April 26, 1945
United States Department of State Bulletin.
MR. CHAIRMAN, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN:
On instruction of the Government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics I should like at the very beginning of my speech that I am making on behalf of the Soviet Delegation at this historic Conference to express my deep gratitude to the Government of the United States of America and to the Secretary of State, Mr. Stettinius, personally for the immense amount of work of preparation carried out by them prior to this Conference and also for the excellent organization of the Conference of the United Nations. At the same time I should like to seize this opportunity to express on behalf of the Soviet Delegation my most sincere gratitude to Mr. Lapham, Mayor of San Francisco, for the cordial hospitality extended to my Delegation at San Francisco.
Ladies and Gentlemen, the Soviet Government attaches a great importance to the international Conference in San Francisco. The end of the war has drawn near at least in Europe. The rout of Hitler Germany, the principal aggressor in this war, has become a fact. The time has arrived to take care of the post-war period, of the future.
This Conference is called upon to consider the question of setting up an organization to protect the general peace and security of nations after the war. From this it can be seen how great is the responsibility resting upon this Conference.
Today as well as on many other occasions we must remember the great name of President Franklin Roosevelt. His services in the struggle for the achievement of a lasting peace and in the preparation of this historic Conference have met with a wide recognition among all the peace-loving nations.
The second World War by far exceeded the first World War in the magnitude of military operations and the size of the armies involved and in lives lost and in the unusually severe consequences for the life of many peoples. Hitler Germany which started this war did not shrink from any crimes in trying to impose her domination on Europe and to pave the way to the world domination of German imperialism. Mass murders of children, women, and old men, the extermination of nations in their entirety, the wholesale destruction of peaceful citizens who were not to the liking of Fascists, the barbaric destruction of culture and of recalcitrant men prominent in culture, and the destruction of many thousands of towns and villages, the dislocation of economic life of nations and incalculable losses, all this cannot be forgotten. In the past German Fascism not only openly prepared its armies and armaments for a piratic attack on peaceful countries, but Hitlerism cynically adjusted the ideology of many millions of people in its country to the purposes of achieving domination over foreign nations. This purpose was also served by the illiterate misanthropic theories on "the German master-race" in whose service foreign nations were supposed to be.
Long before the direct attack on its neighbors Hitlerism openly prepared a criminal war which it started at a moment of its own choosing. As is well known Hitlerism found unscrupulous henchmen and sanguinary accomplices. It is also well known that when German Fascism which had made an easy tour of all Europe invaded the Soviet Union it faced an unflinching adversary. The country of Soviets, which has saved the European civilization in bloody battles with German Fascism, with good reason reminds now the governments of their responsibility for the future of peace-loving nations after the termination of this war. This is all the more necessary to do, that before this war the warning voice of the Soviet Republic was not heard with due attention.
This is no time to explain at length why this happened. It cannot be proved that there was no desire to prevent the war. It has been fully proved, however, that the governments which claimed once the leading part in Europe manifested their inability if not their reluctance to prevent the war, with the consequences of which it will not be so easy to cope.
The Conference is called upon to lay the foundations of the future security of nations. This is a great problem which it has been thus far impossible to solve successfully. Anybody knows that the League of Nations in no way coped with this problem. It betrayed the hopes of those who believed in it. It is obvious that no one wishes to restore the League of Nations with no rights and power which did not interfere with any aggressor preparing for war against peace-loving nations and sometimes lulled outright the nations' vigilance with regard to impending aggression. The prestige of the League of Nations was especially undermined whenever unceremonious attempts were made to turn it into a tool of various reactionary forces and privileged powers. If the sad lessons of the League of Nations have to be mentioned now, it is only in order that past errors may be avoided which must not be committed under the sign of new profuse promises. It is impossible, however, to count indefinitely on the patience of nations if the governments manifest their in ability to set up an international organization protecting the peaceful life of people, their families, their young generations against the horrors and hardships of new piratic imperialist wars.
The Soviet Government are a sincere and firm champion of the establishment of a strong international organization of security. Whatever may depend upon them and their efforts in their common cause of the creation of such a post-war organization of peace and security of nations will be readily done by the Soviet Government. We will fully cooperate in the solution of this great problem with all the other governments genuinely devoted to this noble cause. We are confident that this historic aim will be achieved by joint effort of peace-loving nations in spite of all the obstacles in the way of its achievement.
The work which was carried out at Dumbarton Oaks last year, and which is well known to all of us, is an important contribution to this cause. Representatives of the United States of America, Great Britain, China and the Soviet Union worked out such principles of the International Security Organization as will constitute an important basis for the international Organization of a new type. Quite recently at the suggestion of the late great President Franklin Roosevelt, the Crimea Conference made important supplements to this draft. As a result this Conference has a sound basis for successful work.
Naturally, the new Organization of international security will be built up on the foundation laid by the United Nations in this war.
It is well known that in Europe in the strenuous struggle against the common enemy a great coalition of democratic powers was found. The formation of the Anglo-Soviet-American coalition insured the rout of German Fascism and its henchmen. The other nations of Europe led by this coalition have been fighting for their liberation. The coalition of great powers with their inflexible will to defend their national rights and to promote the liberation of all nations which fell victim to sanguinary aggression is consummating the task of defeating the enemy of all the United Nations. This coalition could accomplish it because it was conscious of its historic responsibility and because it possessed immense manpower and material resources which were invariably used in the interests of the struggle against the enemy. But we must always bear in mind that acquired prestige is easily wasted if we forget certain elementary things such as the lessons of the League of Nations or the lessons of this war in which the democratic nations rallied against an imperialist power which considered itself master of Europe and which intended to impose its will well-nigh on the whole world.
This coalition was forged in the fire of struggle and rendered a great service to the cause of the United Nations. It must be admitted that the presence in this coalition of such a country as the Soviet Union where relations between great and small nations are based on equality and true democracy is of extremely great importance. On the other hand, it is impossible to overrate the active part played in this coalition by the United States of America, which formerly remained aloof from the problems of an international organization and which is now devoting to this cause its initiative and enormous international prestige. This coalition would have been merely impossible without Great Britain, which holds an important place in the international association of democratic countries. China in Asia and France in Europe are the great nations which strengthen this coalition as a powerful world factor in the post-war period as well.
If the leading democratic countries show their ability to act in harmony in the post-war period as well that will mean that the interests of peace and security of nations have received at last a firm basis and protection. But that is not all. The point at issue is whether other peace-loving nations are willing to rally around these leading powers to create an effective international security organization, and this has to be settled at this Conference in the interests of the future peace and security of nations.
An international organization must be created having certain powers to safeguard the interests of the general peace. This Organization must have' the necessary means for military protection of the security of nations. Only if conditions are created such as will guarantee that no violation of the peace or the threat of such a violation shall go unpunished, and the adoption of necessary punitive measures is not too late, will the Organization of security be able to discharge its responsibility for the cause of peace. Thus the point at issue is the creation of an effective Organization to protect the general peace and security of nations, for which all the sincere partisans of the peaceful development of nations have long been striving but which has always had numerous irreconcilable enemies in the camp of the most aggressive imperialists.
After innumerable sacrifices borne in this war and after suffering and hardships experienced in these past years the urge of nations for the establishment of such an Organization is especially strong. The opponents of the creation of such an international Organization have not laid down their arms. They are carrying on their subversive activities even now though in most cases they are doing it in a latent and veiled form. For this purpose they frequently use ostensibly the most democratic watchwords and arguments including the professed protection of the interests of small nations or of the principles of the equity and equality of nations. But in the end it is not important what reasons or pretexts have been used to disrupt the establishment of an effective Organization of the security of nations. If even now no such an effective Organization is created to protect the post-war peace this will be another indication of the inability to cope with this great problem by means of the forces available. But that will not prove that the necessity for such an Organization has not yet arisen and that such an Organization will not be set up ultimately.
We must not minimize the difficulties involved in the establishment of the international security Organization. With eyes closed we shall not be able to find the road. We must warn of these difficulties in order to overcome them and avoiding illusions to find at last a reliable road to march along towards the achievement of this noble objective. As far as the Soviet Union is concerned I should like to assure the Conference at this time that in our country the whole people are brought up in the spirit of faith in and devotion to the cause of setting up a solid Organization of international security. I should like also to assure the Conference that the Soviet people will readily listen to the voice, wishes, and suggestions of all the sincere friends of this great cause among the nations of the world.
You know that there are millions of people in the Soviet Union who know how to defend to the last with arms in hand their motherland. At the same time it is especially in our country of Soviets that the people are devoted with all their hearts to the cause of the establishment of a durable general peace and are willing to support with all their forces the efforts of other nations to create a reliable Organization of peace and security of nations. You must definitely know that the Soviet Union can be relied upon on the matter of safeguarding the peace and security of nations. This great cause is inflexibly backed by our peace-loving people, Soviet Government, and the Red Army, our great Marshal Stalin. It is the most important task of the Delegation of the Soviet Government to express these sentiments and thoughts of the Soviet people.
I conclude my speech by expressing my heartfelt wishes for our joint success in the work of the Conference.