Report on the Paris Peace Conference by the Secretary of State


Material Information

Report on the Paris Peace Conference by the Secretary of State
Series Title:
U.S. Dept. of state. Publication 2682. Conference series
Physical Description:
1 p. l., 14 p. : ; 20 cm.
Byrnes, James F ( James Francis ), 1882-1972
U.S. Govt. Print. Off.
Place of Publication:
Publication Date:


federal government publication   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )


General Note:
Delivered by radio on Oct. 18, 1946 from Washington by Secretary Byrnes. cf. p.1.

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University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
aleph - 004822629
oclc - 19950611
lccn - 46027939
lcc - D814.565 .B9
ddc - 940.53141
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Full Text

Paris Peace
by the Secretary of State


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Report on the

Paris Peace Conference

It is now 15 months since the decision was
reached at Potsdam. to set up the Council of For-
eign Ministers to start the preparatory work on
the peace treaties with Italy, Bulgaria, Rumania,
Hungry, and Finland.
Those months.have been hard, difficult months.
Atthe Cduncil of Foreign Ministers and at.the
Paris Peace Conference your representatives were
a united and harmonious delegation acting under
the guidance and instructions of the President of
the United States. The difficult tasks were im-
measurably lightened by the splendid work and
cooperation of my associates, Senator Connally,
Democratic chairman of the Foreign Relations
Committee, and Senator Vandenberg, spokesman
for the Republican Party in foreign affairs. In
the Conference we have represented no political
parties. We have been united in representing the
United States..
After every great war their victorious allies have
found it difficult to adjust their differences in
.Delivered by. radio- from V-ashington on the occasion
of the return of Secretary..Byrnes from the Paris Peace
Conference, which took place from July 29 to Oct. 15.
The address was broadcast over the national network of
the National Broadcasting System, stations WOL and
WORk of the Mutual B'oadiasting System, and stations
WWDC and WINX of Washington, on Oct. 18.


the making of peace. Even before the fighting
stopped, President Roosevelt warned us that
"The nearer we came to vanquishing our .6ni
mies the more we inevitably became conscious of .
differences among te allies."
That -was why President Roosevelt was so in-
sistent that the United Nations should be estpb-
lished before the peace settlements were made.
It was inevitable that in the making of concrete
peace settlements the Allies should discuss and
debate the issues on which they disagree and not
those on which they agree. It was also inevitable
that such discussions should emphasize our,differ-
That is one reason I have continuously pressed
to bring about agreements upon the peace settle-
ments as rapidly as possible.
Leaving unsettled issues which should be set-
tled only serves to increase tension among the Al-
lies arid increase unrest among the peoples affected.
We cannot think constructively on what will or
will not contribute to the building of lasting peace
and rising standards of life until we liquidate the
war and give the peoples of this world a chance
to live again under conditions of peace.
- It is difficult to deal with the problems of a con'-
valescing world until we get the patient off the
operating table.
These treaties are not written as we would write
them if we had a free hand. They are not written
as other governments would write then if they h
a free hand. But they re as good as we can hv e
to get by general agreemapt now or within y;
reasonable length of time.. ..( r

Our views on reparations are different from the
views of countries whose territories were laid waste
by military operations and whose peoples were
brought under the yoke of alien armies and alien
The reparation payments are heavy-excessively
heavy in some cases. But their burdens should
not be unbearable if the peoples on which they are
laid, are freed from the burdens of sustaining oc-
cupying armies and are given a chance to rebuild
their shattered economic lives.
For Europe with her mingled national economies
there are no ideal boundary settlements.
The proposed settlement for the Trieste area was
long and warmly debated. The Conference ap-
proved the proposal of the Council of Foreign
Ministers that this area should become a free ter-
ritory under the protection of the United Nations.
The Conference also by a two-thirds vote made
recommendations for an international statute de-
fining the responsibilities of the United Nations
in relation to the free territory. Such recom-
mendations are an expression of world opinion
and cannot be arbitrarily disregarded.
Those recommendations of the Conference pro-
vide that the governor appointed by the Security
Council should have sufficient authority to main-
tain public order and security, to preserve the in-
dependence and integrity of the territory, and to
protect the basic human rights and fundamental
freedoms of all the-inhabitants.
The minority proposal which was supported by
the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia, and other Slav
countries would have made a figurehead of the
United Nations governor and would have given

Yugoslavia virtual control of the customs, cr-.
rency, and foreign affair of the territory. Cer
tainly we could not agree to that It would mrake
the territory a protectorate of Yugoslavia and
would leave the United Nations powerless to pre-
vent it becoming a battleground between warring
groups. There must be no seizure of power ii
Trieste after this war as there was in Fiume after
the last war.
The Yugoslav Delegation advised the Confer-
ence it would not sign the treaty recommended.
My hope however is that after consideration
Yugoslavia will realize that just as other states
have made concessions she must make concessions
in order to bring about the peace.
Although the Council of Foreign Ministers were
unable to agree to any change in the Austrian-
Italian frontier, the representatives of Austria
and Italy at Paris were encouraged by the Amer-
ican, Delegation to reach an agreement which
should help to make the South Tyrol a bond rather
than a barrier between the two peoples.
It is my earnest hope that Czechoslovakia and
Hungry and- Rumania and Hungary may find
by comnnon agreement somewhat similar solutions
to their complicated nationality problems on the
basis of working together as friends.and as neigh
bors. We in America know that people of maay
different races and stocks can live together in
peace in the United States. They should be hble
to live together in peace in Europe: ..;: :
At Potsdam -in the swnaier of 1945 President
Truman stressed the importance of providing for
free navigation ,of the grelt iutewtioal: ri-rve

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in Europe on terms of equality for the commerce
of all states.
President Truman was not seeking any special
advantage for the United States. He was seek-
ing to promote peace. He was seeking to ensure
that these great waterways should be used to unite
and not divide the peoples of Europe.
The Delegations representing the Soviet Re-
public and the Slav countries have vigorously
opposed the proposal.
The Paris Conference recommended by a two-
thirds vote that the treaties should ensure free-
dom of commerce on the Danube on terms of
equality to. all states.
I hope that when the Foreign Ministers meet
we can agree upon the adoption of this recom-
In recent weeks much has been said about acri-
monious debates and the divisions in the Paris Con-
ference. Back of those debates and divisions were
real and deep differences ini interest, in ideas, in
experience, and even in prejudices.
Those differences cannot be dispelled or recon-
ciled by a mere gloss of polite words. And in a
democratic world those differences cannot and
should not be kept from the peoples concerned.
In a democratic world, statesmen must share
with the people their trials as well as their tri-
It is better that the world should witness and
learn to appraise clashes of ideas rather than
clashes of arms.
*I this peace is to be lasting, it must be a people's
peace; and the peoples of this world who long

for peace will pot be able to make.their influe
felt if they do not' iow the conflict in idea 4
in interest that give rise to war, and if.the~d .I
not know how the statesmen and the peoples "
other countries view those conflicts. .
But it is our hope that in international demo .
racy, as in national democracy, experience wit
prove that appeals to reason and good faith w'iffi -
unite people count for more in the long runi than
appeals to prejudice and passion which di4dt 4.
In a world where no sovereign state can be cdm- .
pulled to sign or ratify a peace treaty, there is niw
perfect peacemaking machinery. Where boruid
daries, colonies, and reparations are involved, a
peace treaty cannot be made effective unless it is
satisfactory to the principal powers.
Under these circumstances the Paris Confer.
ence provided as adequate an opportunity for the
smaller states and the ex-enemy states to express:
their views on the proposed treaties as it was prac- provide. :
The thing which is not the lettered
provisions of the treaties under discussion but the
continued if not increasing, tension. between us and
the Soviet Union. .
The day I took office as Secretary of StateI
stated that "the supreme taiskeof statsmanship the
world over is: to help the people of this waer-Wtay
aged earth to understand that they can have peaoe
and freedom only if they tolerate and respect the
rights of others to opinions, feelings and waystf
life which they do not aid cannot share.", .,
It is as true now as it wajvhen that the develop-
ment of sympathetic understaidieg between the i

Soviet Union and the United States is the para-
mount task of statesmanship.
Such understanding is necessary to make the
United Nations a true community of nations.
From the Potsdam Conference, which took place
at the beginning of his administration, President
Truman and I have worked and we shall continue
to work to bring about an understanding with the
Soviet Government.
Two states can quickly reach an understanding
if one is willing to yield to all demands. The
United States is unwilling to do that. It is equally
unwilling to ask it of another state.
Every understanding requires the reconciliation
of differences and not a yielding by one state to
the arbitrary will of the other.
Until we are able to work out definite and agreed
standards of conduct such as those which govern
decisions within the competence of the Interna-
tional Court of Justice, and such as those which we
hope may be agreed upon for the control of atomic
energy, international problems between sovereign
states must be worked out by agreement between
sovereign states.
But if states are to reach such agreements they
must act in good faith and in the spirit of concili-
ation. They must not launch false and misleading
propaganda against one another.
SThey must not arbitrarily exercise their power
of veto, preventing a return to conditions of peace
and delaying economic reconstruction.
No state should assume that it has a monopoly
of virtue or of. wisdom. No. state should ignore
mo veto the aggregate sentiments of mankind.

States must not unilaterally by threats, by pes.
sures, or by force disturb the established rights o
other nations. Nor can they arbitrarily resist or i
refuse to consider changes in the relationships: be i
tween states and peoples which justice, fair play,
and the enlightened sentiments of manlnd i
We must cooperate to build a world order, not
to sanctify the status quo, but to preserve peac
and freedom based upon justice.
And we must be willing to cooperate with brie
another-veto or no veto-to defend, with force if
necessary, the principles and purposes' of ie
Charter of the United Nations.
Those are the policies we have pursued.' In
following those policies we have been criticized at
times for being too "soft" and at times for being too
"tough". I dislike both words. Neither accua-
rately describes our earnest efforts to be patient
but firm.
We have been criticized for being too eager to ;
find new approaches after successive rebukes in
our efforts to effectuate our policies. And we have
likewise been criticized for not seeking new ap- '
preaches. We will not permit the criticismi to .
disturb us nor to influence our action. '
We will continue ito seek friendship with: thd
Soviet Union and all other states ofi te bAis of :
justice and the right of others, as well as outselte,
to opinions and ways* of life whidci we do not ald
cannot share.
But we must retain ouiPperspdctive.
We must guard against e belief that deep.
rooted suspiidns-can bde disp6el Viad famrreach ,

ing.differences can be reconciled by any single act
of faith.
The temple of peace must be built solidly, stone
upon stone. If the stones are loosely laid, they
may topple down upon us.
We must equally guard against the belief that
delays or set-backs in achieving our objective make
armed conflict inevitable. It is entirely possible
that the failure or inability of the Soviet leaders
to rid themselves of that belief lies at the very root
of our difficulties. We will never be able to rid the
world of that belief if we ourselves become victims
to it.
For centuries devout men and women thought it
was necessary to fight with one another to preserve
their different religious beliefs. But through long
and bitter experience they learned that the only
way to protect their own religious beliefs is to re-
spect and recognize the rights of others to their
religious beliefs.
War is inevitable only if states fail to tolerate
and respect the rights of other states to ways of
life they cannot and do not share. That is a truth
we must all recognize.
Because in the immediate aftermath of war our
efforts to induce nations to think in terms of peace
and tolerance seem to meet with rebuff, we must
not lose faith. What may be unrealizable now
may be realizable when the wounds of war have
had a chance to heal.
We must not lose faith nor cease to struggle to
realize our faith, because the temple of peace can-
not be completely built in a month or a year.

But if the temple of peace is to be built thtidea
of the inevitability of conflict must not be allowed
to dominate the minds of men and tear asunddr a.
world which God made one. I.
It is that idea of the inevitability of s conflict
that is throttling the economic recovery of Eur~ipe.
It is that idea that is causing artificial tension .
between states and within states. ..
The United States stands for freedom for all
nations and for friendship among all nations. We
shall continue to reject the idea of exclusive
alliances. We shall refuse to gang up against
any state.
We stand with all peace-loving, law-abiding
states in defense of the principles of the Charter
of the United Nations.
Any nation that abides by those principles "can
count upon the friendship and cooperation of the ,
United States, irrespective of national differences
or possible conflict of interests.
No country desires unity among the principal
powers more than we or has done more to achieve
it. But it must be unity founded on the Charter
and not unity purchased at its expense.
We deplore the tendency upon the paik of the
Soviet Union to regard states which are friendly
to us as unfriendly to the Soviet Union and to ~con-
sider as unfriendly our efforts to maintain tradi-
tionally friendly relations with states borderhig
on the Soviet Union.
We deplore the talk of the encirclement of tIM
Soviet Union. We havoit from no less authority
than Generalissimo Stalin himself that the Soviet
Union is in no danger of encirclennt.

During the war the Baltic states were taken over
by the U.S.S.R. The Polish frontier and the
Finnish frontier have been substantially modified
in Russia's favor. K5nigsberg, Bessarabia,
Bukovina, and Ruthenia are to be given to her.
In the Pacific, the Kuriles, Port Arthur, and
Sakhalin have been assigned to her. Certainly the
Soviet Union is not a dispossessed nation.
We know the suffering and devastation which
Nazi aggression brought to the Soviet Union. The
American people came to the support of the Soviet
Union even before the United States was attacked
and entered the war. Our people were allies of
the Soviet people during the war. And the Amer-
ican people in time of peace desire to live on terms
of friendship, mutual helpfulness, and equality
with the Soviet people.
Before the Paris Peace Conference the United
States spared no effort to reconcile its views on
the proposed treaties with the views of the Soviet
Union. Indeed it was the Soviet Union which in-
sisted that our views be reconciled on all questions
which the Soviet Union regarded as fundamental
before they would consent to the holding of the
If, therefore, in the Conference we differed on
some questions, they were not questions that were
fundamental from the Soviet viewpoint.
While there were many issues which attracted
little public attention on which the Soviet Union
and the United States voted together, it was re-
grettable that on many issues which did command
public attention the Soviet Union and the newly
established governments in central and south-

eastern Europe voted consistently together agasat
all the other states; : :.
Whatever considerations caused this close aligri
ment of the Soviet Union and her Slav neighbors
on these issues, other states were not constrainS
Ato vote as they did by any caucus or bloc action. I
It requires a very imaginative geographic -an
to put China or Ethiopia into a Western bloe
And it was quite evident to discerning obsertrs
at Paris that not only China and Ethiopia, but
Norway and France were particularly solicitous
to avoid not only.the fact, but the suspicion,. o
alliance with any Western bloc.
If the voting cleavage at Paris was significant,
its significance lies in the fact that the cleavage -
is not between the United States and the Soviet
Union, or between a Western bloc and the,Soviet
Union. The cleavage is based upon conviction
and not upon strategy or hidden design.
I should be less than frank if I did not confess
my bewilderment at the motives which the Soviet
Delegation attributed to the United States at
Paris. Not once, but many times, they charged
that the United States had enriched itself during
the war, and, under the guise of freedom for corp-
merce and equality of opportunity for the trade '
of all nations, was now seeking to eiwlave Europe
Coming from any state these charges would be
regrettable to us. They are particularly regret-
table when they are made by the Soviet Governs
ment to whom we advanced more than 10 billion
dollars of lend-lease during the war and with
whom we want to be friendly in tiwn of peace.

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The United States has never claimed the right
to dictate to other countries how they should man-
age their own trade and commerce. We have
simply urged in the interest of all peoples that no
country should make trade discrimination in its
relations with other countries.
On that principle the United States stands. It
does not question the right of any country to de-
bate the economic advantages or disadvantages of
that principle. It does object to any government
charging that the United States enriched itself
during the war and desires to make "hand-outs" to
European governments in order to enslave their
Long before we entered the war President Roose-
velt took the dollar sign out of the war. He es-
tablished lend-lease as the arsenal of democracy
and opened that arsenal to all who fought for
freedom. -Europe did not pay and was not asked
to pay to build or to replenish that arsenal. That
was done with American, labor and American re-
The lend-lease settlements inaugurated by Pres-
ident Roosevelt have been faithfully and meticu-
lously carried out by President Truman.
We want to assist in European reconstruction
because we believe that European prosperity will
contribute to world prosperity and world peace.
That is not dollar democracy. That is not imper-
ialism. That is justice and fair play.
We in America have learned that prosperity
like freedom must be shared, not on the basis of
"hand-outs," but on the basis of the fair and honest
exchange of the products of the labor of free men
and free women.


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3 1262 08484 2383
American stands ftQorVsVcia an-
mooracy at home andi ar, d Th .t ..
bodied in the socAA nd neconotic refic O.oc
cent years, are n, a P part. of the,, a
itage .: jos t$1
It would be strange indeed: ....t
feet world oursocial and Poonoissi 4f
perfect, but it -might help, out Sovit
understand us better if they resji~.dtai.
social and economic democreacyl isi:
from the devil-take-the-hindmno st p
by-gone days than Soviet4 Russia is rp ~j;.m,
Russia.. ...
Whatever political differences there
among us, we are firmly and irrevocablyipE;
to the principle that it is outright. and ti .
of every people to organize their n.. ~Wj pq4.
political destiny through the frps. po e. ra'
pression of their collective will,, p p
ilege at home and abroad. We_ defeem
everywhere. And inour view human fP q qp a
human progress are inseparable.
The American people extend the haniof fri
ship to the people of the Soviet Urnon amn4~4t
other people in this war-weary world. Ma..
grant to all of us the wisdom to seek tl
of pae.- k-

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