Dumbarton Oaks Conference
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The Dumbarton Oaks Conference, or, more formally, the Washington Conversations on International Peace and Security Organization, was an international conference at which proposals for the establishment of a "general
international organization An international organization or international organisation (see spelling differences), also known as an intergovernmental organization or an international institution, is a stable set of norms and rules meant to govern the behavior of states a ...
", which was to become the
United Nations The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization whose stated purposes are to maintain international peace and international security, security, develop friendly relations among nations, achieve international cooperation, and be ...
, were formulated and negotiated. The conference was led by the Big Four – the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...
, the
United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain, is a country in Europe, off the north-western coast of the European mainland, continental mainland. It comprises England, Scotlan ...
, and the
USSR The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a List of former transcontinental countries#Since 1700, transcontinental country that spanned much of Eurasia from 1922 to 1991. A flagship communist state, ...
. It was held at the
Dumbarton Oaks Dumbarton Oaks, formally the Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, is a historic estate in the Georgetown, Washington, D.C., Georgetown List of neighborhoods of the District of Columbia by ward, neighborhood of Washington, D.C. It w ...
estate in Washington, D.C., from August 21, 1944, to October 7, 1944.


Overview

The Dumbarton Oaks Conference constituted the first important step taken to carry out paragraph 4 of the Moscow Declaration of 1943, which recognized the need for a postwar international organization to succeed the
League of Nations The League of Nations (french: link=no, Société des Nations ) was the first worldwide Intergovernmental organization, intergovernmental organisation whose principal mission was to maintain world peace. It was founded on 10 January 1920 by ...
. At the conference, delegations from the Four Powers, the
Republic of China Taiwan, officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a Country, country in East Asia, at the junction of the East China Sea, East and South China Seas in the northwestern Pacific Ocean, with the China, People's Republic of China (PRC) to the n ...
, the
Soviet Union The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. (USSR),. was a List of former transcontinental countries#Since 1700, transcontinental country that spanned much of Eurasia from 1922 to 1991. A flagship communist state, ...
, the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...
, and the
United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain, is a country in Europe, off the north-western coast of the European mainland, continental mainland. It comprises England, Scotlan ...
, deliberated over proposals for the establishment of an organization to maintain peace and security in the world. Among the representatives were the British Permanent Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Sir Alexander Cadogan; Soviet Ambassador to the United States
Andrei Gromyko Andrei Andreyevich Gromyko (russian: Андрей Андреевич Громыко; be, Андрэй Андрэевіч Грамыка;  – 2 July 1989) was a Soviet The Soviet Union,. officially the Union of Soviet Socialist ...
; Chinese Ambassador to the United Kingdom Wellington Koo; and U.S. Under-Secretary of State Edward Stettinius Jr., each of whom chaired his respective delegation. (When Cadogan was called back to London after the first half of the conference, leadership of the delegation was assumed by
Edward Wood, 1st Earl of Halifax Edward Frederick Lindley Wood, 1st Earl of Halifax, (16 April 1881 – 23 December 1959), known as The Lord Irwin from 1925 until 1934 and The Viscount Halifax from 1934 until 1944, was a senior Conservative Party (UK), British Conservat ...
, the British ambassador in Washington.) The conference itself was chaired by Stettinius, and U.S. Secretary of State Cordell Hull delivered the opening address. The conversations were held in two phases, since the Soviets were unwilling to meet directly with the Chinese. In the first phase, representatives of the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States convened between August 21 and September 28. In the second, representatives of Republic of China, the United Kingdom, and the United States held discussions between September 29 and October 7.


Setting

Robert Woods Bliss, who with his wife, Mildred Barnes Bliss, gave Dumbarton Oaks to
Harvard University Harvard University is a Private university, private Ivy League research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Founded in 1636 as Harvard College and named for its first benefactor, the History of the Puritans in North America, Puritan cler ...
in 1940 to establish a scholarly research institute and museum in Byzantine studies, was instrumental in arranging for these meetings. Already in June 1942, on behalf of the director, John S. Thacher, and the Trustees for Harvard University, he had offered to place the facilities of Dumbarton Oaks at the disposal of Secretary Hull. When, in June 1944, the State Department found that Dumbarton Oaks could "comfortably accommodate" the delegates and that "the environment asideal," the offer was renewed by James B. Conant, the president of Harvard University, in a letter of June 30, 1944.


Proceedings

In ''Act of Creation: The Founding of the United Nations'' Stephen Schlesinger has provided a graphic account of the complete American control of the conference, including US military intelligence of cable traffic to the delegates and
FBI The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is the domestic intelligence and security service of the United States and its principal federal law enforcement agency. Operating under the jurisdiction of the United States Department of Justice ...
watch of their movements in the city: "The military man in charge of the San Francisco eavesdropping and codebreaking operation indicated his own sense of accomplishment: 'Pressure of work has at last abated and the 24-hour day has shortened. The feeling in the Branch is that the success of the Conference may owe a great deal to its contribution'." Robert Hilderbrand depicts the atmosphere around the conference and how Stettinius took British and Soviet negotiators to the Diamond Horseshoe nightclub and cocktails with
Nelson Rockefeller Nelson Aldrich Rockefeller (July 8, 1908 – January 26, 1979), sometimes referred to by his nickname Rocky, was an American businessman and politician who served as the 41st vice president of the United States from 1974 to 1977. A member of t ...
. Meanwhile, in the city Hollywood movies were shown daily for free. Then, ‘the cavalcade arrived at Stettinius’s home, Horseshoe, where the party ate a buffet supper and were entertained by a negro quartet singing spirituals’." Two issues were central in the conference's proceedings: The first issue was about the position that the Soviet Union would have within the emergent organization, as Franklin D. Roosevelt's original idea was designed to encompass American global power. The second concerned the veto powers of the permanent members of the Security Council. "Stalin dropped opposition to the American version of the veto with a wave of his hand, dismissing it as an insignificant matter.... He was quite prepared to sacrifice any independent stake in the construction of the UN, clinging to the belief that veto powers would neutralize any danger from it.


Nelson Rockefeller's role

Schlesinger noted that although Nelson Rockefeller did not have an official role in the conference, he asked the FBI that he would be the one who passed reports to Stettinius. The FBI indeed passed all reports to Rockefeller. Schlesinger also explains how the UN logo was designed in a way to exclude Argentina for its friendship with Nazi Germany. Rockefeller insisted that Argentina, despite its pro-fascist government, must be allowed to join the UN. Rockefeller had the Latin American delegations on his side, a relationship that angered Nicolo Tucci, the head of the Bureau of Latin American Research in the US State Department, who resigned, declaring that ‘my bureau was supposed to undo the Nazi and Fascist propaganda in South America but Rockefeller is inviting the worst fascists and Nazis to Washington. While Washington was aiming at the creation of a world body, Rockefeller was pressuring the conference to accept the Chapultepec Pact. Despite the opposition of Stettinius and
John Foster Dulles John Foster Dulles (, ; February 25, 1888 – May 24, 1959) was an American diplomat, lawyer, and Republican Party (United States), Republican Party politician. He served as United States Secretary of State under President Dwight D. Eisenhower ...
, Rockefeller won the battle in the conference. There was an agreement to include some words in Article 51 of the Charter that allow "individual or collective self-defense" at a regional level. A few years later, Schlesinger documents, at a dinner with Rockefeller, Dulles said: "I owe you an apology. If you fellows hadn't done it, we might never have had NATO."


Goals and outcomes

The stated purposes of the proposed international organization were: #To maintain international peace and security; and to that end to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace and the suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of the peace, and to bring about by peaceful means adjustment or settlement of international disputes which may lead to a breach of the peace; #To develop friendly relations among nations and to take other appropriate measures to strengthen universal peace; #To achieve international co-operation in the solution of international economic, social and other humanitarian problems; and #To afford a center for harmonizing the actions of nations in the achievement of these common ends. On October 7, 1944, the delegates agreed on a tentative set of proposals
Proposals for the Establishment of a General International Organization
to meet these goals. The discussions at the conference regarding the make-up of the United Nations included which states would be invited to become members, the formation of the
United Nations Security Council The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization whose stated purposes are to maintain international peace and internatio ...
, and the right of veto that would be given to permanent members of the Security Council. Charles E. Bohlen writes that the Dumbarton Oaks Conference "settled all but two issues regarding the organization of the United Nations—the voting procedure in the Security Council and the Soviet pressure for the admission of all sixteen of the Soviet republics to the General Assembly. There were a few reasons for that. First, the Western countries had an irreversible majority, including due to the countries of the Commonwealth such as Canada, New Zealand, Australia and South Africa. This would lead to a ''de facto'' inability of the USSR to influence the decision making. Second, countries of Eastern Europe that were switching to a Moscow-friendly ''régime'' were generally countries that had collaborated with the Axis and, as such, they were not allowed to join the UN immediately. Lastly, the seemingly extravagant character of this Soviet demand intended to make clear that any International Organization willing to manage the new world without the USSR being treated equally was condemned to fail. This led to the admission of the Ukrainian and the Belarusian SSRs as full members of the UN and prompted Roosevelt to accept in
Yalta Yalta (: Я́лта) is a resort town, resort city on the south coast of the Crimean Peninsula surrounded by the Black Sea. It serves as the administrative center of Yalta Municipality, one of the regions within Crimea. Yalta, along with the r ...
the right of veto at the Security Council. Later, under Truman, Western countries tried to transfer to the General Assembly decision-making competences on security matters in order to circumvent the Soviet veto in the Security Council, given that in the early years of the UN, the overwhelming majority of the General Assembly members were Western countries or Western-friendly. These attempts to undermine what had been agreed in Yalta were firmly rejected by the Soviet Union. It took the conference at Yalta, plus further negotiations with Moscow, before these issues were solved. Also at Yalta, a trusteeship system was proposed to take the place of the
League of Nations mandate A League of Nations mandate was a legal status for certain territories transferred from the control of one country to another following World War I, or the legal instruments that contained the internationally agreed-upon terms for administ ...
system. At the
United Nations Conference on International Organization The United Nations Conference on International Organization (UNCIO), commonly known as the San Francisco Conference, was a convention of delegates from 50 Allied nations that took place from 25 April 1945 to 26 June 1945 in San Francisco ...
, also known as the San Francisco Conference, in April–June 1945, the Security Council veto powers were established and the text of the
United Nations Charter The Charter of the United Nations (UN) is the foundational treaty of the UN, an intergovernmental organization. It establishes the purposes, governing structure, and overall framework of the United Nations System, UN system, including its Organ ...
was finalized.


See also

* List of Allied World War II conferences * History of the United Nations *'' Now — The Peace'', a 1945 documentary film about the conference


References

Notes Further reading *


External links


Dumbarton Oaks and Yalta
(un.org)

* ttp://www.nfb.ca/film/now_the_peace 1945 NFB documentary on Dumbarton Oaks, ''Now - The Peace'' {{Authority control World War II conferences History of the United Nations Diplomatic conferences in the United States 20th-century diplomatic conferences 1944 conferences 1944 in international relations 1944 in Washington, D.C. United Kingdom in World War II