396.1 LO/5–450: Telegram

The United States Delegation to the Tripartite Preparatory Meetings to the Secretary of State

Secto 128. From Jessup. US–UK bipartite meeting colonial questions took place yesterday1 with following participants: US—Hare, Sanders, Stinebower, Palmer, Tibbetts; UK—Foreign Office—Wright, Parrott, Roger Allen, Hildyard; Colonial Office—Martin, Cohen, Galsworthy, Mathieson, Carter, Wilson.

Group considered following points:

UN and colonies. Following issues particularly worrying to British:
Before detailed discussion specific issues Martin made parenthetic remark UK had impression US willingly or otherwise [Page 951] wished to appear as champion dependent peoples in order steal Soviet thunder. In this connection US pointed to need for leadership which if not exercised by administering powers with due regard for strong nationalist feelings common in world today might go by default to Soviets.
Martin and Wright inquired possibility US might soft-pedal bracketing self-government and independence with equal emphasis since some people bound to interpret independence as being status outside Commonwealth. They made point it was not their intention to keep any people within Commonwealth against will but hope they will so remain. US stressed that on contrary we favored progressively closer relationships so long as peoples within territories desire such developments. US realized membership in Commonwealth meant full independence.
International accountability under Chapter XI of charter. Self-government within colonies reaching stage not possible submit local legislation to international supervision, particularly in view of character of UN. Local nationalist ready to use UN for mischievous purposes.
Special committee, pressure for political information, and determination non-self-governing territories. British consider these practical expression attempt establish international supervision.
Supervision and administration under Chapter XII. UK insist distinction between supervision and administration must be maintained—object to “power without responsibility.” Although TC has improved, GA still unsatisfactory. British believe need for definition duties of TC vs. GA in trust territory matters. British consider it impossible have effective administration if TC and UN are to go beyond Charter powers of supervision.
UK mentioned administrative unions, UN flag, as examples of difficulties. British dislike weakening of TC because of weakening of parity principle. UK also inquired whether US thought Italy’s becoming an administering power might improve situation for administering powers.
British emphasized will approach entire question with fresh and flexible outlook.
Future of Africa. Hare summarized US views along lines of FM D D–4 recos.2 British expressed gratification and Cohen, head African Department Colonial Office, stated he was in complete agreement on every point. British hope for further detailed discussion since it is not on general principles but on specific issues disagreement may develop. Recognize need for favorable world and US opinion and strongly desire discuss whole African field with us in near future. British desire if possible include whole colonial policy with particular reference to Africa in coming bilaterals on colonial affairs. Seek opportunity of outlining in detail their political and economic plans for Continent to us and await our decision as to whether it will be possible to have such talks in connection with bilaterals.
Economic discussion brought out British aims (a) harmonize colonial economic policies with French, (b) consider colonial policies [Page 952] in connection long-term economic relationship US, especially international commodity prices.

British consider ECA experience has following lessons for Point IV planning: (a) shortage of experts, (b) necessity fitting experts into scheme of territorial technical development.

Major problem from British point of view is increasing difficulty make effective use ECA, Export-Import Bank, IBRD with growing availability non-dollar capital goods. Need for mobilizing investment capital with no strings attached as to where purchases should be made. No longer currency problem but money problem.

  1. The meeting reported upon here was held in the India Office, May 3, 10:30 a. m.
  2. Regarding the recommendations in document FM D D–4, under reference here, see footnote 2 to telegram Secto 118, supra.