May 28, 1945
United States Department of State Bulletin.
The United Nations Conference on International Organization is now in its fifth week. I feel that the time has come for me, as Secretary of State and-Chairman of the United States Delegation, to report to the American people and to our armed forces throughout the world on the progress we have made here in San Francisco.
You will recall that last fall, at Dumbarton Oaks, conversations between the United States, Great Britain, the Soviet Union, and China resulted in proposals for an international organization to maintain peace, which later were supplemented at the Crimea Conference.
The Dumbarton Oaks Proposals were submitted to all the United Nations, and their representatives were invited to come to San Francisco to prepare a charter based upon them.
When this Charter-or Constitution-is completed, it will be submitted for ratification to the member nations. Once the required number of member nations have ratified the Charter, the World Organization will come into being.
Gathered here in San Francisco are delegates from almost fifty nations-men and women of different races and religions, accustomed to different political forms, influenced by different geographical environments. Yet we have come together with the same great purpose in view-to form a permanent organization to preserve peace throughout the world.
After years of war, the sound of open debate in a world assembly on the issues of peace has an unaccustomed ring. But we are working for a peace which must be democratic as well as strong, and it can be developed only in the give and take of frank and vigorous discussion.
After one month of work, I can now report to you my confidence that we will succeed in writing a strong and democratic Charter solidly based on the Dumbarton Oaks Proposals with which we started.
It will be strong in the power to prevent aggression and to develop the economic and social conditions which will reduce the causes of war.
It will be democratic in the encouragement which it will give to nations and to peoples everywhere to extend the application of equal justice in the world and to promote and protect human rights and freedoms.
At the very outset of our work, we were confronted with a number of urgent problems. There was the question of seating the Byelo-Russian and Ukrainian Republics and the Argentine and the further problem of how Poland could be represented. These questions involved important issues affecting both the Conference and United States foreign policy.
At the Crimea Conference the Soviet Union directed our attention to the grievous injuries sustained by the Byelo-Russian and Ukrainian peoples in their long and gallant struggle against the common enemy, and requested that these two Republics be given membership in the proposed World Organization. President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill agreed to support this request.
The United States Delegation fulfilled this pledge in the opening days of the Conference.
The Conference also voted to admit Argentina. I wish to make clear that the vote of the United States in favor of seating Argentina did not constitute a blanket endorsement of the policies of the Argentine Government. On the contrary, with many of these policies both the Government and people of the United States have no sympathy.
We have in no way abandoned the principles for which this country has always stood. We steadfastly adhere to those principles of morality and decency which were the basis of our foreign policy under the leadership of Franklin Roosevelt and Cordell Hull. During the war the paramount aim of our policy in this hemisphere has been to eliminate Axis penetration and unite all the Americas in the struggle against the evil forces which have attempted to destroy liberty and free institutions throughout the world.
We recognize that the people of Argentina have been traditionally democratic in their ideals and good friends of the people of the United States. The Mexico City conference last March opened the way for Argentina to return to her traditional policies and restore the unity of the Americas.
After that conference Argentina took the first steps in this direction. She declared war on the Axis and committed herself to the democratic and peaceful policies of cooperation agreed upon at Mexico City by signing the final act of that conference. As a further step in this process the American republics felt that Argentina should be admitted to the San Francisco conference.
By voting to admit Argentina in these circumstances, the United States, however, has by no means changed its position that Argentina is expected to carry out effectively all of her commitments under the Mexico City declaration. On the contrary, we consider that her admission to the San Francisco conference increases her obligation to do so. We expect the Argentine nation to see that this obligation is fulfilled.
The Soviet Union requested that Poland be represented at the Conference by the Provisional Government in Warsaw, which is not recognized by a majority of the United Nations, including the United States.
It is a matter of deep regret to the United States that the people of Poland, who have suffered so terribly and fought so bravely during the war, are not represented in our deliberations. Poland is a United Nation, and should be here. But there are two Polish governments-the London government and the Warsaw provisional government.
Last February it was agreed at Yalta that the Provisional Government now functioning in Warsaw should be reorganized on a broader democratic basis with the inclusion of democratic leaders from Poland itself and from Poles abroad. This new Government, it was agreed, should then be called the Polish Provisional Government of National Unity. The Yalta agreement on this matter has not yet been carried out. The United States took the position that Poland could be represented only by a Polish Government formed in accordance with that agreement, and the Warsaw provisional government was not admitted to the Conference.
The negotiations for reorganization of the Warsaw provisional government have been disappointing. It is the intention of the United States to exert all its influence, in collaboration with the Soviet Union and Great Britain, toward fulfillment of the Yalta agreement on Poland.
I wish to make it absolutely clear that the primary objective of the United States foreign policy is to continue and strengthen in the period of peace that wartime solidarity which has made possible the defeat of Germany. This is as true of our relations with the Soviet Union as it is of our relations with Great Britain, China, and France. There have been differences between us. There will continue to be differences. But the effectiveness of our wartime collaborations has demonstrated that our differences can be adjusted.
It is our purpose to seek constantly to broaden the scope of our agreement and to reach common understanding on those matters where it does not yet exist. We have the right to expect the same spirit and the same approach on the part of our great Allies.
Let me give you an example of our collaboration at the San Francisco conference.
When Mr. Molotov came to the United States, he planned to stay only a few days, because of the heavy burden of his responsibilities in Moscow. He stayed here for over two weeks.
The reason Mr. Molotov stayed longer than he had planned was this. The United States Delegation wanted to make some important changes and additions to the Dumbarton Oaks Proposals at San Francisco. The changes we had in mind reflected not only the views of the United States Delegation but those which had been expressed before the Conference by other United Nations, particularly some of the smaller powers. We felt that if we were able to submit these as the unanimously agreed amendments of the four sponsoring nations, not just as our own, they would have an important, indeed a decisive effect on the whole work of the Conference and the speed with which agreement on a Charter could be reached.
So Mr. Molotov stayed on and worked with Mr. Eden, Dr. Soong, and myself on the United States proposals. They had important contributions of their own to make. I regard it as a great achievement and a good omen for the future that agreement was reached on the exact text of these important amendments by all four nations within a very few days.
When Mr. Molotov came to me to tell me that his Government agreed with us on the text of the last two remaining amendments he expressed again the importance which his Government attached to the successful establishment of the World Organization and his satisfaction with the results of our collaboration toward making the Charter of the Organization better and stronger than it otherwise would have been. It was only after this agreement had been made complete that he said he felt it was appropriate for him to return to the important work which was awaiting him in Moscow.
The unanimity of the sponsoring powers on these amendments has had the decisive effect we expected it would have on the work of the Conference. They have met with general approval among other nations at the Conference, and have greatly eased and speeded the task of the working committees.
After submission of the joint amendments of the four sponsoring powers, together with the amendments submitted by other United Nations, the Conference entered its working-committee stage.
One of the first committee decisions was formally to extend to France that fifth permanent seat on the Security Council which had been contemplated for her at Dumbarton Oaks. I am happy to say that France now sits in the Conference Committee of five with the four sponsoring nations. The United States welcomes this important step in the return of France to her rightful place in world affairs.
During the past fortnight general agreement has been reached on a number of other important points. Taken together with changes previously agreed upon, these form the basis of proposals which are now being drafted, section by section, into the Charter.
I wish to point out what I consider to be the most significant of these changes.
The Security Council would be given additional powers to settle a dispute in its early stages and to stop preparations for war long before war actually begins.
The relationship to the World Organization of regional security arrangements like that contemplated in the Act of Chapultepec for the Western Hemisphere has been clarified by another provision.
The United States shared in the desire of the other American republics to maintain the inter-American system within the framework of the World Organization. We also agreed that the World Organization must be supreme in matters of enforcement. World peace is indivisible. The World Organization must therefore have the right and the power to prevent or suppress aggression anywhere and at any time. This conviction was embodied in the proposal put forward.
At the same time, that proposal strengthens the role of regional organizations in peaceful settlement of disputes. It reemphasizes the inherent right of self-defense and extends that right to a group of nations whenever an armed attack against one of them can rightfully be regarded as an attack against all of them until the World Organization has taken effective action to restore peace.
The inter-American system is thus brought within the larger framework of the World Organization. The United States intends to negotiate in the near future a treaty with its American neighbors which will put the Act of Chapultepec on a permanent basis, in harmony with the World Charter.
The steps by which a final solution of this problem was achieved offer a good example of the advantages of effective collaboration. The original United States proposal was partly based on separate amendments previously proposed by France and Australia. It was submitted simultaneously to the five large powers and to the other American republics. Mr. Eden and his British colleagues offered opinions which strengthened and clarified its meaning. A later suggestion from the Soviet Union resulted in a further improvement. Because many nations collaborated on this problem, we have emerged with a far better solution than any nation produced alone.
Another amendment reaffirms that the responsibility for standing guard over the enemy powers shall be carried by the nations which defeated them. But for the first time it specifically opens the way for the World Organization itself to assume this responsibility later on. In the meantime the automatic operation of treaties directed against a renewal of aggression by enemy states is permitted.
This is in accord with the aims of the United States toward Germany as affirmed in the Crimea declaration. It is our intention to continue collaborating to the fullest extent with our Allies in order to achieve: First, the utter destruction of German militarism and Nazism; and, second, the absolute assurance that Germany shall never again be able to threaten its neighbors or disturb the peace of the world.
Our policy toward Japan is directed to the same end. Before leaving the discussion of the Security Council I want to refer to the question of voting procedure in the Council. The Conference has not yet taken final action on this matter. The Crimea proposals require that the five permanent members must agree to any enforcement action. There would be a similar requirement on action for the peaceful settlement of disputes, except that a party to a dispute must refrain from voting. This requirement, however, does not apply to the right of any nation to bring a dispute before the Council and to full discussion of the merits of its case. It applies only when the Council makes a decision involving positive action.
This provision has been criticized both here and elsewhere as giving a privileged position to the large nations.
This criticism is not justified. It is not a question of privilege, but of using the present distribution of military and industrial power in the world for the maintenance of peace.
The Security Council is the enforcement agency of the World Organization, and hence must be the repository of its power to prevent aggression.
The five permanent members of the Security Council have at their disposal an overwhelming proportion of the men and material necessary to enforce peace. Their permanent membership in the Security Council therefore becomes essential, for without their strength and their unanimous will to peace the Council would be helpless to enforce its decisions. And it must be remembered that any action taken by the Council toward settling a dispute may ultimately lead to the necessity for enforcement action if peaceful methods fail.
But, it is objected, what happens if one of the five permanent members embarks upon a course of aggression and refuses to recognize the machinery of the World Organization? How can the aggressor be restrained if his own contrary vote prevents the Council from invoking force against him? In such an event, the answer is simple. Another world war has come, vote or no vote, and the World Organization has failed.
But I think we should not be too deeply concerned with the kind of question Franklin Roosevelt always characterized as "iffy." The five great nations have come here with the other United Nations to form an organization for peace-not to conspire for war.
Twice in the last thirty years they have fought side by side as Allies-not as enemies. Their intentions are honorable and their necessities for peace are fully as urgent as those of any other nation, large or small. To assume that they seek to violate pledges rather than to enforce them is to oppose the existence of any organization for peace, and to resign the world to an endless succession of wars.
Another important matter before the Conference has been the establishment of a trusteeship system under which dependent areas may be placed by later agreements.
This subject was not discussed during the Dumbarton Oaks Conversations. The United States Government felt that it was of the utmost importance that such a system be provided for in the Charter. We therefore took the initiative in discussions to that effect with the other sponsoring governments even before the Conference began.
I think I can now say with assurance that, as a result of this American initiative, the Charter will provide for an effective trusteeship system. It will not be all that we desire, but it will offer real opportunity for progress to dependent peoples.
In all the discussions on trusteeship the United States has continued to stand fast for provisions which will fully safeguard the control by the United States-within the trusteeship system, but on conditions satisfactory to us-of those strategic points in the Pacific which are necessary for the defense of the United States and for world security.
And we have stood with equal firmness for a trusteeship system that will foster progress toward higher standards of living and the realization of human rights and freedoms for dependent peoples, including the right to independence or another form of self-government, such as federation-whichever the people of the area may choose-when they are prepared and able to assume the responsibilities of national freedom as well as to enjoy its rights.
The United States has demonstrated this long-standing policy in the Philippines. It looks forward to the time when many other now dependent peoples may achieve the same goal.
I regard the provisions which are being made in the Charter for the advancement of dependent peoples, and for the promotion of human rights and freedoms, as of the greatest importance. Together with measures to strengthen the Economic and Social Council, they will help to bring the World Organization closer to the needs of the peoples of the world. They will provide the means by which nations can work more effectively together for that economic and social development without which lasting peace is impossible.
We must realize that our most important task in the next decade is not likely to be the enforcement of peace, but to prepare the economic and social basis for peace. If the work of the Economic and Social Council is well done, we will have gone far toward eliminating in advance the causes of another world war a generation hence.
This is the objective of the second group of new proposals put forward at San Francisco.
These new proposals state clearly that justice and international law, together with equal rights and self-determination of peoples, shall be guiding principles of the new World Organization. They embody a complete statute of a new Permanent Court of International Justice.
They stipulate that international cooperation in the protection and promotion of individual human rights and freedoms for all, without distinction as to race, language, religion, or sex, is a fundamental purpose of the World Organization.
They give the Assembly of the World Organization sweeping power to recommend measures for the adjustment of any situation which is likely to impair the general welfare-and this includes violations of the purposes and principles of the Organization.
They provide for a Commission on Human Rights which will have the power to work out an international Bill of Rights which can be accepted by member nations as part of their fundamental law, just as we in the United States have a Bill of Rights in our Constitution.
The Four Freedoms stated by our great President Franklin D. Roosevelt-freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom from want, and freedom from fear-are, from the point of view of the United States, the fundamental freedoms which encompass all other rights and freedoms.
Freedom of speech, for example, encompasses freedom of the press, freedom of information, and freedom of communications.
Freedom from want encompasses the right to work, the right to social security, and the right to opportunity for advancement.
Freedom from fear encompasses the protection from persecution and discrimination of all men and women, and the protection of their equal right to enjoy all other fundamental rights and freedoms.
The United States Government will work actively and tirelessly, both for its own people and-through the International Organization-for peoples generally, toward promoting respect for and observance of these rights and freedoms.
The Charter will also be strengthened by naming the Economic and Social Council along with the General Assembly and the Security Council as principal organs of the World Organization.
We have provided that the views of non-governmental international organizations in agriculture, labor, business, education, and related fields can be made available to the Council.
We have conferred upon the Economic and Social Council the power to promote cultural and educational cooperation among the nations and made more specific its function in coordinating the activities of specialized intergovernmental organizations dealing with labor, agriculture, finance, trade, and other matters-all of them having as their ultimate objective higher living standards and full employment.
I must emphasize, however, that the Economic and Social Council is essentially a coordinating and recommendatory agency. It cannot interfere with the domestic affairs of any member nation. Its hope for success lies in the cooperation of the member nations-in their willingness to participate effectively in those organizations which will be affiliated with it.
There are, I am sorry to say, people who seem to think that our American economy can function in a vacuum, completely without relation to other national economies; and that by some miracle we can hope to achieve prosperity for ourselves without taking into account the economic condition of our neighbors.
After the defeat of Japan, millions of young men and women will return home to take their proper places in agriculture and in our enormously expanded productive system. We shall not be able to provide jobs for them if we have not helped, through the Economic and Social Council, to create those world-wide conditions under which other nations are able to purchase much greater quantities of our goods than ever before and we are able to buy more from them.
We must choose between a constantly expanding economy throughout the world or mass unemployment in our own country. Full participation in the Economic and Social Council provides us with our greatest opportunity to break, once and for all, the vicious circle of isolationism, depression, and war.
I look upon this Charter as, in the deepest sense, a compact between peoples, reached through their governments. Certainly the American Delegation's part in the work of this Conference has been carried out in the closest possible relationship with the American people. We have been in constant touch with the consultants representing forty-two non-governmental organizations widely representative of American life. Through their suggestions they have made valuable contributions to the Charter. I hope and believe that we can build upon this experience in the future.
I want also to say a few words about the American Delegation.
This Delegation has carried out all its work in a splendid spirit of nonpartisan cooperation. Each member has borne, with high distinction, a full share of the grave responsibility which is upon us all. Each has been guided only by the higher interests of our country as an inseparable part of the world community.
The Delegation includes four outstanding members of Congress, two from each party-Senator Tom Connally of Texas, Senator Arthur Vandenberg of Michigan, Representative Sol Bloom of New York, and Representative Charles Eaton of New Jersey. The Delegation also includes two representatives of the public-Dean Virginia Gildersleeve and Commander Harold Stassen, who is on leave from active duty in the Navy.
Our Senior Delegate, Cordell Hull, has unfortunately been unable to attend the Conference. But we have been in daily communication with him and have leaned heavily upon his wise counsel and guidance. It was Cordell Hull's achievement at Moscow in 1943 which made this Conference possible.
The Charter which is written at this Conference must be ratified by a two-thirds vote of the Senate, and must be whole-heartedly approved by the American people if the World Organization is to succeed. The important part played by our widely representative and non-partisan American Delegation should assure the kind of Charter that will win this approval. We have carried one step further here the policy of close cooperation with Congress which was initiated by Mr. Roosevelt and Mr. Hull. Our purpose is to provide that continuity and strength of foreign policy which has been so difficult to achieve in the past history of our country.
Finally, I wish to report that we have been in daily communication with President Truman. He has been fully informed of every step in the work of this Conference. As Chief Executive of the United States he has guided our course. His leadership has been essential to our progress. Our remaining work here at San Francisco moves ahead steadily. Since the committees have already approved most of the important provisions of the Charter, we shall be principally occupied during the next few days with drafting those provisions into Charter language. The various drafts will then go to the four commissions for approval, and finally to the plenary session of the whole Conference. Our work will then be concluded. I hope we shall finish during the early part of June.
I have no doubt that the final Charter prepared here will offer great hope of lasting peace. But I cannot speak so surely when I try to answer the question: Will it work? Will it keep the peace? For that depends upon the will to peace with which the nations of the world support the Charter and build strength into the World Organization. We can do no more at San Francisco than to establish the constitutional basis upon which the world can live without war-if it will.
Our own foreign policy will play a great part in determining the achievement of these ends. What, then, are major considerations which must govern our foreign policy?
First, we must carry the second phase of the war to final victory and see to it that Germany and Japan are never able to wage war again.
Second, we must maintain and extend the collaboration and community of purpose now existing among the great nations which have fought this war together. The interests of the United States extend to the whole world. We must maintain those interests in our relations with the other great powers and we must mediate between them when their interests conflict among themselves. In both cases our own interests, as well as theirs, require that agreement be achieved and the solidarity of the great nations be preserved.
Third, we must seek constantly to make our full contribution toward the establishment in practice of the supremacy of justice and of fair dealing for all peoples and states, large and small. The power that happens to be in the hands of certain nations must never be used for any purpose which is not in accordance with justice. And the formulation of international law to embody justice must be speeded.
Fourth, those social and economic conditions which create a climate for peace must be advanced. The beginnings we shall make through the Economic and Social Council and its related agencies must be constantly developed. Finally, we must realize that we live in a world where the sovereignty of no nation, not even the most powerful, is absolute. There is no such thing as complete freedom of decision for any nation. It was not the action of our Congress but a decision of the Japanese High Command to bomb Pearl Harbor which put the United States into this war.
We in America can never again turn our backs upon the world. For we are not only a part of it-we are one of its most important parts. If we do not assume our new responsibilities willingly, then we shall be compelled to assume them by the brutal necessities of self-preservation. There is no possibility of retreat.
Let us, instead, with God's help, march forward in the cause of peace, with a greatness worthy of our heritage and of the men who gave their lives on distant battlegrounds.