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86 Bruce to Curtin

Cablegram 205[A] LONDON, 3 December 1942, 7.39 p.m.


Post War Problems-my telegram 199. [1]

Things have moved much more rapidly on the political side than I
had dared to hope and there is a prospect that you may be
approached on the matter by the United Kingdom Government in the
near future. [2]

The main question to be faced is how security is to be provided
and the fear of aggression removed. The two methods that might be
employed are-
(1) The association of the major powers in an agreement for the
preservation of peace and
(2) the establishment of some form of International Police Force.

With regard to (1) the major objections are that it would involve
the maintenance of large armed forces by individual nations and
that there is no guarantee that the association of major powers
for the maintenance of peace might not progressively disintegrate.

It would also involve the necessity, in addition to disarming the
present aggressor powers, of indefinitely keeping them weak
industrially and economically so that there would not be a
repetition of Germany's re-armament which led to the present war.

With regard to (2) this would have the advantage that the burden
of armaments for all nations could be lightened and the necessity
to keep any nation industrially and economically weak would be

The above considerations have led to the swing of thought being
towards (2) but it is recognised that time would be required
before the point was reached when an International Police Force
could be set up. This period of delay, it is contemplated, should
be filled by the United Nations undertaking the task of policing
until an International Police Force could be established. This in
practice would mean the United States of America, the United
Kingdom and Russia assuming the obligation. This has led to the
view that there should be co-operation between the United States
of America, the United Kingdom and Russia, to whom would be added
China, to a great extent in order to meet the sentimental views of
the United States of America in giving leadership to the United
Nations. If such leadership is to be given, however, it is
necessary that the four powers concerned should reach agreement as
to the direction in which that leadership should go. This means
agreement upon a definite policy and it is felt that in
formulating such a policy China could not contribute a great deal
and if U.S.S.R. is to be brought into agreement it will be
necessary to put before her definite proposals. This means that
the United Kingdom and the United States of America must arrive at
an understanding as to what that policy should be and I am hopeful
that early steps in this direction will be taken. A prelude to
these steps is to determine the line of policy on which we desire
to get American co-operation. At the moment the broad thought as
to what that policy should be is that it should have as its
ultimate objective the establishment of an International Police
Force which owing to modern developments would probably be
composed almost entirely of air and naval forces. Pending the time
when the International Police Force could be set up the policing
to be undertaken by the United Nations, but it is probable that
this would in fact mean by the great powers.

Regional councils are contemplated for handling political problems
and one suggestion for these councils is that they should be-
(1) European
(2) American
(3) Far East
(4) British Commonwealth
(5) U.S.S.R.

with a supreme world council upon which each of these regional
councils would be represented.

This idea of regional councils with primary responsibility for
their own areas has long been canvassed as an alternative to the
all-inclusive but somewhat over-optimistic basis of the League of
Nations. Previously, however, the regional councils have been
based on geographical areas with representation of the powers
interested in such areas. The constitution of the British Empire
and U.S.S.R. as regional councils is a thought which originated
with Cripps and is one which I think well worthy of consideration.

It is recognised that Europe constitutes the greatest problem and
it is contemplated that Great Britain, the United States and
U.S.S.R. would all be members of this council in addition to being
members of the British Empire, American and U.S.S.R. councils
respectively. Africa is contemplated as falling in the area of the
European Regional Council. This, however, will probably require
further consideration as will the position of the countries of the
Middle East which do not fall into any of the regions suggested

For the American Region the Pan-American Union would probably be
the basis on which the American Regional Council would be founded
and its composition would probably be confined to nations on the
American Continent.

On the Far Eastern Council the United Kingdom, the United States
of America and U.S.S.R. would probably be members as well as the
countries situated in the area.

The British Empire Council would be based upon the Imperial

The Supreme Council of the U.S.S.R. would be the basis of the
Soviet Council.

It is recognised that the practicability of a scheme of this
character would depend upon the functions which the regional
councils and the Supreme World Council were to carry out. A closer
definition of these functions is being worked on now.

With regard to the ultimate aim of an Air Police Force it is
recognised that great problems in connection with civil aviation
will have to be faced and that in certain areas, particularly
Europe, it is to be internationalised and that in all regions some
control may have to be exercised over aircraft production.

The above gives you an indication of the trend of thought here to
which as far as the Government is concerned Cripps has made the
biggest contribution. It may be materially altered before you are
approached, but what I am sending you will give you a basis for
preparatory consideration.


1 Dispatched 30 November. On file AA:M100, November 1942. It
reported and endorsed a speech made by Sumner Welles on 7 November
in which the latter urged that the essential principles of
international political and economic relations in the post-war
world should be agreed on in advance and fully supported by each
one of the United Nations, rather than worked out hurriedly amid
all the pressures of a peace conference at the end of the war.

2 See Document 90.

[FA:A3195, 1942, 1.48648/68/71]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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