The purpose of my talk tonight is to render a report on the recent meeting of the Foreign Secretaries of Great Britain, the United States and the Soviet Union at Moscow.
With President Truman's approval and encouragement I had urged the calling of this meeting in fulfillment of the understanding reached at Yalta that the three Foreign Secretaries should meet every three or four months.
I was well aware of the risk involved in suggesting this meeting without any definite assurance that the three Governments would be able to reach agreement on the points under discussion. I knew the risk of another impasse such as occurred in London. I felt this risk had to be taken.
It is just when there are genuine difficulties in reaching agreement that Foreign Secretaries should meet in an effort to understand each other's problems and troubles.
In this modern world where events move with lightning speed there is not time to wait for agreement to be reached by the slow exchange of diplomatic communications. We must realize that discussion and personal contact in international affairs are useful and helpful even though they do not at once lead to agreement. They contribute to a meeting of the minds and the reconciliation of differences.
In September the Council of Foreign Ministers at London had been unable to agree upon the procedure to be followed in drawing up the European peace treaties. The Soviet Union took the position that the treaties should be made only by the principal powers who had signed the respective armistices. The other delegations took the view that all states which took an active part in the war should be allowed to participate in the peace.
While we could not agree at London, and many referred to the London conference as a complete failure, it was, I think, the discussions at London, that helped us at Moscow to reach agreement on peace machinery.
The agreement at Moscow meets our insistence that all states which took an active part in the war should participate in
the peace. It also frankly recognizes the responsible role of the larger powers in the making of that peace.
Our agreement is that the terms of peace in the first instance should be drawn by the principal powers which were signers of the respective armistices. But it was decided that as soon as these terms were drawn up, they should be submitted to a peace conference called by the five states-the United States, the Soviet Union, Great Britain, France and China-who constitute the Council of Foreign Ministers and who are the permanent members of the Security Council of the United Nations. All states which actively waged war with substantial military force against the European members of the Axis will be invited to participate in the conference.
The peace conference is to be called not later than May 1.
The conference will consider the draft treaties prepared by the states that signed the respective armistices. The peace conference will then draw up its own recommendations. After that, the states which prepared the preliminary texts will consider the recommendations of the peace conference and will prepare the final texts of the treaties to be signed by all states actively at war with the enemy states in question.
Now I do not consider this solution ideal. But the departure from the ideal standard is more in the form than in the substance. What is preserved is that the proposals of the larger powers are subjected to the judgment and the public criticism of all the nations which took an active part in the war. The procedure contemplates and requires that these nations formally and publicly make their recommendations. The larger powers are not bound by these recommendations, but they must agree in order to draw up the final treaties. Certainly the United States would not agree to a final treaty which arbitrarily rejected such recommendations. Certainly the great powers which drew up the draft Charter for the United Nations at Dumbarton Oaks did not ignore the changes suggested by the smaller powers at San Francisco.
The test of a successful peace is not in the form of its making, but whether it both commends itself to the nations concerned by its justice and wisdom and also commands the support of those nations whose unity is essential to preserve the peace. The methods agreed upon at Moscow gives ample scope for the achievement of these essential results.
The question of the recognition of the ex-satellite states was discussed. Since the London conference, we have found it possible to recognize Austria and Hungary where free elections have occurred. There is still a wide divergence in our viewpoints on the Governments of Rumania and Bulgaria. That divergence is accentuated by the fact that in those countries democratic institutions have not functioned in accordance with traditions familiar to us.
The Soviet Union contends that the Governments of those countries are satisfactory and conditions do not warrant concerted action under the Yalta Agreement. And concerted action is possible only by common agreement.
Our objections to the Rumanian and Bulgarian Governments have been not only to the exclusion of important democratic groups from those Governments, but to the oppressive way in which those Governments exercise their powers. Until now our objections have been little heeded by those Governments or by the Soviet Government.
It must be recognized that the Soviet Government has a very real interest in the character of the governments of those states. These countries are neighbors of the Soviet Union and they were involved in the war against the Soviet Union. It is, therefore, to be expected that the withdrawal of Soviet troops from these countries may depend upon the Soviet Government's confidence in the peaceful character of these governments.
I urged upon Generalissimo Stalin and Foreign Minister Molotoff that it was in their interest as well as ours, that the peoples of these countries, as well as their governments, should be peacefully disposed toward the Soviet Union. I stressed the fact that it was our desire to work with the Soviet Government and not against it in making these governments more representative. And for the first time since Yalta the Soviet Government has agreed to cooperate with us to this end.
A tripartite commission is to proceed immediately to Rumania to advise the King, who has sought the advice of the three Allied Governments, on broadening the representation in the Rumanian Government. At London we asked this but we were unable to secure an agreement.
The British and the American Governments have agreed that they will recognize the Rumanian Government as soon as they are satisfied that the Government has been broadened to
include two truly representative members of two important political parties not now represented in the Government and when assurances have been given regarding free elections, freedom of speech, press, religion and association. These are the terms under which we will recognize this Government. It is for us to say whether the terms have been complied with.
The situation in Bulgaria is complicated by the fact that an election has already occurred there which the Soviet Government regards as a free election and we do not. Nevertheless, the Soviet Government has undertaken to advise the new Bulgarian Government to include in the Government two members truly representative of important political parties not now included in the Government. The British Government and the American Government have stated that as soon as they are satisfied that this has been done they will recognize the new Bulgarian Government.
The agreements regarding Rumania and Bulgaria do not go as far as I should have liked, but I am hopeful that they will result in a substantial improvement in the democratic character of these Governments.
In the Far East, it has been our policy to work for the creation of conditions that make for lasting peace. Cooperation with our Allies is an essential part of that policy.
While the United States sustained the major burden in crushing the military power of Japan, we have always considered the war against Japan a part of the war against the Axis. From the very outset we have planned to make the control of Japan an Allied responsibility.
As early as Aug. 20 we invited the Soviet Union, Great Britain and China to join with us in carrying out the objectives of the Potsdam Declaration and the terms of surrender for Japan. The Far Eastern Advisory Commission was established in October, but Great Britain had reservations regarding its advisory character and the Soviet Union requested a decision regarding control machinery in Tokyo before joining the work of the commission.
At Moscow the three Governments, with the concurrence of China, agreed on a Far Eastern Commission. It will consist of representatives of the Soviet Union, Great Britain, China, the United States, France, the Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, India and the Philippines.
This Far Eastern Commission will have the authority to formulate principles to govern the control of Japan. It will act by a majority vote, which, however, must include the concurring votes of Great Britain, the Soviet Union, China and the United States. The decisions of the commission will be incorporated into directives to the Supreme Commander by the United States Government.
Under the agreement establishing the commission no basic Allied policy for Japan may be adopted without our concurrence.
Pending agreement in the Far Eastern Commission in case of need we are free to give interim directives on all urgent matters. Only three questions are excepted from our authority to give interim directives. The questions reserved for action by the commission-which action requires our concurrence-are questions dealing with changes in the control of Japan as set forth in the surrender terms or with fundamental changes in the Japanese constitutional structure or with changes in the Japanese Government as a whole.
These are questions which by their nature require agreement among the principal Allies if there is to be a common Allied policy. To reserve them for decision by the commission does not affect the administration of Allied control by the Supreme Commander.
It has not been our policy to dictate changes in the Japanese Government as a whole, and in so far as it is necessary to make individual changes in the Cabinet or to fill vacancies created by the resignation of individual members, the authority of the Supreme Commander to act remains unimpaired.
The three Governments also agreed, with the concurrence of China, on the establishment of an Allied Council for Japan to be composed of representatives of the Soviet Union, British Commonwealth, China and the United States under the chairmanship of General MacArthur as the Supreme Allied Commander. This council is to advise and consult with the Supreme Commander in carrying out the terms of surrender. His decision will be controlling on all but the three reserved questions I have just mentioned.
If any disagreement arises in the Council regarding the implementation of a policy decision of the Far Eastern commission upon any of these three reserve questions, the Supreme Commander will withhold action pending a clarification of its deci-
sion by the Far Eastern Commission. But when necessary, as I have already explained, the Supreme Commander, after appropriate consultation with the Council, may change individual ministers or fill vacancies.
The proposals we offered regarding Japan make it clear that we intend to cooperate with our Allies and we expect them to cooperate with us. But at the same time our agreement safeguards the efficient administration which has been set up in Japan under the Supreme Allied Commander.
It assures that the authority of General MacArthur will not be obstructed by the inability of the Far Eastern Commission to agree on policies or by the inability of the Allied Council to agree upon the methods of carrying out those policies.
We were determined to assure that the outstanding and efficient administration set up and executed by General MacArthur should not be obstructed.
The administration of Korea has been a trying problem since the surrender of Japan. For purposes of military operations the occupation of Korea was divided north and south of Latitude 38 into Soviet and American areas. The continuation of this division after surrender has been very unsatisfactory. The movement of persons and goods and the functioning of public services on a nation-wide scale has been greatly hampered.
Under our agreement at Moscow, the two military commands are to form a joint Soviet-American commission to solve immediate economic and administrative problems. They will make recommendations to the Governments of the United States, the Soviet Union, Great Britain and China for the formation of a Korean Provisional Democratic Government. They will also make proposals to these Governments regarding a four-power trusteeship to prepare Korea for its independence within five years.
The joint Soviet-American commission, working with the Korean Provisional Democratic Government, may find it possible to dispense with a trusteeship. Certainly it is our goal to hasten the day when Korea will become an independent member of the Society of Nations.
In the various agreements and understandings reached in Moscow the interests of China were taken into full account. China is to participate in the Council of Foreign Ministers, the
Far Eastern Commission, in the four-power Allied Council in Tokyo, in the formation of a Korean Provisional National Government, and in any trusteeship for Korea.
But China divided by civil strife will not be able to take its rightful place among its Allies and discharge properly its international responsibilities.
Our policy toward China as recently announced by President Truman was discussed at Moscow. We found our Allies in substantial accord with that policy. The three Governments agreed that the cessation of civil strife and broad participation throughout the National Government of democratic elements are necessary to assure a unified peaceful and democratic China under the National Government. The three Governments reaffirmed adherence to the policy of non-interference in the internal affairs of China.
Mr. Molotoff and I discussed the problem of Soviet and American armed forces in China. The Soviet Union, pursuant to their agreement with the National Government of China, plans to remove its forces from Manchuria by Feb. 1. We will move our marines from North China when the Japanese troops are disarmed and deported from China or when China is able to complete the task unassisted by us.
The understanding reached by the three powers as to policy toward China should assist General Marshal in the mission he has undertaken.
The British and ourselves came to Moscow with a very definite proposal for the establishment by the United Nations of a commission on atomic energy and related matters based on the Washington declaration of President Truman and the Prime Ministers of Great Britain and Canada on that subject. At the request of the Soviet Government the discussion of our proposal was placed at the end of our agenda. Our discussions were limited to this proposal. At no time did we discuss any technical or scientific matters; nor were we asked by the Soviet Government about the new weapon. I was happy to find that the Soviet Government feels as we do that this particular weapon is of such a revolutionary nature that we should explore through a United Nations commission methods of international control.
It should be understood that the task of the commission is to inquire into the problems raised by the discovery of atomic en-
ergy and related matters and to make recommendations. Neither the Security Council nor the commission has any authority to bind any Government to act on its recommendations.
The four objectives set forth in the proposed resolution establishing the commission are not intended to indicate the order in which they are to be considered. In particular, it was intended and it is understood that the matter of safeguards will apply to the recommendations of the commission in relation to every phase of the subject and at every stage. Indeed, at the root of the whole matter lies the problem of providing necessary safeguards.
Neither we nor any other nation would be expected to share our armament secrets until it was certain that effective safeguards had been developed to insure our mutual protection.
The Soviet Government offered only a few amendments to the proposal submitted by us. These amendments were designed to clarify the relations of the commission to the Security Council. With some slight revisions we accepted them.
Carefully examined, these amendments will be found to go no further than appropriate to enable the Security Council to exercise its primary responsibility for the maintenance of peace and security.
The Security Council can give directions to the commission, and restrain publication of reports detrimental to peace and security, but such action can be taken only with concurrence of all its permanent members.
The three Governments have invited France, China and Canada to join us in submitting the proposed resolution to the Assembly of the United Nations.
The Foreign Ministers reached understanding on all important items placed on our agenda with the exception of Iran. At one time it looked as if we might agree on a tripartite commission to consider Iranian problems which have been accentuated by the presence of Allied troops in Iran. Unfortunately, we could not agree. I do not wish to minimize the seriousness of the problem. But I am not discouraged. I hope the exchange of views may lead to further consideration of the grave issues involved and out of such consideration a solution may be found.
There was no subject as to which an agreement was reached that was not covered in the communiqué published Friday, apart
from instructions to the representatives of the three Governments to facilitate agreements in the fields.
The agreements reached by the foreign ministers should bring hope to the war-weary people of many lands. They will facilitate the signing of peace treaties which is necessary to permit the withdrawal of troops from occupied territories. Only by the withdrawal of armies of occupation can the people have an opportunity to start on the long road to economic recovery. Only by economic recovery of other countries can we in America hope for the full employment of our labor and our capital in this interdependent world.
We must realize that international conferences are not intended to give individual statesmen the opportunity to achieve diplomatic successes. They are intended to be useful in the adjustment of delicate social and human relations between states with many common interests and many divergent interests.
In international affairs, as in national affairs, conflicting interests can be reconciled only by frank discussion and by better understanding. The meeting in Moscow did serve to bring about better understanding. We must not slacken in our efforts. With patience, good-will and tolerance we must strive to build and maintain a just and enduring peace.