October 2, 1945

United States Department of State Bulletin.

The Council of Foreign Ministers at its initial series of meetings dealt with many matters in accordance with the directive from the Berlin Conference to continue the preparatory work for the peace settlements with a view to submitting their conclusions to the United Nations. The present meeting is the first meeting of the principal Allies to be held since the fighting has stopped, and there emerged differences of views which had not appeared so long as the first imperative was to preserve fighting unity. There was a considerable area of agreement. The differences which developed were explored in a spirit of conciliation, and there is good reason to believe that with continued patience and understanding on all sides agreement on essentials can be attained. We are determined upon that outcome. Toward the conclusion of the present series of meetings procedural difficulties arose. The Soviet Delegation came to feel that treaty discussions should be confined in each case to the signatories of the surrender terms as contemplated by the first and narrow provision of article II 3. (ii) of the Berlin agreement rather than under other and broader provisions of the Berlin agreement.

The Soviet Delegation on September 22 took the position that the Council should rescind or withdraw its September eleventh decision whereby France and China were invited to participate in all discussions. This would have meant the elimination of China from the pending discussion of the European peace treaties and the similar elimination of France except in the case of the treaty with Italy. The Secretary of State of the United States took the position that he would be reluctant to see such narrowing of participation in the pending work on the European peace treaties and the elimination therefrom of two permanent members of the United Nations Security Council. He would, however, accept any preliminary treaty-making procedure which was consistent with the Berlin agreement provided the Council agreed as authorized by article II 4. (ii) of the Berlin agreement to call a peace conference of the principally interested states. Such a conference should include the permanent members of the Security Council, the European members of the United Nations, and non-European members which supplied substantial military contingents against the European members of the Axis. The conference would review the preliminary treaty work of the Council. The Soviet Delegation took the position that without personal consultation with their Government they could not make any commitment with reference to such a future peace conference. In the circumstances, work of the Council will be held in abeyance. If, as we confidently hope, agreement regarding future procedure is obtained, the drafting work of the deputies can then go forward on the basis of directives already given the deputies by the Council.

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