« PreviousContinue »
loyal cooperation. Senator Connally was exceedingly helpful. Senator Vandenberg by his wholehearted cooperation let the world know that regardless of how much he and his party may disagree with the administration about domestic issues, in our relations with foreign governments we have but one policy, the policy of the United States. Building the foundations of a people's peace in a war-shattered world is a long, hard process. A people's peace cannot be won by flashing diplomatic triumphs. It requires patience and firmness, tolerance and understanding. We must not try to impose our will on others, but we must make sure that others do not get the impression they can impose their will on us.
The progress made towards peace at the Paris meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers was disappointingly small in light of the expectations we had when it was agreed at Moscow last December that the Council should resume the work which had been interrupted by our inability to agree at London last September.
But the progress towards peace at Paris was infinitely greater than I expected when I suggested that the Council should meet in Paris preparatory to the prompt calling of a peace conference. The Ministers did come to Paris seriously intending to pave the way for a peace conference. We differed considerably on a number of fundamental points; but we did come to know what those fundamental points were and the varying weight the different Ministers attached to those points.
We found that there were three basic issues outstanding on the Italian treaty: reparations, the colonies and the Italian-Yugoslav boundary, particularly as it concerns the Italian city of Trieste.
In summarizing the significance of these basic issues, I shall deliberately seek to avoid intensifying the conflict in viewpoints.
Our position on reparations is simple. To enable the Italian nation to live we have already advanced directly or indirectly $900,000,000. We should prefer in the interest of peace to forget about reparations. But we are willing to agree to limited reparations, provided these do not deprive Italy of resources necessary to enable her to subsist without external assistance.
If Italy requires help from others she will look to us. And we made it clear we are not going to advance millions of dollars to enable Italy to produce goods to be paid as reparations to any of our Allies.
The Soviet Government has insisted on reparations for itself of $100,000,000. We have pointed out certain sources from which reparations can be taken which would not seriously affect the Italian economy and which would yield substantially the amount which the Soviets claim. But the Soviet Government is unwilling to count what she will obtain from some of these sources as reparations.
For example, she insists that some of the naval ships surrendered by Italy to the navies of the United States and Britain be shared with her. She declares the ships are war booty. But war booty belongs to the nation capturing it. The Soviet Union has never shared with Allied nations any war booty captured by her. We are willing to give to her in lieu of reparations some of the naval ships surrendered to us. demands the ships but refuses to consider them as a substitute for reparations. She insists upon being paid out of current production. We would have to finance the production, and therefore I refused to agree with the proposal.
Differences regarding the colonies have been narrowed but not resolved. The Soviet Government receded from its claim for a trusteeship of Tripolitania, first in favor of a joint Soviet-Italian trusteeship and later in favor of an Italian trusteeship as originally proposed by the French.
Our position has always been that the colonies should be placed under United Nations trusteeship, having as its objective the welfare of the inhabitants and their independence at the earliest practicable date. The Trusteeship Council should appoint a neutral administrator responsible to it, thus avoiding all possible rivalry between the powers. Libya and Eritrea should be granted independence in ten
It is open to question whether Italy is in an economic position to assume the responsibility of trusteeship and whether the return of the colonies to Italy as trustee takes sufficiently into account the wishes of the inhabitants. For these reasons it was with considerable reluctance that I indicated my willingness to yield to the French suggestion of an Italian trusteeship if that would bring about an agreement in the Council, and if it were agreed that a definite date would be fixed for the independence of Libya and Eritrea. But the French Government was unwilling to agree to a fixed date for independence.
The British felt that because of their promises during the war they could not agree to an Italian trusteeship for territory occupied by the Senussi tribes. For security reasons they also proposed a British trusteeship for Cyrenaica.
When no agreement was reached, I again urged the original American proposal for a United Nations trusteeship.
It was my impression that agreement on reparations and the colonies as well as on a host of other questions would not be long delayed if only a solution of the Trieste problem could be found. The Soviet Representative finally indicated that there would be no serious question on the cession of the Dodecanese Islands to Greece but he refused to approve it until the other territorial dispositions could be agreed upon.
The experts appointed to investigate the Italian-Yugoslav frontier did not differ as to the facts. But the Soviet Representative differs from the other members of the Council as to the conclusions to be drawn from the facts. It is his position that Venezia Giulia must be treated as an inseparable whole, and that so treated the claim of Yugoslavia to the area is superior to that of Italy. The other Representatives believe that wise statesmanship as well as the explicit decision taken by the Council at London requires a boundary line which will in the main be an ethnic line leaving a minimum of people under alien rule.
It was wrong to give Italy the whole of Venezia Giulia after World War I. It would be equally wrong to give Yugoslavia the whole of Venezia Giulia now. It would transfer from Italy to Yugoslavia approximately 500,000 Italians.
The British and French experts proposed ethnic lines more favorable to Yugoslavia than our own. In an effort to reach agreement we stated we were willing to accept the British or French line or any other ethnic line that could be justified upon the basis of the London decision.
The American Delegation suggested a plebiscite for the area between the line proposed by the United States and the line proposed by the Soviet Union-but the Soviet Delegation would not consider a plebiscite except for the whole Venezia Giulia area. All of us are agreed that Yugoslavia and the countries of Central Europe which have for years used the port of Trieste shall have free access to Trieste at which there shall be a free port under international control. But we will continue to appeal to the Soviet Government and the Yugoslav Government not to press for a boundary line which will needlessly violate ethnic principles and will breed trouble in the future.
Agreement on the Balkan treaties is blocked principally by the inability of the Council to agree upon the economic clauses. Agreement on these provisions may have been delayed as part of a bargaining process, although so far the Soviet Government has stood out against the inclusion in the treaties of any provision which would promise freedom of commerce on the Danube, the gateway to Central Europe.
If the Soviet Government is opposed, as the United States Government is opposed, to the formation of exclusive political and economic blocs, they will not persist in their refusal to permit the countries of Central Europe to open their gates to the commerce of all nations.
It is regrettable that our outstanding differences on the treaties could not have been adjusted at our recent meeting in Paris. A short recess to allow a calm re-examination of our respective positions should expedite agreement when we reconvene. But when a world short of goods and short of food is crying for the return of conditions of peace, we cannot indefinitely delay the making of peace and the withdrawal of troops from occupied areas. The four Allied governments cannot indefinitely delay the making of peace with countries which they have long ceased to fight, simply because they cannot agree among themselves on peace terms. The Council of Foreign Ministers was formed to facilitate and not obstruct the making of peace.
If a peace conference is not called this summer, the United States. will feel obliged to request the General Assembly of the United Nations under Article 14 of the Charter to make recommendations with respect. to the peace settlements. But I confidently expect a peace conference to be called this summer.
The situation which we will face in the coming months will be a test not only of others but of ourselves. There are now and there will be in the future many occasions which might impel us to say as we did after the last war that, much as we would like to cooperate in the restoration of Europe, cooperation as a practical matter is impossible without the sacrifice of our principles and that we must be content to cultivate and defend our own hemisphere.
But we must not forget that if we fail to cooperate in a peace which is indivisible we may again find that we will have to cooperate in a war which is world-wide. Whether we like it or not, we live in one world.
I am unwilling to admit that we cannot cooperate without sacrifice of our principles. If we are going to play our part we must take the offensive for peace as we took the offensive for war.
But the victories of peace like those of war require sacrifice not of principle but for principle. They require faith in ourselves and in our
ideals. They require initiative, resourcefulness, and unrelenting effort. There is no iron curtain that the aggregate sentiments of mankind cannot penetrate.
The American Delegation at Paris did not hesitate to start the offensive for peace.
Security is the concern of every nation. But the effort of one nation to increase its security may threaten the security of other nations and cause them in turn to try to increase their own security. The quest for security may lead to less rather than more security in the world.
It is in truth extremely difficult to know to what extent the action. of any nation may be ascribed to its quest for security or to its desire to expand. But some so-called security moves on the diplomatic checkerboard have not contributed to a general sense of security.
Many of these moves are said to originate in the fear of the revival of German military might.
On our way to Potsdam last summer President Truman and I discussed this situation and agreed that it should be American policy to disarm Germany and keep her disarmed and to do what we can to prevent a struggle between the powers for the control of Germany which might give Germany the chance to divide and conquer.
Those principles were stated in the Potsdam agreement. But President Truman and I thought at that time that the policy of disarming Germany and keeping Germany disarmed for a definite period of years should become a part of a solemn treaty between the principal Allied powers. Our policy should be to prevent war and not to wait until aggression gets out of hand.
It was not a new thought. It had been foreshadowed in the Moscow Declaration of 1943. Others had discussed it, but no one more forcefully than Senator Vandenberg in a speech in the Senate in January, 1945.
At the London meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers when the Soviet Foreign Secretary seemed greatly concerned about the Soviet security requirements in the Balkans, I suggested a twentyfive year four-power treaty, to keep Germany disarmed as a means of preventing any real threat to Soviet security. I explained that we contemplated a similar joint guaranty of the disarmament of Japan.
I again proposed such a treaty in a talk with Generalissimo Stalin on December 24 while I was in Moscow. The Gerneralissimo said that if the United States made such a proposal he would wholeheartedly support it.
Later I also spoke to Mr. Bevin who advised me that he personally was most sympathetic to the suggestion.
In February I sent a working draft of the proposed treaty for German disarmament to the Soviet, British and the French Governments and the proposed treaty for Japanese disarmament to the Soviet, British and Chinese Governments. I invited their suggestions as to the draft.
I was informed by Mr. Bevin and M. Bidault that they favored the proposal in principle but would have a few suggestions to make. I did not hear from Mr. Molotov. Just before the Paris meeting I advised the Ministers I would like to discuss the proposal at Paris
The Soviet Minister agreed to discuss it informally but stated without specification that there were serious objections to the draft.
At Paris the Soviet Representative stated he first wanted to know if Germany was being disarmed as contemplated by the Potsdam Agreement and he feared the treaty might delay immediate disarmament. I pointed out that our proposal could not fairly be so construed; that it did not lessen the obligation to disarm Germany now but provided machinery to keep Germany disarmed.
To remove any question as to our purpose I asked General Clay to request the Allied Control Council to appoint representatives with power to go into every zone and make a report as to the disarmament of Germany.
Later the Soviet Representative stated that when Generalissimo Stalin agreed with me to support the treaty I did not have a draft of it. He said that as it could not become effective until after a German treaty was signed, consideration of it could be delayed.
It is our sincere hope that after the Soviet Union studies our proposal and comes to appreciate our earnest desire to see Germany disarmed and kept disarmed, the Soviet Union will support it wholeheartedly.
While the making of the German peace settlement may take some time, we took the initiative at Paris to propose the immediate appointment of special deputies to prepare a peace settlement which could be considered at a general Allied conference, the date of which should be fixed by the Council at its next session.
While there is no German government yet which could accept the settlement, agreement among the Allies on the nature of the settlement is necessary to enable the Allies to know the goal towards which the Allied occupation and administration should be directed and the kind of German government which should be created to accept the settlement.
I also asked that the Special Deputies on Germany be instructed to report on several pressing problems, including boundary and economic questions. We cannot, for example, continue to carry out the reparation program if Germany is not to be administered as an economic unit as agreed upon at Potsdam. Whatever boundaries are agreed upon for Germany, she must be able to subsist without external assistance. We cannot subsidize Germany to enable her to pay reparations to other nations.
I regret that the Soviet Representative was not prepared to act upon my proposal for the appointment of Special Deputies without further study. I shall renew my proposal when the Council recon
Important as the German questions are and eager as we are to press for their speedy solution, we must not and cannot delay the peace settlements with other countries. At Potsdam it was agreed that the start should be made with Italy, Bulgaria, Hungary, Rumania and Finland. While Germany must remain under occupation for some time, we cannot fail to do our part to rid the rest of Europe of the burden of the forces of occupation. There can be no recovery in Europe until we do.
It is particularly important that we press forward vigorously with the Austrian treaty. The Moscow Declaration on Austria contem