290 Cranborne to Curtin Circular cablegram D723

LONDON, 1 October 1943, 11.30 a.m.


Received 3 October 1943

You will have seen from my telegram D.710 [1] that the United States Government have included in their draft agenda for Moscow Conference 'suggestion that United States, Great Britain, Soviet Union and China enter into Four Nations Arrangement providing for consultation and cooperation in carrying out aims of proposed Four Nations Declaration'.

The main subject for discussion under this item will presumably be the proposed Four Power Declaration itself, see my telegram D.

705. [2] It Seems possible, however, that the United States representative will also raise question of the Post-War World Organisation, on lines which President Roosevelt recently put to the Prime Minister at Washington. The President informed the Prime Minister that he contemplated three forms of collaboration- (a) Four major powers (United States, United Kingdom, U.S.S.R. and China) who should be prepared to guarantee by force maintenance of peace and order and enforcement of armistice conditions.

(b) An Executive Council embracing the four powers and other members of United Nations making eleven in all.

(c) A general assembly of all United Nations in which presumably neutrals might find their place. This would be able to pass resolutions, but should not have Executive powers.

Scheme proposed would be related only to interim armistice period, during which permanent structures could be shaped and built, and would in no way prejudice decisions as to subsequent world order.

2. The Prime Minister understood that United States proposals would be formulated on paper for our consideration but we have not yet received any such plan. The United States views asking [sic] detailed composition of suggested Executive Council are therefore not known, but it is understood that United States idea is that members might be elected by regional or other groups, and that provision would be made for one representative of members of British Commonwealth other than United Kingdom.

3. We should welcome your views on this conception. Although it is only in preliminary outline, our first reaction is that we should be well advised to welcome in principle and, subject to detailed elaboration, support any scheme proposed by United States Government, which, while giving due scope for representation of British Commonwealth interests, promises United States participation in post-war maintenance of peace and is likely to be acceptable to U.S.S.R. [3]

1 Cablegrams D709-10 of 28 September (on file AA:A989, 43- 44/970/53) set out the U.K. and U.S. Govts' draft agenda for the Moscow Conference.

2 Document 287. The Four Power Declaration was signed at Moscow on 29 October by Eden, Hull, V. M. Molotov (Soviet Foreign Minister) and Foo Ping-sheung (Chinese Ambassador to the Soviet Union). For detailed reports by Cranborne and Officer on the progress of the Moscow Conference see files AA:A989, 43/735/1016/1 and AA:A989, 43-44/970/53.

3 Cranborne advised later on 1 October that it now seemed improbable that U.S. representatives would raise this proposal at the Moscow Conference and he suggested that Dominion Coves should suspend action on cablegram D723. See cablegram D729 on the file cited in note 1.

[AA:A989, 43-44/970/53]