292 Evatt to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram Precom 25 LONDON, 3 October 1945, 10.27 p.m.

IMMEDIATE SECRET

Location of the permanent headquarters was discussed by the Executive Committee today. In view of the supreme importance of our interest in the Pacific I spoke in support of San Francisco as against Geneva, but made a positive case for the former rather than attacking the latter. I pointed to the practical advantages of San Francisco in affording facilities for permanent headquarters and stressed the value of a site located in an atmosphere of freedom, optimism and progressive outlook. The work well begun at San Francisco should be continued there.

Several other Delegates, including China and the Soviet Union, presented strong views in favour of a site within the United States. The chief champions of Geneva or some other site in Europe were the United Kingdom and France. At the present stage, the matter had to go to a vote as between a site in the United States and a site in Europe. The proposal for Europe was defeated by seven against three with four abstentions. The proposal for the United States was adopted by nine votes against three with two abstentions. The United States abstained on both votes although Stettinius stated beforehand that his Government would be pleased to accede to the request of the majority. The minority was composed of the United Kingdom, France and the Netherlands.

Opportunity for discussing the particular site within the United States will arise later.

[AA : A1066, H45/777/2]