236 Mr R. G. Casey, Minister to the United States, to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram 1228 WASHINGTON, 28 December 1941, 3.15 p.m.


President [1] and Churchill have drafted 'a declaration' full text of which is as follows.

Declaration begins. Joint declaration by United States of America, China, United Kingdom [of] Great Britain and Northern Ireland, U.S.S.R., Australia, Canada, Costa Rica, Cuba, Czechoslovakia, Dominican Republic, Salvador, Greece, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Poland, South Africa and Yugoslavia.

The Governments signatory hereto having subscribed to a common programme of purposes and principles embodied in joint declaration of President U.S.A. and Prime Minister Great Britain dated August 14th, 1941, known as Atlantic Charter [2], being convinced that complete victory over their enemies is essential to defend life, liberty, independence and religious freedom and to preserve human rights and justice not only in their own lands but everywhere, and that they [are] now engaged in a common struggle against savage and brutal forces seeking to subjugate the world, declare:

(1) Each Government pledges itself to employ its full resources military or economic against those members of the Tripartite Pact and its adherents, with which such Government is at war. (2) Each Government pledges itself to co-operate with the other Governments signatory hereto; and to continue the war against, and not to make a separate armistice or peace with the common enemies or any of them. (End of paragraph 2 of the Declaration.) The foregoing declaration may be adhered to by other nations which are or which may be rendering material assistance and contributions towards defeating the members or adherents of the Tripartite Pact.

(The declaration ends.)

The original draft on which the above was based was American and with slight modifications in the discussion between the President and Churchill last night, it has reached the above form which is acceptable both to the United States and Britain subject to the agreement of the other proposed signatory countries.

The suggested order in which the countries are named is the proposal of the United States.

The inclusion of China and Russia in the first group of four countries is designed to accede to the susceptibilities of these countries.

After these first four the order is strictly alphabetical.

I asked if India was to be included and I find that this is under discussion now. The President has just seen Soviet Ambassador here [3] regarding repercussions. President is most anxious that Russia will accept reference to 'religious freedom' which was not in Atlantic Charter and omission of which caused considerable criticism in United States. Countries that it is proposed to ask to adhere in the first place are those which have declared war against one or more members of the Axis. Position in particular of Russia (not having declared war against Japan) is taken care [of] by the wording in paragraph (2) of the proposed declaration.

I raised point that as declaration was now drafted none of the signatories could make peace until some signatory such as Haiti or Panama had agreed. This is admitted but Americans say in effect Central and South American republics will quite certainly follow any lead of United States in such important matters.

United States do not want to have Free French Movement admitted as a signatory because they are not a 'Government' and because such action would be a blow to Vichy and United States want to bolster up prestige and morale of Vichy Government as much and as long as possible.

President and Churchill are most anxious that declaration be signed on December 31st or January 1st, that is before Churchill returns to Britain. They both ask that Commonwealth Government should give declaration their very early consideration and that, unless you have points of principle to criticize or suggest, you might overlook minor deficiencies in the draft, by reason of time element and the large number of potential signatories involved.

They would be grateful of earliest reply that you can find it convenient to make.

1 Franklin D. Roosevelt.

2 See Document 50.

3 M. M. Litvinov.

[AA:A981, USA 206]