IO Files

Memorandum of Conversation, by Mr. J. Jefferson Jones, III, Adviser, United States Delegation to the Trusteeship Council

secret
US/T/124

Subject: Anglo-French Proposals on Ewe Question

Participants: M. Henri Laurentie, Alternate Representative on the Trusteeship Council, French Delegation
Mr. J. Jefferson Jones, III, Adviser, United States Delegation

M. Laurentie told me that the British and French Delegations had received during the day copies of the Joint Anglo-French proposals on the Ewe question for submission to the Trusteeship Council and that it was planned to furnish the United States Delegation with a copy of these proposals some time later in the afternoon.1

M. Laurentie said that in brief the proposals merely provided for the continuance of the status quo and the establishment of a Joint Advisory Commission of Ewes in British and French Togoland. He doubted that these proposals would be “satisfactory” to the United States and personally considered them as “disappointing”. He said that criticism of the proposals by the United States would be welcomed and indicated that the expression of dissatisfaction on the part of the United States would be a factor of considerable importance in [Page 577] bringing the French Government around to a more liberal policy in dealing with the problem in the Council.

According to M. Laurentie, M. Pignon, after his return from Togo land, almost succeeded in prevailing upon the French Government the adoption of a more forward-looking policy with respect to French Togoland including the broadening of the powers of the Territorial Assembly and widening the franchise for elections to the Territorial Assembly. M. Laurentie believes that if such a policy had been adopted, it would ease the French position in dealing with the Ewe problem in the Trusteeship Council. The French Delegate could then say that, while it was impossible at this time to obtain a clear-cut expression of the views of the Togoland peoples with respect to their political future, the French Government was developing self-governing institutions with the objective of placing the people of French Togoland in a position to be able to evaluate all factors in arriving at a decision regarding their political future.

M. Laurentie said that one method of dealing with the problem, i.e., of holding a plebescite to determine the wishes of the people concerned, could never be accepted by his Government. Such a plan was inadmissible because the Togoland people were not able at present to take into account all the factors which would be brought into play by a change in their political status or to realize the implications of each of the possible changes in political status which could be placed into effect.

  1. Neither this nor certain related documents have been found in the files of either the Department of State or USUN.