dependent Territories”, Doc. FM D F–3/1, May 6, 1950, not printed (Lot M–88, Box 2203). The annex was the product of many laborious meetings in January–March 1950 of the subcommittee of the Committee on Problems of Dependent Areas, established by direction of Assistant Secretary Hickerson on December 23, 1949 (see Foreign Relations, 1949, volume II, page 369), and composed of representatives of UNA, NEA, ARA, E, and EUR. Minutes of the subcommittee are located in the Reference and Documents Section of the IO Files (Series CDA/SC./Minutes).

At their fifth formal tripartite session in London on May 13 (reported in telegram Secto 246, May 13, from London, scheduled for publication in volume III), the three ministers approved a paper which had been formulated by their advisers on the colonial question in the pre-conference meetings, Doc. MIN/TRI/P/21, May 9, 1950, not printed. This paper identified the main issues in the question and recommended that the Ministers take note that further conversations were desirable and should be held as soon as possible.