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The Organization of the San Francisco Conference Author(s): Grayson Kirk and Lawrence H. Chamberlain Source: Political Science Quarterly, Vol. 60, No. 3 (Sep., 1945), pp. 321-342 Published by: The Academy of Political Science Stable URL: Accessed: 18/10/2009 08:23 Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of JSTOR's Terms and Conditions of Use, available at JSTOR's Terms and Conditions of Use provides, in part, that unless you have obtained prior permission, you may not download an entire issue of a journal or multiple copies of articles, and you may use content in the JSTOR archive only for your personal, non-commercial use. Please contact the publisher regarding any further use of this work. Publisher contact information may be obtained at Each copy of any part of a JSTOR transmission must contain the same copyright notice that appears on the screen or printed page of such transmission. JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact [email protected]. The Academy of Political Science is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to Political Science Quarterly. Volume LX ] September 194_5 Number 3 POLITICAL SCIENCE QUARTERLY THE ORGANIZATION OF THE SAN FRANCISCO CONFERENCE I T rHE product of the United Nations Conferenceon Inter- national Organization has now been public property for several weeks. By and large it has received a favorable reception, but as the future alone can reveal how wisely the delegates discharged the heavy task laid upon them the San Francisco Conference cannot now be appraised in terms of the prescience or judgment of its members. In the final analysis, the decision on this score will undoubtedly depend quite as much upon the spirit with which the nations of the world, and particularly the great nations, utilize the mechanisms which the artisans of the Conference fashioned as upon the technical excellence of the Charter itself. There is another aspect of the Conference, however, the review of which need not await the perspective of time. The organization, staffing and operation of the huge gathering which disrupted the normal existence of San Francisco for more than two months presents interesting problems of administration. In retrospect this part of the record of the Conference is fairly bright. Faced with problems of unprecedented complexity and forced to provide a functioning organization within a time limit so restricted that action could not await careful study and planning, those charged with the direction of the Conference may well take comfort in the realization that the job was done with no major breakdowns along the line. Numerous (321) 322 POLITICAL SCIENCE QUARTERLY [VOL. LX operatingdifficultiesinevitably occurredas the organizationgot under way, but these were few and of relatively minor importance in their effect upon the actual progress of the work of the Conference. Housing a great internationalconferencepresentsmany problems; and it would have been virtually impossibleto find perfect accommodations,particularlyin a period of wartime congestion. San Francisco'sfacilities in this respect were probably equal or superiorto those which could have been obtained elsewhere in the country. In other words, space was limited but adequate. All officialmeetings of the Conferencewere held in tlheOpera House and the VeteransBuilding, situated adjacentto each other in San Francisco'smagnificent Civic Center. The dignity and seriouspurposeof the Conferencewere emphasizedby the quiet richnessof the auditoriumof the Opera House, where the plenary sessionsand commissionmeetings were held. Another room in the Opera House served as the regular meeting place of the Executive Committee and CoordinationCommittee. The Veterans Building, a four-story structure of massive proportions, was the nerve center of the Conference. Here were located the officesof the SecretaryGeneral,the Executive Secretary,the secretarialand stenographicpersonnel,the interpretationand translation staffs, the document-processingdepartments,and many other groups whose work was essentialto the smooth operation of the day-by-day program. With the exception of the Secretary General, all of these activities were concentratedon the fourth floor which had formerly been used for an art museum. Its great barren halls had been denuded of their pictures, and temporarypartitions running part way to the sky-lighted ceiling servedto separatethe many officesand divisionswhich compositely were known as the InternationalSecretariat of the Conference. Most of the space on the second and third floors was given over to committee rooms, although the Secretary General's officeswere located on the third floor and the Conferencelibrary was placed on the second floor where it would be readily accessible to the committee rooms. With a single exception, the No. 3] SAN FRANCISCO CONFERENCE 323 availablerooms were inadequatefor a full-sized technical committee, if its deliberationswere such as to attract a considerable number of observers. The limited space was somewhat aggravated by the fact that the tableswhich had been built in a single piece-in the shape of a large U with an extra leg down the middle-could not be adjustedto the varying needs of different committees so as to accommodate the advisory and technical staffs which were sometimesnecessary. The first floor and basementprovided adequateif somewhat crampedquartersfor the press and radio, as well as for various service agencies. Telegraph, mail, express, banking and commissary services were available without leaving the building during the daytime working hours. San Francisco's justifiably well-publicized hotels provided sufficienthousing and office accommodations for the fifty delegations and their staffs. In order to reduce the strain on the city's alreadyovertaxed transportationsystems, special facilities were made availableto all those holding Conference credentials. Thus, each delegationwas furnished one or more limousinesfor its exclusive use. In addition, through the cooperationof the Navy a fleet of new passengerbuseswas placed at the disposalof the Conference. Regularruns on three different routes laid out so as to reachall of the hotels used by Conferencepersonnelwere made at ten-minute intervals during the regular working day, and it required only a few minutes' wait to secure a free ride directly between one's hotel and the Veterans Building. Keeping pace with its sister service, the Army supplied severalhundred new motor cars for additional and special transportation needs. II On the first day, before any public sessions were held, the heads of the forty-six delegationsthen in attendance met in a preliminaryorganizationmeeting. Submitted to them for their approvalwere the suggestedrules of organizationand procedure for the Conference. These rules, which had been drawn up in the State Department, proposedthe officialorgans of the Conference. The Plenary Session,composedof all delegations,each 324 POLITICAL SCIENCE QUARTERLY [VOL. LX delegationto have one vote, was to be presidedover by the President of the Conference, assistedby the SecretaryGeneral. It was assumed at this time that Secretary of State Stettinius, Chairmanof the American Delegation, would be the President of the Conference. Four general committees were also proposed. The Steering Committee was to be composed of the chairmen of all delegations, while the Executive Committee would include the chairmen of the delegations of the four sponsoringPowers and the chairmen of the delegationsof seven other nations to be chosen by the Steering Committee. The other two general committees were the CoordinationCommittee and the CredentialsCommittee. The former was to be composedof representatives of the same countrieswhich had seatson the Executive Committee. It was to be a technical adjunct to the Executive Committee, its personnel drawn chiefly from the legal specialistson a delegation's staff. Although its stated function was to assist the Executive Committee, its chief and almost sole task in practicewas that of putting the proposalsof the severaltechnical committees into final Charterlanguage. In this work it receivedadvice and assistancefrom the Advisory Committeeof Jurists, a committee of six outstanding authorities in international law, which was establishedduring the latter part of the Conference. The Credentials Committee was composed of six members appointed by the heads of the following delegations: Ecuador, Luxembourg, Nicaragua, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Yugoslavia. Its functions were largely formal but it made a report to the Plenary Sessionthat it had found the credentialsof all delegates valid and in good order. The foregoing agencieswere to constitute the organsof guidance, directionand over-all coordinationof the substantivework of the Conference. The substantivework itself was assignedto another set of organs-the commissionsand the technical committees. These agencieswere intended to provide a division of labor. They were based upon a logical breakdownof the new Charter as it had been projected in the Dumbarton Oaks proposals. No. 31 SAN FRANCISCO CONFERENCE 325 The new organization could be subdivided into four major segments: the general over-all purposes,powers and principles with which it would be endowed; the GeneralAssembly and its composition,functions and powers; the SecurityCouncil and its composition,functions and powers; and the InternationalCourt of Justice. Although each of thesemajorsegmentswould necessarily have many points of contact with the others, each seemed sufficientlyself-containedso that it could be assignedas a single unit for purposesof drafting. Accordingly, four commissions were created for the over-all task of Charterconstruction. The first Commissiondealt with general provisions of the proposed Charter. Its work was divided between two technical committees: Committee I-1 on the Preamble, Purposesand Principles of the Charter; and Committee I-2 on Membership,Amendment, and the Secretariat. CommissionII was devoted to the GeneralAssembly. Its work was divided between four technical committees: Committee II-1 on Structure and Procedures; Committee II-2 on Political and Security Functions; Committee II-3 on Economic and Social Cooperation;and Committee II-4 on the TrusteeshipSystem. CommissionIII dealt with the SecurityCouncil and the maintenanceof internationalpeaceand security. It, too, worked through four technical committees: Committee III-1 on Structure and Proceduresof the Council; Committee III-2 on Procedure of Peaceful Settlement; Committee III-3 on Enforcement Arrangements; and Committee III-4 on Regional Security Arrangements. CommissionIV had the problemof judicial organization. Its two technicalcommittees were Committee IV-1 on the InternationalCourt of Justice and Committee IV-2 on Legal Problems. It was proposedthat each delegationshould have at least one representative on each of the four commissionsand twelve committees, and that each country representedshould have a single vote on each of these bodies. The proposalcalled for the appointment of a president, rapporteur, and assistant secretary general for each commissionand of a chairmanand rapporteur for each technical committee. Ostensibly, these thirty-six officers were to be nominated by the Steering Committee and approved by the Plenary Session. Actually, the panels of com- 326 POLITICAL SCIENCE QUARTERLY [VOL. LX mission and committee officershad been pretty well worked out before the Conference convened-not in terms of individuals but on the basisof countries. The underlying aim had been to distributethe honorarypositionsas widely as possibleamong the smallernations attending the Conference. In theory this idea was attractive. In practice it revealed seriousdefects. This was particularlytrue in the case of committee chairmanships. Of the twelve chairmen, several were men of outstanding ability, but there were other instances in which the grab-bag method of selection was not so fortunate. Chairmen who apparently had little or no previous experience in conducting parliamentarysessions,or who had little familiarity with the subject matter before their committees, were not unknown. Languagedifficultiesfurther complicatedthe smooth operationof the committee sessions. In severalcases, the chairmen knew neither English nor French and this necessitatedan additionaltranslationeach time he participatedin the proceedings. There were notableexceptionswhere the excellenceof the chairman in other respectsmore than overcame such relatively minor considerationsas language, but unfortunately this was not always the case. Someof the most seriousbottlenecksof the entire Conference might be traced to the unhappy choice of a committee chairman. With a few important exceptions this organization of the Conference as proposedby the Secretariatto the heads of delegations at the first meeting was approvedand followed through the Conference. The proposalthat there be a single Presidentof the Conference did not, however, meet with unanimous approval. After lengthy and at times ratherheated discussion,it was agreedthat there should be four presidentsrepresentingthe four sponsoring Powers and that these presidentsshould rotate in presidingover the plenary sessionsof the Conference. As a concessionto the United Statesit was agreed that SecretaryStettinius should preside at all meetings of the Steering and Executive Committees. Also, the size of the Executive and Coordination Committees was increasedfrom eleven to fourteen in order to give greater small nation representation. No. 3] SAN FRANCISCO CONFERENCE 327 The question of languages also caused difficulty-and in the end no little embarrassment. It had been proposedby the Secretariat that English would be designated as the sole working languageof the Conference. Under this arrangementthe Dumoffered bartonOaks proposalsand the amendmentsand proposals by the participating governments would have been printed in the five official languages of the Conference-English, French, Chinese, Russian and Spanish-but the daily reports and other working documents would have been printed only in English. If English had been designated as the sole working language, the problemof interpretationwould have been greatly simplified because,although a delegate would be free to speak in any language he chose, he would have been obligated to provide an interpretationor translationof it. After much discussionduring which the precedentsof previous international conferences were carefully reviewed, it was decided that English and French would be the two working languages, enjoying absolute parity. The Soviet Union agreed to this with the understandingthat important documentsshould also be printed in Russianwhenever this was physically possible. At various times, when the flow of committee reports became and printers fell bevery heavy, the translators,mimeographers hind in their schedule,but an attitude of sympathetic cooperation on the part of all concernedprevented seriousdifficulty. The decision to have two officiallanguages found the Secretariat inadequatelyequippedwith interpretersand translatorsto handle the work load thus expanded. Since the problemspresented and the way in which they were met are discussedin the section on personnel,it is unnecessaryto dwell upon them at this time. From anotherpoint of view, however,this unforeseendevelopment played havoc with previouscalculations. Under the new agreementit becamenecessaryto interpret every speech at least once, and if it was deliveredin a language other than English or French, two interpretations were necessary.This made the committee sessionsat least once again as long as if it had been possible to employ a single language. Attention has already been drawn to the fact that several of the committee chairmen conducted their meetings in languages other than English and 328 POLITICAL SCIENCE QUARTERLY [VOL. LX French, and this increased the difficulty and frequently the dullness of the sessions. At the time that the Steeringand Executive Committeeswere constituted, it was assumedthat they would serve not only as the directorate of the Conference but also as quasi courts of appeal for the settlement of issueswhich could not be resolved by the technical committees. Apparently this was the general understandingwhich existed and was acceptedwithout objection during the initial stagesof the Conference. There was a certain logic in supportof this point of view. The SteeringCommittee composedof the heads of delegationsseemed the natural source of such power and no one questionedit at the time. Later, however, when issues of committee jurisdiction were raisedin connection with the controversyover the power of the Assembly to discusscertain types of questions,it was decidedby a fairly close vote that the Steering Committee and the Executive Committee had no final power whatever, that the only organs endowed with legislative power were the technical committees, the commissionsand the Plenary Session. III Administrative direction of the Conference was headed by the Secretary General. Under the immediate direction of his officewere eight auxiliaryservices:admissions, comptroller,presentation, protocol, cultural activities, photography,information and security. The other administrativefunctions of the Conference were divided into two major groups. Under the Executive Secretarywere grouped all activities having to do with the substantive aspectsof the Conference. This included not only the recording and reporting secretariatbut also all personnel concerned with interpretation, translation, document preparation, processing and distribution,etc. Reporting directly to the Executive Secretarywere the executive officersof the four commissions. Each executive officerin turn had his own staff. This included an assistantexecutive officer, a secretaryfor each of the technicalcommitteesin his comdepending mission,and a varying number of assistantsecretaries upon the work load of each committee. Such was the standard No. 3] SAN FRANCISCO CONFERENCE 329 pattern of organization. When several foreign delegations made some of their staff personnel available for work on the Secretariat, certain additions and elaborations were made in the administrative structure. After consultation with the visiting representatives, they were allocated to the various commissions and committees on the basis of their interest and previous experience and were designated either as associate executive officers or associate secretaries. The second general division under the Secretary General was directed by the Administrative Secretary. This included such service functions as personnel, finance, space, procurement, transportation and communications. When the time and place for the UNCIO were announced, it was clear that a large staff with varying skills and backgrounds would be needed. An International Secretariat, including interpreters, translators, typists, mimeograph operators, printers, stenographers, stenotypists, secretaries, librarians, subject matter specialists to handle the reporting and editing of the committee proceedings, and many other categories of workmen, had to be available to start in full swing when the Conference opened on April 25. There was not sufficient time to train a staff; furthermore, it would not be practicable when the job would last only for a few weeks. The one alternative was to recruit from available sources personnel which by previous experience and training could be expected to handle the work. The problem varied according to the different types of work to be done. For ordinary typing and mimeographing and similar functions associated with processing of large amounts of written matter, as well as for the usual demands of report writing, filing and office routine, civil service personnel could be obtained in Washington and moved to San Francisco, provided the persons chosen could be released temporarily from their permanent assignments. Actually, this is what happened in a large number of cases and several hundred office workers were transported across the continent in special trains and by air. This number was supplemented by additional persons recruited locally in San Francisco. 330 POLITICAL SCIENCE QUARTERLY [VOL. LX Less susceptible of an easy solution was the problem of obtaining a competent staff of interpreters and translators. Two working languages and three additional official languages necessitated full complements of language experts for virtually every committee meeting. In point of fact Chinese was never used except for ceremonial purposes, but the other four languages were used regularly. Throughout most of the Conference four committees would be in session simultaneously and during the unavoidable rush in the final days the number would sometimes be as high as six. The decision to make all languages official had not been contemplated by those who worked out the original estimates for interpretation and translation; and when this decision was reached after the delegations had already assembled, it was manifest that the existing staff of interpreters and translators fell far short of the number needed. The Secretariat made a hasty canvass for supplementary personnel. Several of the visiting delegations graciously made some of their language experts available. The International Labour Organization responded generously. One or two were obtained from universities. These additions were helpful, but the total number still did not fully meet the need during the peak periods of committee activity. The only solution was for the interpreters to undertake schedules far heavier than those customarily regarded as normal for this type of work. They worked early and late, frequently rushing from one tiring session before the smoke of battle had lifted to take up their labors in another committee just about to get under way. The strain upon them in terms of physical, mental and emotional energy was great; yet if they paused or faltered the work of the Conference would be held up, so they caught sleep on the run, ate between engagements, and throughout tne truly grueling ordeal displayed a spirit of co6peration that was genuinely inspiring to those who associated with them. It would be less than just not to pay tribute to the contribution which they made. For the task of preparing the basic documentation to be used by the twelve technical committees which were charged with the actual drafting of the Charter and of caring for all of the No. 31 SAN FRANCISCO CONFERENCE 331 detail which must precede, accompanyand follow every session of each committee, it was necessaryto recruit a body of persons with rather highly specializedtraining and experience. When the League of Nations was established,a great effort was made to build up an internationalsecretariatwhose standardswould be commensurateto the task before it. Unfortunately, this body of civil servants was not sufficientlyexploited for the San FranciscoConference. Out of the entire Secretariatestablished at San Francisco,less than half a dozen had had previousexperience with the League and of this number only two had been associatedwith the Leaguein anything resemblinga permanent capacity. It seems unfortunate that greater effort should not have been made to capitalizeupon this rich experiencein international administration,especiallyin view of the extremely valuable contribution made by those with previous experience. Although the Secretariatwas designated " international" in order to make clear its impartial point of view and to denote that it was not exclusively American in composition,it is likely that the first objective was more nearly obtained than the latter. The membersof the Secretariatmaintainedan attitude of strict neutrality in so far as their relations with the member nations were concerned. But among the hundred or so membersof the recording and reporting secretariat-that group made up of the Executive Secretaryand his assistants,the executive officers and their associatesand assistants,and the secretariesand their and assistants-only fifteen came from countriesother associates than the United States. An invitation was extended to all participating nations to supply personnelfor staffingthe Secretariat, of other but the matter was not pressed. Those representatives countrieswho offered their servicesmade constructive contributions, and it is to be regrettedthat a more systematiceffort was not made to increasethe participationof non-Americans. could Therewas no ready reservoirupon which the Secretariat draw for a hundred or more persons adequately trained and equipped with knowledge of foreign languages and familiarity with the field of international politics, law and organization. Within the State Department were many personswho met these requirementsand they formed a nucleus, but many more were 332 POLITICAL SCIENCE QUARTERLY [VOL. LX needed. Those in charge followed the wise plan of appointing a few men of special experience or competence to fill the key positions and placing upon them part of the responsibilityfor building up a competent staff in the short time available. By drawingupon variousgovernment agencies,including the Army and the Navy, through appeals to the economics, history and political science departments of the universities and colleges, supplementedby the researchfoundations and businessfirms, it was possible to recruit a staff which, though largely inexperienced in the actual conduct of international conferences, had some special familiarity with the subject matter. A proposedmanual of organization and procedurehad been preparedwithin the State Department. Most of the members of the Secretariathad an opportunity to examine this manual during the trip to San Francisco. Informal staff conferences were also held on the train with the manual as the basis of discussion. Although much of the materialin the manual did not prove practicablewhen the Conference actually got under way, it did serve as a useful instrument for thinking through the problems of organization and procedure which were likely to occur. When the committee sessionsbegan at the end of the first week, the Secretariathad alreadyhad some opportunity to get the feel of the job through its participationin the reporting of the preliminarymeetings of the Steeringand Executive Committees. This work was rotated among severalof the secretaries and assistantsecretaries. It proved a useful form of indoctrination. Throughout the entire Secretariatthere existed a fine spirit of interest and devotion to the work before them. All who were present knew that they were fortunate to be participatingin an undertaking that might affect the future history of the world, and this realization added to the zest with which they went about their work. Moralewas high, a spirit of constructive cooperation pervaded the atmosphere,and an excellent esprit de corpsexisted. All this was reflectedin the work; in general,the level of efficiency was remarkablyhigh and the points of friction infrequent and inconsequential. The short time which was requiredto weld together an organizationwhich turned out ex- No. 3] SAN FRANCISCO CONFERENCE 333 tremely large volumes of complicated documentation with a minimum of error was a source of pleasantsurpriseto everyone concerned. IV The Conference opened in the usual fashion with a seriesof plenarysessionsin which the headsof the delegationsstated their generalviews concerning the goal to be attained by the new international organization. Graceful and appropriate tributes were paid to the memory of PresidentRoosevelt and his abiding interest in world security organization. Many delegates also took the opportunity to point out what they believedto be some of the basic shortcomings which had prevented the League of Nations from achieving its goal of an assuredworld peace. The unanimity with which delegatesstressed the imperative nature of the task before the Conference was a favorable augury for its success. In all, thirty-seven delegationspresentedtheir views in the eight plenarysessionswhich constituted the opening phase of the Conference. In the meantime, the troublesomequestion of the presidency, discussedabove, had been solved, and the Conference was prepared to begin its major task. Since many lengthy statementsof national views had been made in these plenary sessions,it was decided, with the approvalof the presidentsof the four commissions, that, except for an initial organization meeting, the commissionsshouldnot hold regularsessionsuntil after the committees had completed their work and were ready to report to the commissions. It was felt that this decisionwould result in a saving of severaldays, and that no great amount of harm would be done, as these initial commissionmeetings would have been filled with restatementsof generalviews which would not be of fundamental value to the subsequentdeliberationsof the committees. Thus the first committee meetings were held on May 4 and active committee work began at once. The basic documentation of the committee was, of course, the Dumbarton Oaks draft, together with the supplementaryproposals which the sponsoring Powers had agreed upon, and which were now distributed to 334 POLITICAL SCIENCE QUARTERLY [VOL. LX the delegations,and, finally, the observationsand amendments proposedby the other delegations. The documents in this last category were, quite naturally, voluminousand varied. In order to prevent unnecessaryconfusion, the Steering Committee had fixed May 4 as the dead line after which no delegation could presentnew proposalswithout the approvalof that body. When this time limit had expired, the International Secretariatpublished both the English and the French text of the proposalsin large, conveniently indexed volumes and distributed them to all delegations. In addition, most of the committee secretaries preparedspecialsummariesof the variousrecommendations pertinent to the work of their own committees. These were preparedas paralleltexts with the sections of the Dumbarton Oaks proposalsand the revisions,if any, which the sponsoringPowers had alreadyagreedupon. Since the dead line for the submission of new amendments had, unfortunately, been fixed ten days after the opening date of the Conference, the committees were necessarilydelayed for a few days while this work of assembling and publication was being completed. It need hardly be said that this was a period of intense activity for the Secretariat. The procedure of the twelve committees, once these documents were in their hands, was far from uniform. For example, certain committees took up all the amendmentspertinent to all those sections of the Dumbarton Oaks draft which had been assignedto them, and did not vote any final texts until after this processhad been completed. Others took up those amendments which appliedto a particularparagraph of the Dumbarton Oaks draft and, when they had finished,then voted a final text of that paragraph before turning to the next one. Still others appointed a subcommittee, headed by the rapporteur, to prepare a preliminary report on the scope and nature of the work to be dealt with by the committee. In some committees the rapporteur prepareda final report on each section of the committee'swork, which was approved by the committee before it turned to the next portion of its business. In others, the rapporteurmade no report to the committee until the texts had all been voted, when a final report on the work of the committee could be made ready for submissionto the commission. No. 3] SAN FRANCISCO CONFERENCE 33 5 It is needless to say that the major work of the Conference was carried on in these committee sessions. Discussions were long and searching, and debate was virtually unlimited. Although later in the Conference, in an effort to expedite the work, the Steering Committee did vote authority to committee chairmen to limit debate both as to time and as to the number of speakers who could address the committee on each side of a controversial issue, in practice these suggested limitations were seldom applied, and the committee chairmen seldom made any effort rigidly to control the course of debate. When, as frequently happened, discussion in the full committee would indicate a substantial divergence between the majority point of view was naturally that of the smaller and middle-sized -which Powers-and the considered views of the sponsoring Powers, the usual device was to appoint a subcommittee to attempt to secure a meeting of minds upon a formula which might satisfy all concerned. Thus, in the case of the much-publicized discussion of the " veto" powers of the Permanent Members of the Security Council, many objections were raised in committee to this feature of the Dumbarton Oaks plan as it had been completed at the Yalta Conference. In addition to the objections to the veto in principle, many delegations asked detailed questions as to situations, particularly relating to procedures of pacific settlement, when this veto would or would not apply. Delegations were asked to submit these questions to a special subcommittee formed for this purpose, and the subcommittee correlated them and presented them to the sponsoring Powers. Eventually, the " Big Four " and France, whose representatives had held many meetings on the question, reached agreement on a general statement which they held to be an answer to the questionnaire. This reply, which, incidentally, was summarized at a special meeting of the Steering Committee, was then given to the subcommittee which referred it to the plenary session of the committee. Perhaps the chief service performed by any subcommittee was in drafting final texts for committee approval. It was also, however, a necessary device for the consideration of decisions reached in other committees which dealt with matters relating 336 POLITICAL SCIENCE QUARTERLY [VOL. LX to the competence of the committee in question. Where disagreements were fundamental, the normal device was the creation of a joint subcommittee of the two committees. If this device proved inadequate, the matter was referred to the Steering Committee or the Executive Committee. Th organization of the Conference had not provided for the correlation of the work of the various committees while they were in the course of their deliberations, and it was necessary to meet this need by calling occasional informal meetings of the chairmen and rapporteurs of the committees together with the presidents and rapporteurs of the commissions. These officers met with the Executive Secretary, and the executive officers of the commissions and their assistants, thus constituting a kind of Bureau for the correlation of Conference work at this stage. The volume of Conference work-which sometimes resulted in the publication by the Secretariat of as much as a million sheets of mimeographed paper a day-made it impracticable to publish a full verbatim record of all committee sessions. To have done so would have required an International Secretariat far larger than the one with which the Conference was equipped. Consequently, the Secretariat prepared and circulated within the day following each meeting a digest of committee discussion which contained a record of all votes and the decisions reached. It had been planned originally to make these digests brief, but several delegations objected to what they felt to be an inadequate record of the historic proceedings, and the digests were expanded gradually, so that, before the end of the Conference, they were long and detailed enough to meet the demands of all. These digests were circulated without clearance by the members of the committees, but objections to the record as circulated were noted in corrigenda which were distributed on the demand of any member. Each digest was mimeographed and circulated daily in English, French and Russian. In addition, a single paragraph pre'cis of each meeting was separately published for the general information of delegates who wished to have a quick summary of what had gone on in the meeting. Also, a somewhat fuller summary of each meeting was published daily in the publicly distributed Journal of the Conference. No. 3] SAN FRANCISCO CONFERENCE 337 Although the commissionsessions and the plenary meetings of the Conferencewere open to the press,the technicalcommittee meetings were not; and attendancewas restrictedto persons having full Conference credentials.In order to provide the press with some informationconcerningcommitteework, a presscommunique was preparedby the committee secretary,approvedby the chairman,and releasedto the press shortly after the end of each session. In addition, the committee chairmen frequently held press conferences at the end of daily sessions. These arrangements were not wholly satisfactory to the press, and in practice there was little secrecy concerning happeningsin committee because the many newspapermen in attendance at the Conference could usually interview a number of delegates and piece together a substantially accurate and detailed account of what had actually gone on. While there were good reasonsof an obvious nature for refusing press attendance at committee sessions,it cannot be said that the result was altogetherhappy. In retrospectit appearsas if it might have been better to have permitted some kind of limited press attendance, provided a satisfactory scheme of selection could have been worked out which would not have taxed physicalfacilitiesunduly and which would have been acceptableto the Conference delegations. In view of the historicimportanceof the Conference,it would have been desirableto have had a full, officiallycleared,verbatim record of all the committee meetings, but, for the reasonsindicated above, this was virtually impossible. A partial substitute consisted of the informal preparationof a verbatim record for the use of the committee secretariesin preparingtheir digests. These records,which were kept by stenotypistsor court stenographers,were open to inspection by committee membersupon request, and they will ultimately be deposited in the archives of the new organization. Since, however, they were not cleared by obtaining approvalof the participatingdelegates,their value as historic documents will be somewhat limited. It should be added that this arrangement,while it did not pass without criticism by some delegates,was generally approved,in view of the general desire to expedite the work of the Conference by all possiblemeans. 338 POLITICAL SCIENCE QUARTERLY [VOL. LX A comparison of the Dumbarton Oaks draft with the final Charter will show that the committee work was by no means limited to a discussion which ended in committee acceptance of the draft which had been prepared and submitted by the great Powers. It is true that many of the numerous changes which were made in the Dumbarton Oaks draft were those which were agreed upon and submitted to the committees from time to time by the sponsoring Powers, but it is also true that many others were proposed by the smaller Powers and accepted by the " Big Four" and France. In other words, the committee work was of great utility in adding new portions of the text and in improving the phraseology of those sections of the draft Charter which were approved without substantive change. Many of these committees met daily, and toward the end of the committee period some attempted to hold two sessions a day. Thus it frequently happened that six or seven of the twelve committees met during a single day. This attempt to hasten the conclusion of the Conference had two effects which provoked a considerable amount of understandable criticism. Some of the smaller states had only a limited number of delegates available for committee meetings, and these men were pushed to the limit of their physical endurance by the demands upon their time. The other difficulty was that this schedule of meetings in the morning, afternoon and evening left little or no time for the various national delegations to hold their daily caucuses in order to reach agreement upon the attitude which their representatives should take in the committee meetings of the following day. There was no opportunity for these all-important meetings except in the late hours of the night or in the very early hours of the morning, and it is remarkable that, as the weeks wore on, the tempers of the delegates did not become even shorter than they did. It is true that this accelerated schedule held speech-making to a minimum; but there was a loss, in that properly matured consideration could not always be given to matters which were weighty enough to merit it. The voting procedure in the committees was the same as that for all other bodies of the Conference, namely, that votes on substantive matters required two-thirds of those present and No. 3] SAN FRANCISCO CONFERENCE 3 39 voting, while proceduraldecisions could be reached by a bare majority. On a few occasions,such as the final committeevote on the approval of the Yalta voting formula for the Security Council, many delegatesabstainedfrom voting, but these occasions were relatively rare. However, delegateswho objected to the majority view usually signified their opposition by abstention rather than by negative votes. As rapidly as the committees approved sections of the text these were forwarded,often in piecemealfashion, to the Coordination Committee which had the difficult task of systematizing phraseology,of noting disagreementsin substanceas well as in terminology, and of rearrangingthe sections of the Charter in a logically satisfactory form. Trouble inevitably developed at this stage because changes in phraseology,while desirablefrom the point of style and sometimesof logic, frequently overlooked some of the considerationswhich had led the committeesto decide upon a particular form of expression. Suggested changes of any importance necessarilyhad to be referred back to the committee for its approval,and it began to appearat one stage as if this processmight consume an inordinateamount of time. The problem was solved, at least partially, by asking the committee secretary to sit with the CoordinationCommittee when texts emanating from a particular technical committee were under consideration. This was a useful arrangement,and, once it was adopted, progress became more rapid. An Advisory Committee of Jurists had also been created to examine those portionsof the text which raisedproblemsof a legal character, but in practice it was found that most of the problems could be solved more expeditiously in the Coordination Committee where many of the representatives were of the highest juristic competence. While the Coordination Committee was wrestling with its tasks, the committeesgraduallyfinished their work and adopted the reports of the respective rapporteursfor submissionto the commissions. It was anticipated that some delegations which were dissatisfiedwith the decisions taken in committee might seek to reopen the matter when the commisionheard the report. Actually, this fear was almost entirely groundless. On a few 340 POLITICAL SCIENCE QUARTERLY [VOL. LX occasions, when the committee reports were presented to the commissions, delegations did reiterate statements of disagreement in order to have them recorded in verbatim form on the public record, but there were very few attempts either to try to have the commission vote favorably on matters which had been passed over in committee or to have the commission reverse the action taken by the committee. Thus, most of the commission meetings were largely of a formal character. Committee reports were presented, a few statements on each were made from the floor-and nearly all of these were of a laudatory character - and the report was adopted by the commision without a record vote. It had been anticipated that each commision, which in general had devoted no more than a single session to the report of each committee, would hold a final meeting to approve its portions of the text as they emerged in definitive form from the hands of the Coordination Committee. But time was pressing, as always, and the presidents of the commissions agreed that no great harm would be done if these final meetings were eliminated, and if the final text, as a whole, would be submitted directly to the Plenary Session of the Conference. This procedure was followed, and the Charter was approved in its entirety at a final Plenary Session. There had been agreement that the Charter would be signed in all five of the official languages of the Conference. Consequently, as the Coordination Committee finished its work, there was an agreed English text only, though many of the committees had undertaken to approve official texts in French as well and these had been examined by the Coordination Committee. The task, therefore, remained to check the final French text with the English and to prepare legally satisfactory texts in Chinese, Russian and Spanish. This was of the highest importance, as the Charter stipulated that it was to be equally authoritative in all five languages. The problem was met by the creation of a series of language panels, each of which consisted of persons who had an expert knowledge, not only of the language which the panel in question was considering, but of at least one of the two working languages in which the basic drafting had been done. No. 3] SAN FRANCISCO CONFERENCE 341 How successful these panel members were in producing texts which will not give rise to conflicting interpretations is a matter which only time will disclose; but it is only fair to point out that this linguistic problem was one of almost unparalleled complexity, as it is doubtful if any previous international document has been drafted in so many languages each of which was stated to be equally authoritative. It is also fair to point out that this portion of the work was done in almost unseemly haste in order to meet the Conference dead line which had already been set. It is a tribute to the skill and the sheer physical stamina of the members of these panels that they were able to finish their work in the allotted time; it will be little short of miraculous if some errors of interpretation did not occur. Several aspects of this Conference procedure may be commented upon briefly. The first is the fact, which has been noted above, that the role of the commissions as such was comparatively unimportant. It cannot be said that the interposition of the commission stage in between the committees and the Plenary Session caused any great waste of time, but it is also true that the commission work added little of fundamental importance to the work of the Conference. Actually, the commission work was largely that of a pro forma ratification of the results achieved in the technical committees. Another feature of Conference procedure which was of dubious value was the overinsistence upon haste in completing the work. It is understandable that all delegates were busy men who were anxious to be able to return to their regular work as quickly as possible, but it is also understandable that many of the men would have preferred to have had a little more time in which to give final consideration to the completed document. Had this been possible, some of the awkward stylistic features could have been polished in a fashion appropriate for a document of such fundamental and enduring importance. Also, the Conference was not helped by frequent public statements concerning terminal dates. When each of these dates had been passed, and the Conference was still busy at work, the public was given the wholly erroneous impression that the schedule was being broken because of unanticipated difficulties and disagree- 342 POLITICAL SCIENCE QUARTERLY [VOL. LX ments. Actually, there were no more such disagreements than could have been reasonably anticipated in such a meeting. But, withal, these are relatively minor matters. The point is that the Conference did succeed within a period of nine weeks in producing a constitutional document of immense potential importance. For the first time, all the great Powers are now pledged to take part in the work of an organization to maintain international peace and security. If they, and their colleagues from the smaller and middle Powers, maintain a spirit of collaboration, the Charter, rough hewn though it may be, will still provide a fully adequate mechanism to shape the ends of lhuman endeavor to the ways of peace. GRAYSON KIRK LAWRENCE H. COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY CHAMBERLAIN