Hasluck to Evatt

Cablegram 50 LONDON, 22 October 1945, 11.05 p.m.


1. Progress of Executive Committee since your departure is reported in telegrams Precoms 31, 32, 33 and 34. [1] Following background may be useful.

2. Soviet attitude. Some concern was felt last week over attitude of Soviets. Gromyko returned unexpectedly from Washington and has been reinforced by legal and security experts from Moscow. Last week he appeared to be using delaying tactics and twice obtained adjournments on ground he had no instructions. It was also noticed that Soviet has not yet deposited ratification and Americans here were speculating whether Soviet might use this means of holding up assembly meeting. These factors have led to a strong Anglo- American tendency to nurse Soviet very carefully and to yield easily. Today however, Gromyko, though very stubborn in debate, appeared willing to allow Conference to proceed and there is a chance it may complete business by Wednesday or Thursday, thus maintaining November 8 as date for Preparatory Commission.

3. Trusteeship. I cannot discover exactly Soviet views regarding temporary trusteeship committee. Americans and Netherlands say that Soviet would prefer establishment of trusteeship council immediately with Five Power nucleus and that one Russian objection to temporary trusteeship committee is that by naming mandatory powers as members it tends to set United Nations’ approval on their retention of mandates. Report has been passed and no further difficulty is anticipated until preparatory commission meets.

4. Permanent headquarters. Last Wednesday Wellington Koo suggested Executive secretary might be instructed to collate material regarding particular sites but Noel Baker ruled discussion out of order as not being on agenda. I have had to be very persistent to obtain publication of minutes of earlier debates. Copy has been forwarded to you by air. On Thursday under chairmanship of Stevenson [2] (U.S.A.) Koo made further proposal that information regarding sites should be collated and forwarded without recommendation to preparatory commission. I supported Gromyko’s suggestion that Executive Committee had obligation to make recommendation itself. At this stage debate was deferred. After meeting I discussed with Stevenson, Jebb [3] and chairman of committee ten, preparation of draft recommendations for next meeting, incorporating all committee’s decisions and laying down next step. Jebb, without further consultation, issued paper of his own presenting recommendations in which decision for United States site was made subject to serious formal undertakings by United States Government and under which next step would be to ask preparatory commission to choose at once between East and West Coast. This draft being considered objectionable both by Stevenson and myself, we collaborated in revised draft which recommends:

(a) United States site should be seat of United Nations, (b) preparatory commission should immediately set up committee to negotiate with United States regarding exact requirements to be granted and at same time make studies for particular site.

Discussion is likely to take place on Wednesday. In view of timetable difficulties referred to above, it appears impossible to obtain two-thirds vote on particular site before Executive Committee rises and above series of recommendations would not prejudice our views.

9. Reception. Invitations have been issued by me in your name and on your behalf for reception [tomorrow] afternoon at Savoy, to principal members of delegations, all members of trusteeship committee, and Dominion representatives.


1 Cablegrams Precom 31 and 32 were dispatched on 19 October (on file AA : A1066, ER45/9/2) and Precom 33 and 34 on 22 October (on file AA : A1066, H45/777/2).

2 Adlai Stevenson, Deputy U.S. representative on the United Nations Preparatory Commission.

3 Gladwyn Jebb, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Preparatory Commission.