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Opening Session ...

Address by Mayor Roger D. Lapham

MR. LAPHAM: Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen, President Truman has spoken a welcome to you in behalf of the entire United States of America. Governor Warren has greeted you in behalf of the people of California. I greet you in the name of the people who dwell on the shores of the Bay of San Francisco. We welcome you to the gateway of the Pacific.

Cosmopolitan San Francisco is well fitted to act as host to our many guest nations. She has gone forward under the flags of six nations. She now stands on the threshold of her greatest role, welcoming the Conference whose objective is an international organization, an organization so implemented that it will take us far along the road of civilization and on toward the goal of world peace.

Almost one hundred years ago, our port was thronged with vessels and with men of all nations seeking gold. Today we are still seeking, but we seek a different treasure; for here in this War Memorial Opera House, raised to those who died in the first World War, and to all intents and purposes they died in vain, we look to you,

thinking men and women, for the foundation of a just and lasting peace. This being so, it is altogether proper that San Francisco here and now begins its contribution to a peacetime world. If we can help, we stand ready to serve; but we have no intention of making demands upon your time and energy while you face this solemn and allimportant task.

As the main gateway to the front lines of the Pacific war, San Francisco has borne and still bears a heavy wartime responsibility. You delegates bear the brunt of what lies before us in the postwar world. May we help you in creating the framework of a world security organization, an organization built not on the shifting sands of distrust but on the rock of mutual understanding.

Like good soldiers, soldiers of peace, we of San Francisco are yours to command. In the past few years, hundreds of thousands of men and women devoted to war have passed through our city. With hopeful hearts we welcome you men and women devoted to peace.

MR. STETTINIUS: Thank you, Mayor Lapham.

Opening Session ...

Address by Secretary of State Stettinius

Fellow delegates of the United Nations Conference, President Truman has spoken of the grievous loss which came to America and to the world two weeks ago. This Conference of the United Nations to prepare the charter of a world organization owes much to the vision and the courage of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Many of his last hours were spent in preparation for this moment, for a moment which, in the wisdom of God, he could not live, to see.

We are met here at a time and at a place which he proposed. We have met to carry forward the great purpose for which he spent his strength-to build the structure of lasting peace after victory in this war. We have lost a wise and a valiant leader, but the purpose lives on. In this purpose the United States is more resolute than ever.

All America spoke through Franklin D. Roosevelt when he said:

“The structure of world peace cannot be the work of one man, or one party, or one nation. It cannot be an American peace, or a British, or a French, or'a Russian, or a Chinese peace. It cannot be a peace of large nations or of small nations. It must be a peace which rests on the co-operative efforts of the whole world. ... There can be no middle ground here. We shall have to take the responsibility for world collaboration, or we shall have to bear the responsibility for another world conflict."

All America also spoke through President Truman just now, when he said:

"With ever-increasing brutality and destruction, modern warfare, if unchecked, would ultimately crush all civilization. We still have a choice between the alternatives: the continuation of international chaos, or the establishment of a world organization for the enforcement of peace."

In their purpose to build an enduring world structure of world peace, the people of the United States believe that they are firmly united with all the other United Nations. They are united with the large countries which, of

necessity, have had to bear the main burden of winning victory over our common enemies. They are united with the smaller countries, so many of which have suffered the agony and the destruction of conquest all because of the failure of the peace-loving peoples to unite in time against aggression before this war.

The vital national interests of each of the United Nations require that all the United Nations work together to make peace and freedom secure. No one of the large nations, no one of the small nations, can afford anything less than success in this endeavor. Each of them knows too well what the consequences of failure would be. It is, therefore, with this strong bond of compelling mutual interest that this Conference of the United Nations begins. It is with this clear understanding of what the realities demand of us that we fortify our high vision of a permanent structure of organized peace.

A great American, Cordell Hull, who has devoted many years of his life to the task before us, expressed to me only last Sunday his profound faith that, whatever the difficulties, the labors of this Conference would be crowned with success. We all hope that Cordell Hull's improving health will permit him to take part in this Conference later on.

To us who are Americans, it is a hopeful symbol that this Conference is met in San Francisco. In our history, the West has always meant the future. San Francisco is a place toward which many generations of Americans have turned their eyes. With faith, American pioneers opened a new path westward across a wilderness. With courage they met and conquered every danger along the way until they reached the promised land that they sought. Since then, Americans have always thought of California, and of San Francisco, as a place where hopes come true, where all purposes can be accomplished.

Now, the deepest hope, the highest purpose of all mankind-enduring peace—is here committed to our hands. We too are pioneers on a new road. There will be many obstacles and many dangers. We too must call upon the

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courage and the faith of those who came to California be- MR. STETTINIUS: Ladies and Gentlemen, I wish to prefore us across a wilderness to the shores of this great sent to you Mr. Alger Hiss, the temporary Secretary Genocean named for peace.

eral of the Conference, who has two announcements to make We approach our task humbly, but with united resolu- concerning our procedure for tomorrow, Mr. Alger Hiss. tion. The prayers of the people of the world are with us. MR. Hiss: Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen, there They are spoken in many tongues, and in the words of will be a meeting of the chairmen of all delegations tomany creeds. But they are as one voice, rising from the morrow morning at 10:30 in the Veterans Building, and tragedy and the suffering of war, in prayer for lasting tomorrow afternoon at 3:30 the first official plenary sespeace.

sion of the Conference will be held here in this place. Thus fortified, and with the guidance of Almighty God, MR. STETTINIUS: Ladies and Gentlemen, the opening we must, and we shall fulfill the purpose for which we session of the United Nations Conference on International have come together. Thank you.

Organization is now adjourned.

Verbatim Minutes ...


APRIL 26 1945, 3:48 P.M.

MR. STETTINIUS: Ladies and Gentlemen, the First Plenary Session of the United Nations Conference on International Organization is hereby convened. The ehairman of the delegation of Chile has asked permission to speak for a moment on a very special purpose.

His Excellency, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Chile:

SR. FERNANDEZ Y FERNANDEZ (through translator): The delegation of Chile has received the highest honorthat of representing the sister republics of Latin America -to request of this assembly an homage in memory of Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

The life of a great man is like the seed of an unknown tree. During his days on this earth we see its branches and flowers that may be splendid and modestly fragrant. The waters of death sometimes enhance this splendor into glory and season its fruits with intense flavor and beauty. Roosevelt has been a powerful tree of magnanimous and firm fruits and flowers, strong within the heart of this great people, and his foliage extends over the entire world. His death has been only a streak of lightning that has destroyed the mere form, the mortal form. Although sorrow weighs upon us for his apparent disappearance, we affirm that Roosevelt goes on in all parts of the earth. His death is as a strong light that sheds its

light always with greater clarity--the light of a great statesman and a great leader of peoples.

His spiritual work begins to grow and to spread throughout the earth. It is we, the United Nations, who have the solemn duty to be faithful to this noble heritage.

Roosevelt, the humanitarian, asks us to give humanity peace. It is we, the countries of this continent, who are his spiritual sons directly, must carry this heritage, maintaining firmly his creed of good neighborliness in this continent, as well as through the concert of nations.

It is therefore fitting that the American republics present at this occasion to the Conference the following declaration:

“The Latin American republics invite all the other United Nations represented at this Conference, in homage to the memory of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, to express the aim of bringing to a fitting and perfect consummation his work as a leader of democracy, as the initiator of the Good Neighbor policy, and as the inspirer of a world organization for the maintenance of peace through the rule of justice."

I beg the assembly to express its approval by standing and remaining silent for one moment.

(Standing; silent meditation)

First Plenary Session ...

Address by Edward R. Stettinius, Jr.


MR. STETTINIUS: May I, on behalf of the Government and the people of the United States, express to you our very deep appreciation and our profound gratitude for this tribute to President Roosevelt.

I know that the spirit of this great man will always be an inspiration to our united efforts now and in the days to come, to establish and maintain lasting peace.

The heads of the delegations met this morning for the purpose of recommending the organization of the Conference. The meeting has not yet completed its work and will convene again tomorrow morning at 10:30. Tomorrow's plenary session that was scheduled will therefore be postponed until the afternoon. At this afternoon's session the heads of delegations, beginning with the sponsoring countries, will address the Conference.

At this time I should like to make a brief statement in behalf of the United States delegation.

Three years ago the forces of tyranny and aggression seemed on the very point of conquering the world. Today, on every front, they are face to face with defeat-utter and complete defeat. It has taken years of toil and sacrifice to bring us to this moment. But the doom of the aggressor nations was sealed long ago. It was sealed in Washington on January the first, 1942, when the United Nations Declaration was signed.

Our enemies could conquer only by keeping us divided. Instead, we confronted them with a free and a voluntary association of nations united in purpose and without equal in human and material resources. This unity neither force nor subterfuge has broken. Against the common will and the common strength of the United Nations our

enemies have hurled their propaganda and their armed might in vain.

For centuries to come men will point to the United Nations as history's most convincing proof of what miracles can be accomplished by nations joined together in a righteous cause. It is a unity achieved in spite of differences of language and custom, of cultural tradition, and of economic structure. It is a unity which proves that no differences of race or color or creed or history or geography can divide the peoples united in a higher community of interest and purpose.

Our first objective has been the defeat of our enemies. But from the beginning the United Nations have pursued another objective, one which is equally necessary to each one of us. It is the objective which gives ultimate meaning to all the sacrifice and the suffering of these tragic years.

We are united not only for survival, not only for military victory. We are united above all in the necessity to assure a just and an enduring peace in which the peoples of the world can work together to achieve at last freedom from fear and from want.

We have made a better beginning for the fulfillment of this purpose than nations have ever made before. For this purpose the responsible leaders of our nations and their representatives have met in Moscow and in Teheran, in Cairo, in Quebec, at Dumbarton Oaks, and in the Crimea.

Because of our common understanding that economic security goes hand in hand with security from war, United Nations conferences were held in Atlantic City,

Hot Springs, and Bretton Woods on co-operative meas- ples of all the United Nations. Since then many construcures for relief, to meet common problems of food and ag- tive suggestions have been made toward their improvericulture and to prepare the financial basis for economic ment. Some of these suggestions, and others which may reconstruction and an expanding world economy in the emerge from our discussions here, will undoubtedly be postwar world.

reflected in the final draft of the Charter, and the Charter At Mexico City the Inter-American Conference on itself should be open to whatever later amendment expeProblems of War and Peace strengthened the ties be- rience may dictate as wise. tween the republics of the Western Hemisphere and pre- We must always bear in mind, however, that there are pared the way for a close integration of the inter-Amer- at least two conditions essential to the establishment of ican system with the world Organization.

a world organization which can successfully maintain Yes, the United Nations have long been at work to- peace. One of these conditions is that those peace-loving gether on many preparations required in building the nations which have the military and the industrial structure of a lasting peace. Here at San Francisco we strength required to prevent or suppress aggression must have come to the decisive point in these preparations. agree and act together against aggression. If they do not The purpose of this Conference is to prepare the Charter agree and act together, aggression cannot be prevented of an International Organization to maintain peace with or suppressed without a major war. This fact has cerjustice in a free world of free men.

tainly been spelled out by our experience in this war. I believe that it was wise, and indeed a necessary deci- That is why the first step toward the establishment of the sion, to limit the work of this Conference to that great world Organization was to prepare proposals on which task. It was a wise decision because writing the consti- the nations sponsoring this Conference could agree, and tution of a world organization for the maintenance of this is why in the structure and the powers of the Securpeace in the future is a task wholly separate from the ity Council of the world Organization proposed in the punishment of the international gangsters who started Dumbarton Oaks plan, provision was made for this essenthis war. It was a necessary decision because the estab

tial agreement and unity of action by the major nations. lishment of the world Organization must be kept above Without this we cannot hope to build a world organizaand apart from the peace settlements if the Organization tion which will provide security to all nations, large and is to be able to deal freely and justly with future threats small. Without this we cannot hope to develop enduring to the peace that may arise from any cause, including institutions in which all free nations may participate on these settlements.

a basis of sovereign equality and in which justice and reThe preparation of the Charter of the world Organiza- spect for law will apply to the powerful as well as to tion should not, therefore, be entangled with the many the weak. and the complex political and economic issues involved The second essential condition of success in our enin the defeat of Germany and Japan. And the imminent deavor is the voluntary co-operation of all peaceful nacollapse of organized German resistance makes it all the tions, large and small, acting with full respect for the more important that the world Organization be estab- equal sovereignty of each to promote justice among nalished at the earliest possible moment.

tions, to foster respect for basic human rights, and to To deal with these and other issues there will have to solve these common problems upon which the security be many other conferences and many other decisions, and the economic and the social advancement of their both national and international. We have no time to lose. peoples so largely depends. There can be no end to the

Success at this Conference will not in itself assure en- tyranny of fear and want unless the proposed world orduring peace. The whole structure will take years to ganization commands the allegiance of both the mind and build. But without agreement on a Charter of world Or- the conscience of mankind. ganization, the structure of peace cannot be built at all. The International Court, the Assembly, and the EcoA house cannot be built without a plan or without a foun- nomic and Social Council and its related agencies are the dation; and here at San Francisco the United Nations institutions proposed at Dumbarton Oaks which would must draw the plan and lay the foundation.

have the major responsibility in these fields. They are of Upon this foundation and in accordance with this plan, the utmost importance. Widespread economic insecurity the framework of the structure will be erected when the

and poverty, ignorance and oppression breed conflict and United Nations have ratified the Charter by their respec- give aggressors their chance. tive constitutional processes and brought the world Or- Measures for security against aggression, no matter ganization into being. It is only around this framework how effectively contrived, will not alone provide the asthat we can complete the structure of peace with all the surance of lasting peace. We have also to work effectively other agreements on political, economic, and social prob- in close co-operation together toward rising standards of lems which we must reach together. At this Conference living and greater freedom and greater opportunity for we have therefore undertaken a responsibility on which all peoples of every race and creed and color. all else depends. We have undertaken to draw up a Char- In the preparations for this Conference we have sought ter of an International Organization strong enough to from the beginning to build with vision and with justice, prevent war but flexible enough to allow for peaceful but to build always upon the realities and upon hard-won development and change.

experience. To build upon a millenial idealism, however The outlines of such a Charter are contained in the Pro- fine in theory, would be to build upon quicksand. To build posals formulated at Dumbarton Oaks last fall by the only on the collaboration and interests of the major narepresentatives of the Republic of China, the Union of So- tions would be to deny the community of interest of all viet Socialist Republics and the United Kingdom and the nations. We have sought instead to insure that the United States of America.

strength of the major nations will be used both justly These Proposals were formulated after years of pre- and effectively for the common welfare—under the law liminary study. They represent in their essentials the of a world charter in which all peaceful nations are joined highest common denominator of thought among the four together. sponsoring nations. They are being presented to this We began by seeking a common understanding among Conference as affording the basis of the Charter of an the sponsoring nations on basic objectives and on the esInternational Organization.

sential machinery for action. These are the nations which The Proposals were submitted months ago to the most have united their strength against the aggressors so sucsearching examination by the governments and the peo- cessfully in this war. We proceed now in seeking agreement among all the nations, large and small, which have Let us construct a Charter of the world Organization as been united against the common enemy.

soundly as we can, but let us not sacrifice approval to This is a conference of the United Nations, the nations perfection. Let us act now in the sure knowledge that that love peace and freedom enough to fight for them. our work can be improved upon with time, but that if The International Organization we seek to build is one we fail to act, we are likely to lose altogether the. opthat is based upon this inescapable fact of our time, that portunity which has been given to us to prevent another peace and security will be the right of those nations

world war. which are willing to share in the responsibility for keep- Fellow Delegates, as we enter upon our great task we ing them. Tyranny and barbarism have never recognized cannot forget the millions of men of our armed forces neutrality and they never will.

who have given their lives in this cause, nor the other We do not intend to build a world Organization that millions of men, women, and children who have suffered will overlook this cardinal fact. We do propose that after the cruel agonies of starvation, of torture, and of death. it is established the Organization be opened to member- We cannot forget the untold destruction that has been ship of all other nations which have demonstrated their wrought, nor can we forget how close our whole civilizawillingness and their ability to fulfill their obligations tion has come to utter ruin. It is our supreme responsiunder the charter.

bility at this Conference, and afterwards, to see to it that I have reviewed briefly the preparations for this Con- this calamity never again falls upon the world. ference and our thinking on some of the major problems Vision we must have to see clearly that without peace that we must here meet together. We cannot expect at and security for all nations there will be no peace and sethis Conference to produce a charter which will answer curity for any one of us. Courage we must have to carry all the questions and resolve all the problems. No charter us through trying delays and temporary misunderstandand no constitution, no basic document was ever drafted ings and lesser differences to the fulfillment of our comthat was not open to improvement.

mon purpose. Faith we must have in the ability of manWe Americans have a convincing proof of that in our kind to make peace with the same resolute devotion that own history. Our Constitution, under which this repub- the United Nations peoples have given to fighting this lic has grown and prospered for a hundred and fifty years, war. was by no means satisfactory to all the citizens when it That vision and that courage and that faith inspired was issued from the Constitutional Convention in Phila- the great American leader whose life was given for the delphia in 1787, or even satisfactory to all the delegates cause for which we have met, Franklin Delano Rooseto that Convention. It lacked many provisions which nu- velt. It is only with such vision and courage and faith, merous Americans of that day believed to be essential; expressed in a thousand different ways, that the United yet it was adopted by the requisite number of States in Nations have been able to travel so far along the hard 1789. Only four years after the Constitution was writ- road to final victory. It is only with this vision and this ten, the first ten amendments went into effect, and eleven courage and this faith that we shall make peace secure other amendments have been made since then. What was for ourselves and for succeeding generations. true of the thirteen States which joined to form the Ladies and Gentlemen, I now recognize His Excellency, United States of America is true also of the nations the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of China which have met at this Conference to consider the pro- and chairman of the delegation of the Republic of China, posed organization of the world for peace and security. Dr. T. V. Soong.


First Plenary Session ...

Address by Dr. T. V. Soong


MR. SOONG: Mr. Chairman, Fellow Delegates: I wish first of all to speak of China's regard for the memory of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and I do this with deep emotion. To us he was not only the first citizen of the United States but also an inspired leader of the world, passionately devoted to the cause of peace and justice among nations. His vision and faith, his statesmanship and courage have brought the victory of the United Nations within sight. He embodied the ideals and hopes of the peoples everywhere. He was rightly regarded as the leading proponent and architect of a durable system of peace which was to crown our joint efforts in the present struggle. Only a fortnight ago he was still actively guiding the work of preparation for this great Conference. Although he has left us, his work will continue to guide us. In trihute to his memory and in recognition of all that he has done for us, let us concert our efforts and complete that important task ahead in the fullest measure.

China, perhaps more than any other nation, understands the necessity for the success of this Conference; for it is now universally recognized that a second world war had started when the Japanese invaded Manchuria in 1931, thus depriving China of 30,000,000 of her people

and of the rich natural resources so essential to her national existence,

Twice in our generation it has been necessary to mobilize the world's resources of men and material to arrest tyranny and preserve freedom. Twice in our generation we have had to learn by bitter experience that in an interdependent world, war cannot be localized or peace isolated. Twice in our generation we have lost lives in tragic numbers and treasure in prodigious volume that could have been saved if peace-loving nations had united when peace was first threatened, instead of waiting until aggression had engulfed half the world in flames.

In the fourteen years of savage warfare since 1931, China has endured every misery that the aggression of a major predatory power can impose. We sought by all means which were then available, in the existing state of international organization, to obtain redress. Inescapably we learned that there was no hope of ultimate safety for any nation without a really effective system of collective security. Therefore, at the very inception of the idea of the United Nations, President Chiang Kai-shek advocated the early setting up of an executive council of the United Nations, since without such an authority a world order cannot function.

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