MOVES TOWARD PEACE SETTLEMENT
Paris Conference.—The Paris conference of 21 allied and associated powers opened at Paris on July 29, with the primary purpose of submitting to the smaller nations the draft peace treaties with Italy, Rumania, Finland, Bulgaria, and Hungary. The plan was to divide the conference into committees to consider each of these treaties, the committee being composed in each case of those nations which had participated in warfare against that particular satellite state. Great Britain and the Soviet Republic were represented on all five committees; the United States was represented on all but the one on the Finnish treaty; France had a seat in all five committees but a vote only on the Italian committee. The drafts of all the treaties were published at the close of July. They showed a fairly wide range of agreement already reached by the major powers, but also wide areas of disagreement, especially on such matters as the freedom of the Danube and equal trading rights for all nations in the Balkan area. In a losing battle for the smaller states it was decided on August 3 that the chairmanship should rotate among the Big Four. It also appeared certain that decisions in the committees and in the conference as a whole would be by a two-thirds majority. With six pro-Soviet states represented—U.S.S.R., Ukraine, White Russia, Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Yugoslavia—it would evidently be difficult to get a decision against Soviet opposition. Furthermore, though the recommendations of the conference were promised careful consideration, the final decision in all matters would rest with the major powers.
German Unification Efforts.—In the face of Soviet unwillingness to deal with the problem of Germany’s economic rehabilitation, Secretary Byrnes made clear at the breakup of the Foreign Ministers’ conference in July that, while the United States still hoped for four-zone economic co-operation, this country stood ready to join in a three- or two-zone union if nothing better could be achieved. Britain was also eager to end a situation of blocked trade and food exchanges which stood in the way of German recovery and laid a heavy burden on the occupying powers. Accordingly, at the end of June London announced acceptance in principle of the United States plan for closer co-operation between the British and American zones, though this acceptance was not intended to stand in the way of a broader agreement. The American proposals provided for five agencies controlling finance, foreign trade, transport, communications, and industry. These were to operate under the supervision of the control council.
In view of the failure to achieve a free exchange of goods between the Soviet and other occupation zones, it appeared possible that the halt in reparation transfers from the American zone to Russia might continue indefinitely. As pointed out by American Reparations Commissioner Edwin A. Pauley, this stoppage might further be justified by Russia’s wholesale looting of industries in Manchuria. In July transfers to Russia from the British zone were also halted.
UNITED NATIONS ACTIVITIES
Split Over Atomic Control.—Through early August the United Nations Atomic Energy Commission continued its efforts to reconcile the United States and the Russian proposals for international atomic energy control. As indicated in the previous issue of these Notes, the two plans diverge on two vital points: (1) The Russians propose the immediate destruction of all atomic weapons, whereas the U. S. plan would await the establishment of an adequate control body; (2) The Russian plan, while abolishing the military use of atomic energy, would leave the authority of the control commission subject to the Security Council and thus subject also to the veto of any one of the major powers, and would leave inspection, and punishment for violation of treaty pledges, wholly to the individual nations, whereas the American plan would furnish the control authority with far greater powers. Obviously, as applying to the major states, the Russian plan would make the treaty nothing more than a pledge dependent on a nation’s good faith. Mr. Gromyko, the Soviet delegate on the Commission, took the ground that the proposed inspection system could not be reconciled with the principle of sovereignty, and he stated that Russia would not “accept any proposals that would undermine in any degree the principle of unanimity of the permanent members of the Security Council (i.e., the veto).” Both Dr. Evatt of Australia and Mr. Baruch, the United States delegate, indicated that they might seek to revise the veto power in the United Nations Assembly, and Cuba has actually proposed a general conference to revise the U.N. Charter and eliminate the veto.
New United Nations Members.—In August a committee of the Security Council took up the applications of new members to join the United Nations. Applications had to be in by August 21, at which date the Council planned to consider recommendations to the Assembly. After the Council’s recommendation, approval in the Assembly would require a two-thirds vote. Applications had been received from Albania, Afghanistan, Trans-Jordan, and the Mongolian People’s Republic. An application from Siam was also expected. The Irish parliament in July approved Premier de Valera’s proposal that Eire should enter, and the applications of both Eire and Portugal were submitted early in August. Sweden and Iceland are also planning to join at an early date.
UNITED STATES AND WESTERN HEMISPHERE
American Diplomatic Moves.—The following were among the month’s noteworthy developments in United States foreign policy:
Conference Delegates.—The United States delegation at the Paris peace conference was headed by Secretary Byrnes, with a staff of technically qualified foreign service experts. Senators Connally and Vandenberg were members of the delegation but were not expected to go to Paris until the general conference had completed its work and returned the treaty drafts to the Big Four for final action. As delegates to the General Assembly of the United Nations, meeting in New York on September 23, the President appointed Senator Warren R. Austin, already named as representative on the Security Council, Senators Connally and Vandenberg, Representative Sol Bloom as Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt.
British Loan Approved.—In early July the provision for a $3,750,000,000 credit to Britain passed the House by a decisive majority and was signed, July 15, by the President. The measure, according to the President, would help to eliminate “rival and antagonistic economic blocs and encourage mutually beneficial trade relations among all nations.” It “serves our interests and helps to solve the problems which Britain faces as the direct consequence of having devoted her human, spiritual, and material resources so fully to the common cause.”
Loan to Russia Of.—President Truman’s decision in July not to ask Congress for additional lending funds for the Export- Import Bank was a sufficient indication that no credits to Russia would be extended this year. All but about $300,000,000 of the Bank funds have already been committed, and unquestionably any money bill with a Soviet loan in view would have been defeated in Congress. In general, most of the future financing of foreign nations is likely to be done through the World Bank.
Anti-American Propaganda.— Reports from Tokyo indicated that the Soviet liaison mission in Japan was engaged in the dissemination of propaganda opposing the labor policy of the Occupation Authority, in direct disregard of orders issued by Allied General Headquarters. According to instructions issued to Allied missions on June 9, no matters were to be “disseminated without the approval of the Chief of Staff.” The Soviet mission had two officers for liaison with the Japanese press, and received from Moscow 6 million yen in May and 9 million in June for which no adequate accounting was given to the Occupation Authority.
World Court Joined.—Before adjourning on August 2 the Senate approved by a vote of 60 to 2 the Morse Resolution approving the acceptance by the United States of the compulsory jurisdiction of the Court of International Justice. This, however, applies only to international disputes; a reservation protects the right of this country to decide whether or not a matter in dispute is a domestic issue and thus outside the court’s jurisdiction.
Articles on Foreign Affairs.—In the July number of the quarterly Foreign Affairs the following articles are of chief naval and diplomatic interest:
Agreement on Germany: Key to World Peace, by French President Georges Bidault, is an eloquent defense of the French policy of separating the Ruhr and Rhineland, so that never again will this region be a zone of passage, an arsenal, and a base for invasion of the west.
Has Our Policy in Germany Failed? by Professor E. S. Mason of Harvard, points out that American interest lies in the survival of Germany as a demilitarized but self- supporting economic unit. If this policy fails it is because certain other nations are less interested in disarming Germany than in making use of her against—or preventing her use by—potential enemies. Should Germany be broken up, the United States would inevitably be forced into a more active participation in the affairs of Western Europe and in the line-ups of the European powers.
Atomic Energy and American Foreign Policy, by Caryl P. Haskins of the National Defense Research Committee, is in general an explanation and defense of the policy advocated in the Acheson Report and embodied in the American plan proposed to the UN Atomic Energy Commission. Mr. Haskins stresses the necessity of international control and of some surrender of national sovereignty, but fails to emphasize the fact that the sentiment against such surrender is not in this country but abroad.
Kurdish Independence and Russian Expansion, by Professor W. L. Westermann of Columbia University, estimates the number of Kurds in Asia Minor at from 2\ to 3 million. The author considers an independent Kurdistan “completely unfeasible,” but the Kurdish movement dangerous “because of the support which it has from Soviet Russia.”
Among other articles of interest may be mentioned “Canada Looks ‘Down North’ ” by Canadian Ambassador W. L. Pearson, “A Four-Power Program in the Caribbean” by C. W. Taussig of the State Department, and “Spain as an African Power” by Prof. R. G. Woolbert of the University of Denver. “The Outer Mongolian Horizon” by Owen Lattimore gives an authoritative account of the policies and trends of the new Outer Mongolian Republic. “How Much Oil Has Russia?” by S. M. Schwarz estimates that from the standpoint of unexplored reserves the Soviet Union is “perhaps richer in oil than any other country.”
Bolivian Dictator Ousted.—On July 21 President Gualberto Villarroel of Bolivia was overthrown in a students’ and workers’ uprising. The President was wounded in his palace and later hanged in the streets as he was about to board an airplane to escape to Chile. One list of casualties gave only 24 dead and 219 wounded, though earlier estimates ran up to 2,000. Villarroel became chief of state by a coup in December, 1943, and though suspected of Axis backing he later got rid of some of his pro-Axis supporters and was recognized by the Western Powers. The new revolutionary junta named Nestor Guillen, a La Paz jurist, as provisional President, and set up a liberal or leftist government, promising free elections, a free press, and general restoration of civil liberties. The new rule was supported by the chief labor organizations. In Paraguay a similar upset was forestalled by President Morinigo’s quick decision to reorganize his cabinet with the collaboration of the two opposition parties.
Canada’s Spy Report.—The Canadian government in mid-July submitted a final 700-page report on Soviet wartime espionage activities centered at Ottawa. The report pictured the system as run by experienced men sent to Canada for that express purpose. There were five separate rings, in which the agents of one were often ignorant of the operations of the others. Premier King stated that of 17 Soviet officials implicated, 11 had already been recalled to Russia and the rest were to go at once. It was reported that one of the espionage chiefs, military attaché Zabotin, had been shot on the voyage home. Among military secrets picked up, the spies secured samples of uranium, but no vital information on atomic bombs.
New Palestine Proposals.-—Difficulties in Palestine were only increased by the action of Jewish radicals on July 22 in bombing to ruins the British Army Headquarters at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, with a death toll mounting to over 150 killed, injured, or missing. This brutal terrorism was condemned even by the Jewish Agency, but two days later a British White Paper published evidence tending to show a close hookup between Jewish officials and the underground organizations. On July 25 the Anglo- American committee of cabinet members which had been in consultation in London produced still another Palestine solution. This proposed a separation of the whole region into Jewish, Arab, and British-con- trolled zones. The Jews would get a Z-shaped district along the coast and in Galilee comprising about 1,500 of Palestine’s 45,000 square miles. The British or Central government zone would include Jerusalem, Bethlehem, and the arid Negev region running south between Egypt and Trans-Jordan to the Gulf of Suez. The Arabs would get the rest. This received initial approval from neither Jews nor Arabs. The Jews complained that with a population of 650,000 out of an estimated total of 1,865,000, the area assigned them was too small. The Arab organization in Jerusalem rejected any partition whatever, even though accompanied by a proposed U. S. grant of $50,000,000 for developments beneficial to the Arabs. The proposed division was put up to the United States government, with the implication that the entry of 100,000 more Jewish refugees would be contingent on its acceptance. Britain projected also a round table conference of Arabs and Jews to meet with British and American officials in London, if possible before the United Nations conference in September. Four Arab states-— Saudi Arabia, Trans-Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon—agreed to send delegates, but it appeared unlikely that all members of the Arab League would consent to meet with the Jews in such a conference.
Delays Over Egyptian Treaty.—At the close of July there was still delay over the mutual defense terms of the new Anglo- Egyptian treaty. In brief, the British would like a pledge of Egyptian co-operation in the event of conflict anywhere in the Middle East, whereas Egypt seeks to limit her assistance to conflicts involving adjacent countries. Britain would also like a pledge of Egyptian support not only in actual war but in the event of a threat of war. The difficulties might appear somewhat academic in view of the changed character of warfare and of world relationships, but Britain, surrendering her bases in Egypt, is evidently concerned over the protection of her Middle Eastern oil interests and the security of the Suez.
Complications in India.—Election of delegates to an all-India constituent Assembly, set to meet in early September, were completed in July. On the basis of the election results, the congress party would have 201 seats, the Moslem League 73, and scattered parties 14, in addition to 93 seats for the Princely States and 4 for the Sikhs. It was planned that the Assembly would first separate into three divisions to draw up constitutions for the semi-autonomous groups of states into which, according to the British scheme, India would be divided. All these plans, however, were set at naught by the decision of the Moslem League at the close of July to withdraw its approval of the British plan and enter upon a course of non-co-operation. Any settlement, according to the statement of Mohammed Jinnah, president of the League, had to be strictly on the basis of “the two nations theory.” It was left uncertain whether the British would now call on the Majority Congress party to form a popular government, and whether the Assembly could proceed without League participation.
New Italian Ministry.—In mid-July the new Italian Republic organized and installed its first cabinet. Like its predecessor under the monarchy, this was a three-party coalition government headed by Dr. Alcide de Gasperi, leader of the Christian Democratic (left center) party, as Premier and Foreign Minister. The cabinet was composed of 8 Christian Democrats, 4 Socialists, 4 Communists, and one independent. On July 25 the National Assembly gave its support to the government by a vote of 383 to 53. Premier de Gasperi’s first and most difficult task was to plead Italy’s cause and defend her interests in the Paris discussions of the Italian treaty of peace.
Polish Pogroms Punished.—On July 12 it was announced that 22 more Jews in Poland had met death in fresh outbreaks of anti-Semitic violence. By the government these disorders were attributed to underground Rightist opposition, and particularly to agents of General Anders, anti-Red commander of Polish troops in the war. As an outcome of military trials at Warsaw, nine men were sentenced to be hanged for participation in the Kielce pogrom of July 4 and others were under prosecution, including the deputy commander of Kielce militia. Obviously the anti-Jewish agitation had its political angles. Cardinal Hlond, head of the Catholic Church in Poland, declared that the pogroms were “to a great degree due to Jews who today occupy leading positions in Poland and endeavor to introduce a governmental structure that a majority of the people do not desire.”
Though the Leftists won the June referendum, the present Leftist Government was reported as seeking to avoid a free election in November. Their curious argument was that political agitation could result in nothing but harm, since only a Left Wing Government could save Poland from Soviet interference and possible aggression.
Soviet Seizures in Austria.—Soviet seizures of key railway and industrial properties in Austria, on the ground that they had once belonged to Germans, were subsequently made a matter of protest not only by the Austrian government but by the United States and Britain. The Austrian protest of July 23 took the ground that, though the properties in question had indeed been seized by the Germans at the time of the Anschluss in 1938, they were actually a part of Austria’s national wealth and essential to economic recovery. In opposition to the present seizures, the Austrian parliament on July 26 passed a bill nationalizing most of Austria’s major industries, including some already taken over by the Russians. This was in despite of two Soviet notes forbidding such action in so far as it applied to seized properties. Next day five Austrian officials who had resisted the seizures in the Russian zone were placed under arrest.
Soviet Policy in Hungary Attacked.— In a sharp note to Moscow on July 26 the United States accused the Soviet government of violating the Yalta agreement by stripping Hungary of food supplies and industrial materials essential to her national recovery. This, the note pointed out, was contrary to the clause of the Yalta declaration in which the major powers pledged assistance to former satellite states in solving “their pressing political and economic problems.” As a constructive measure, the note proposed immediate joint action of the major powers to stop Hungary’s “present economic disintegration.”
General Mikhailovitch Executed.— After a 35-day trial, General Draja Mikhailovitch, Serbian wartime leader, was sentenced to death on July 15 for treason and collaboration with the enemy. Of his 23 co-defendants, ten were sentenced to death, and others, including former Ambassador to the United States Constantine Fotitch, drew lesser penalties. The condemnation of Mikhailovitch, by the People’s Supreme Court of Marshal Tito’s government, was a foregone conclusion, since the General admitted that he had fought the Partisans and that he had held consultations—though never actually collaborated—with the Germans. After the Presidium of the Yugoslav Parliament had rejected appeals for clemency, the General and eight others were shot at dawn on July 17.
Bulgarian Elections Planned.—The Fatherland Front government in Bulgaria announced in July that, subject to parliamentary approval, a national referendum would be held on September 8, on the question of ending the Bulgarian monarchy and setting up a republic. Thereafter, elections for a new constituent assembly would be held on October 27. Bulgaria elected an assembly last November, but both the United States and Britain refused to accept the elections as “free and open” and accordingly denied recognition. Bulgaria has also failed to include two opposition members in her Leftist ministry, as called for by the Moscow agreement. According to promises of Bulgarian leaders, the coming elections will come closer to meeting the requirements of the Western powers.
Free Turkish Elections.—Turkey on July 21 held for the first time in history a wholly uncontrolled election, with secret ballots, universal suffrage, and full opportunity for the 10,000,000 voters to support opposition candidates. As expected, the government or “Republican People’s Party” won a decided victory, drawing its support chiefly from the country districts. But the new Democratic party polled majorities in Istanbul, in Ankara, and in other urban areas, and gained 62 seats in the National Assembly of 465 members. The Democrats advocated lower taxes, but the government defended heavy military expenditures as a defense against possible Soviet aggression. Despite its victory in the elections, the Saracoglu cabinet resigned on August 4.
Split in China Widens.—Developments in China during July showed increased warfare and dim prospects of closing the breach between the Communists and the Kuomintang. On July 27 a Nationalist spokesman declared that Communist proposals for an unconditional cessation of hostilities could not be accepted. Such a truce, he said, was impossible without agreement on the division of control in Manchuria, on the reorganization of the combined armies, and on the reopening of communications, especially access to coal, salt, and grain in Communist- held areas. The current fighting, in which Nationalist troops were engaged in six separate drives, was evidently designed to clear railway lines and to push the Communists from threatening positions in Central China. Thereafter, perhaps, Generalissimo Chiang would produce his “solution not based on force,” which, according to Nanking reports of August 3, had already been drafted. Ambassador J. L. Stuart, newly appointed U. S. representative to aid General Marshall, continued hopeful of a settlement. The differences, he said, were over details rather than fundamentals.
New Envoy to China.—In July President Truman named as permanent Ambassador to China Dr. John Leighton Stuart, 70 years of age, son of a China missionary, and long President of Yenching University at Peiping. As a lifetime resident in China, Dr. Stuart is thoroughly familiar with every aspect of China’s problems. He is also well known and fully trusted by Chinese leaders, and during hostilities, while interned at Peiping, he often acted as intermediary between the Chinese and the invaders. General Marshall will continue in China as the President’s special representative, and will profit by Dr. Stuart’s expert assistance.
If men are at odds with the general spirit or management of things; if they change under their rules or hate their rulers—whether the fault is in the rules or in the commanders or in themselves, the regime may bring out the worst in them rather than the best. External discipline, held in place by a vista of punishment, develops chiefly the powers of deception and evasion; makes adepts at beating the rules, and turns the times of freedom and furlough into times of kicking over the traces. And this will be to some extent the tendency of every system which pretends to a greater measure of infallibility than it actually possesses, or which assumes a “military” finality of form which it cannot make good in substance.—Hocking, Morale and its Enemies.