IO Files

Memorandum of Conversation, by Mr. D. Vernon McKay of the United States Delegation to the Trusteeship Council


Subject: The Ewe Problem

Participants: Ambassador Roger Garreau, French Delegation
Mr. Henri Laurentie, French Delegation
M. Paulin Baptiste, French Legal Expert who investigated Consultative Commission elections in French Togoland
Ambassador Francis B. Sayre, United States Delegation
Mr. Vernon McKay, United States Delegation

At Ambassador Garreau’s request Mr. Sayre and Mr. McKay met with members of the French Delegation this afternoon to discuss the Ewe problem.

Mr. Garreau stated that he wished to convey to the United States Delegation the information that his Government rejected the suggested United States amendment to the Anglo-French proposal for dealing with the Ewe problem. He stated that the French Ambassador in Washington was approaching the Department at a high level this afternoon with the same information. Mr. Garreau expressed in strong terms his disappointment that the United States took this position at a time when the Western countries were trying to stand firm together in the face of a world crisis.

Mr. Garreau further stated that in any case he did not think that the Trusteeship Council was competent to deal with a question involving a change of political boundaries. He said that he had pointed this fact out to the Council three years ago but his advice had been ignored. If necessary, he said the French Government would refer the question of the Trusteeship Council’s competence to the International Court of Justice.

Mr. Sayre expressed his regret at the sharp difference between the point of view of the French and United States Delegations on the Ewe problem. He said that the United States in no sense was attempting to challenge the validity of the French elections or apportion any blame regarding them. The United States Delegation was looking for a practical solution which would promote peace and stability in that part of the world. With regard to the competence of the Council, Mr. Sayre pointed out that no one had ever suggested that the Trusteeship Council could change political boundaries. However, he said that it was his personal view that in order to reach towards some constructive [Page 553] solution, it might be that the Council would wish on some occasion to make recommendations to the Administering Authorities on such a subject and presumably had the competence to do so. Mr. Sayre remarket, however, that he did not know what the official position of his Government would be.

Vernon McKay