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The United Nations To-Day and To-Morrow

-- Published for the United Nations Information Organisation, 1945.

CHAPTER FIVE: How the United Nations Co-Operate Towards Peace

THE GREATEST DANGER confronting the United Nations to day is that they will win the war, but lose the peace. There has been no doubt for some time on the first score. Some fear, however, that once victory is won, the co operation which developed between the United Nations during the war and made victories possible will be allowed to weaken or even be forgotten after the war. In that case, another war may all too easily occur.

This fear seems partly supported by the fact that the United Nations have not yet set up as many organized agencies to deal with the problems of peace as for the problems of war.

This appearance is not justified by the facts. Clearly, victory must come before peace. It is natural that more attention should at first be given to the organization of the United Nations as a fighting team than to their equally important but subsequent role as a working team for peace. Nevertheless, this does not mean that the latter role has been overlooked, or that the United Nations have not already begun to deal with many of the problems which peace will bring.

In general, it may be said that the problems of the post war world will fall into three broad categories: those having to do with the immediate relief of war stricken areas; those connected with making liberated and devastated areas once again independent and self supporting; and those aimed at creating permanent world agencies to ensure peace and "freedom from fear and want" for future generations.

The problems of the first category are mostly short range and will require short range solutions. Those of the second category require medium range solutions. Those of the last category comprise long range problems which the United Nations can at best begin to solve by creating an appropriate world wide machinery to deal with them as they arise. They are part of the dynamics of peace and will require adjustment as long as the human race survives.

"Before the war comes to its inevitable conclusions, the United Nations must decide the terms of surrender for Germany, Japan and the satellite powers." For the preliminary consideration of these questions as far as Europe is concerned, there has been set up a European Advisory Commission, with headquarters in London. ft consists of representatives of Great Britain, the United States, the U.S.S.R. and France and works in consultation with representatives of the governments of occupied Europe. Plans will also have to be worked out in due course for bringing to an end hostilities in the Far East.

Problems of Liberated Areas

But even before the question of a general armistice comes up for consideration, the United Nations are liberating, one by one, the lands of Allied nations, and problems arise as to how interim local administration and free civil life can be reconstituted, pending the re establishment of full national self government. These problems are considered as having two phases: the first is the period when the freed lands are still combat areas; during this period, of course, supervision of civil affairs must be subordinated to military necessity and be under the control of military authorities.

The second phase begins as soon as an area ceases to be in an actual fighting zone. As this phase develops agreements are coming, and are expected to come, into force under which the various national governments concerned are able to take over and, on their own responsibility, set their own houses in order, first reconstituting the local administration and later, when their whole lands have been set free, setting up once again their own freely elected national governments.

A special problem arises as the territory of the enemy nations is conquered and occupied. For these areas, the advancing United Nations forces are accompanied by an organization known as the Allied Military Government (AMG) composed of officers especially trained for the purpose. In the particular case of Italy, there has been set up in addition an Allied Advisory Council (superseding the former Allied Mediterranean Commission), which deals with the special problems of that area. On this Council sit representatives of Great Britain, the United States, the U.S.S.R., France, Greece and Yugoslavia.

An even more pressing problem than the setting up of reconstituted administrations in the areas over which the war passes will, however, be that of the immediate provision for these peoples of food, shelter, clothing and medical care. This has been so after nearly every war in history, even before war became as destructive as it is to day. It has been doubly true in this century because communities everywhere have become less self sufficient than heretofore whereas people once grew and manufactured locally most of the things they needed for daily life, they have now grown accustomed to obtaining much from outside their own communities. Modern mechanised warfare has been especially destructive to transportation and communication, and to trade and industry on which these necessities of life depend. Moreover, the aggressor nations, wherever they have been in occupation, have been ruthless in taking from the local populations everything of value. In Norway, for example, the German authorities confiscated not only raw materials and food, but even the clothing and blankets of civilians. In view of the ruthless and wanton destruction undertaken by the retreating Germans in the. U.S.S.R. and Italy, the very means of everyday life may be completely destroyed in the areas that are being liberated.

For the purpose of meeting these problems on a medium and short range basis, a relief agency has been set up, as will be described in the following section. During the period in which fighting is continuing in liberated areas, the relief work, for military reasons, will have to be carried out under the control of the army authorities. As soon as local national authorities have been set up, agreements will be and are being made under which they will take over responsibilities and work within the framework of that United Nations agency.

Once the immediate relief of suffering of starvation, lack of clothes and shelter have been met, and once the local administrations have been reconstituted in the areas over which the war passes, there will be the difficult job of trying to start the wheels of civil life turning again.

Fields must be ploughed and seed provided for planting ; machinery destroyed, or carried off by the Axis, must be replaced; bombed and burned out buildings must be rebuilt; families, scattered through years of war and persecution, must be returned to their homes ; water supplies and the machinery for providing light and heat and the other utilities of life must be repaired ; business and industry must be helped to start again so that they, in turn, can produce goods for their own people and so that the country will once again be able to provide for itself instead of being dependent upon relief.

UNRRA Set Up By 44 Nations

It was with the object of solving both the short range problems of immediate relief and some of the medium range problems of the first steps of rehabilitation that, after long negotiations, delegates of the United Nations and associated authorities and of co operating governments, representing 44 countries in all, met at the White House in Washington on November 9, 1943. There they signed a formal agreement pledging their countries to co operate, each according to its ability, in aiding the victims of aggression, and they set up a central agency for the purpose the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA).

On the day following the signing of this agreement, the delegates moved on to Atlantic City and there held their first history making Council meeting, attended by more than 600 delegates diplomats, scientists, medical, economic, agricultural and administration experts.

To tell the full story of the Council meeting and of the administrative machinery of the largest international co operative relief agency ever conceived, would require a chapter in itself.* It may be said, however, that the Council in its three weeks session, worked out a complete and practical plan for co operative action in financing and administering relief to every liberated area in which the resources of the country were not sufficient. Included in the plan were measures not only for food and for relief but also for dealing with the problems of the many millions of refugees and displaced persons in Europe and Asia, and with control of the disease and epidemics that may endanger the lives of entire populations.

These tasks are vast; they can only be accomplished, as was expressed by all at the Council meetings, in the spirit of helping the victimised countries to re establish themselves-their lives and their communities.

UNRRA was not, however, the first United Nations agency to deal with the problems of relief and rehabilitation after victory.

Preliminary studies had already been conducted for more than two years by an agency known as the Inter Allied Committee on Postwar Requirements. This Committee was established in London on September 24, 1941, to study in their broadest sense all the problems of securing food, raw materials and other necessities for the post war rebuilding of areas liberated from German occupation. Its members were delegates of the occupied countries and Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the Union of South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States. After the conclusion of the first UNRRA Council meeting, this committee and its administration were absorbed into the greater world wide organization, UNRRA.

Plans for Punishment of War Crimes

Although by far the greatest medium range problems for the United Nations will be those of relief and rehabilitation, there will also be a number of other problems demanding the immediate attention of the United Nations as soon as the various territories are relieved and hostilities brought to a close.

All agree on the fundamental importance of the fact that on this occasion one clear lesson must be learned by the aggressors, that crime does not pay.

Aside from war casualties, the Germans, Japanese, Italians and their satellites have been responsible for the death through murder, execution, starvation and disease of literally untold millions of men, women and children of all races and nationalities. They have further been responsible for driving many millions of men, women and children from their homes, either deporting them for forced labor, sending them to concentration camps, or expelling them leaving them to save themselves as best they could.

It is too late to save the murdered and those who died from starvation, exposure and disease. But the criminals responsible for their suffering and for all the other crimes committed against humanity must be brought to trial before appropriate courts of law and punished for their acts.

To deal with these crimes, a United Nations Commission for the Investigation of War Crimes was set up in London on June 29, 1943 ; its members include representatives of the occupied nations and China the chief sufferers together with representatives of Australia, Canada, India, New Zealand, the Union of South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States. Its primary task is that of a fact finding body, assembling evidence of atrocities and crimes committed, and its purpose is to assist the various Allied governments in seeing that retribution is exacted for war crimes.

Re-establishment of Education Machinery

Another problem will be the re establishment of machinery for free education in those countries which have been occupied by the aggressors.

Not only will it be necessary to rebuild schools, to gather together the remnants of the teaching profession left alive in spite of the holocaust, and to provide new text books in vast numbers to take the place of those burned and destroyed by the aggressor powers during the period of occupation, but there must also be over all planning of educational reconstruction in a wider sense if the task is to be well done.

With these objectives in mind, there has been working in London for some time a Conference of Ministers of Education of Allied Governments later joined by a delegation from the United States including representatives from Congress, the State Department and the Federal Office of Education. This Conference, in addition to considering the problems outlined above, has prepared a draft constitution for the setting up of a United Nations Organization for Educational and Cultural Reconstruction, which is being placed before all the Allied and associated governments for their consideration. This new organization can have great influence not only in the field of medium range relief, but even more as an organ of permanent peace and international understanding.

Long-Range Problems of Peace

But beyond these immediate issues which will pass with the war are others which will continue for yeas. These long range problems are of two kinds. First, there is the question of some kind of over all agency to ensure peace and serve the general common interests of the freedom loving nations of the world. Secondly, there is need for consideration of certain technical questions which are often causes of dispute between nations, such as access to raw materials, stabilisation of currencies, shipping and world trade. Whether different groups of people can or cannot attain adequate standards of living often depends on the answers to those questions, and their fair settlement can do much to prevent the birth of forces which may disrupt relations between nations and even cause war.

On the basis that there can be no permanent peace if one part of the world has food in plenty while other parts starve, one of the first long-range problems to be discussed between the United Nations was the improved production and distribution of the world's food supplies.

To discuss these problems a United Nations Conference on Food and Agriculture met at Hot Springs, Virginia, in May, 1943, and was attended by representatives of 44 nations. As a result, arrangements are being made through an Interim Commission for the setting up of a permanent international organisation on food and agriculture which would constantly study and aid in the solution of the general questions involved.

A second long range problem which is being considered to day by the United Nations is that of mufti lateral economic co operation. Since March, 1944, monetary experts of various United Nations governments have been meeting for preliminary discussions on how to stabilise the world's currencies. The significance of these discussions for world peace was pointed out recently in a statement by Mr. Cordell Hull, American Secretary of State; who declared that "world stabilisation of currencies and promotion of fruitful international investment, which are basic to an expansion of mutually beneficial trade, are of first order of importance for the post war period."


THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND THE PRIME MINISTER, MR. CHURCHILL, representing His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom, being met together, deem it right to make known certain common principles in the National policies of their respective countries on which they base their hopes for a better future of the world.

I Their countries seek no aggrandisement, territorial or other.

II They desire to see no territorial changes that do not accord with the freely expressed wishes of the peoples concerned.

III They respect the right of all peoples to choose the form of Government under which they will live; and they wish to see sovereign rights and self-government restored to those who have been forcibly deprived of them.

IV They will endeavour, with due respect for their existing obligations, to further the enjoyment by all states, great or small, victor or vanquished, of access, on equal terms, to the trade and to the raw materials of the world which are needed for their economic prosperity.

V They desire to bring about the fullest collaboration between all nations in the economic field with the object of securing, for all, improved labour standards, economic adjustment and social security.

VI After the final destruction of the Nazi tyranny, they hope to see established a peace which will afford to all nations the means of dwelling in safety within their own boundaries, and which will afford assurance that all the men in all the lands may live out their lives in freedom from fear and want.

VII Such a peace should enable all men to traverse the high seas and oceans without hindrance.

VIII They believe that all of the nations of the world, for realistic as well as spiritual reasons, must come to the abandonment of the use of force. Since no further peace can be maintained if land, sea or air armaments continue to be employed by nations which threaten, or may threaten, aggression outside of their frontiers, they believe, pending the establishment of a wider and permanent system of general security, that the disarmament of such nations is essential. They will likewise aid and encourage all other practicable measures which will lighten for peace-loving peoples the crushing burden of armaments.

14 August 1941


Conference Recommends Monetary Plan

A draft agreement for .an international monetary fund prepared by a group of experts from many countries was announced on April 21, 1944 ; some thirty Allied and associated nations joined in presenting the draft. Since the appropriate stage in the preliminary discussions was reached, a full United Nations Monetary and Financial Conference met on July 1, 1944, in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, U.S.A., and recommended the creation of an International Monetary Fund to stabilise currencies and to provide short term credit facilities to member countries to enable them to overcome temporary difficulties, and a World Bank to provide facilities for long term loans to enable a country to adjust its economy or to undertake long term programmes of rehabilitation or industrialisation designed to raise the standard of living.

Still another long range technical problem which the United Nations are facing is that of the efficient and orderly development of the world oil resources. A proposal for an international oil agreement was put forward in November, 1943, by the Foreign Operations Committee of the U.S. Petroleum Administration for War. More recently, on April 18, 1944, an Anglo American conference to explore postwar petroleum policies opened in Washington. The preliminary discussions at this conference were concluded in a joint session on May 3. The interests of both countries in petroleum were examined in a spirit of understanding and co operation, on the basis of broad principles looking to the orderly long range development of oil supplies.

Further problems which the United Nations are preparing to face lie in the field of international aviation, world shipping, and world trade. Preliminary studies and discussions in these fields have been going on for some time, and an International Civil Aviation Conference, with representatives of 54 nations, met at Chicago, on November 1, 1944, and produced four separate proposals on the future of international civil aviation, each subject to ratification by the signatory powers.

All these plans to aid the settlement of the long range technical problems, however, will be of no avail unless over all machinery can be set up which will ensure real peace and give to every nation, regardless of the number, race or creed of its citizens, a real chance to develop its life free from war and want, free from lawless compulsion, and free from aggression and terror. Humanity has longed for this before and still it has failed to attain its desire. New ideas, new plans and new methods will have to be considered, and the best features of older plans will have to be studied and perhaps adopted.

Several steps in the direction of setting up such a long range over all organisation have already been taken, far earlier indeed, than before the end of the last war.

Even in the midst of the most critical period of this war, four months before Pearl Harbour, a first definition of principle on which could be based a new world order was agreed between President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill and embodied in a document known as the Atlantic Charter, announced by them on August 14, 1941. The universality of its principles is shown by the fact that they were adopted on September 24, 1941, at a conference in St. James's Palace, London, by all the fighting Allies; they were endorsed by all the American states at a conference in Rio in January, 1942 ; and they were embodied in the Declaration by the United Nations of January 1, 1942.

Need Felt for Security Organisation

Passing from principles to organisation; on November 1, 1943, a Joint 'Four Nations Declaration was issued at Moscow, on behalf of the Governments of the United States of America, the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union and China.

The declaration recognised " the necessity of establishing at the earliest practicable date a general international organisation...for the maintenance of peace and security." The Senate of the United States, on November 5, 1943, passed a resolution, embodying this clause of the Moscow Declaration and calling for a post war international organisation backed by force to ensure peace.

[Declaration of four Nations on General Security, pg 25] At Teheran on December 6, 1943, the President of the United States, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Marshal Stalin re affirmed their determination to establish "international peace, security and prosperity after the war, in accordance with the principles of the Atlantic Charter."

In the meantime work on practical plans had been going forward in the different countries. The Prime Ministers of the British Commonwealth of Nations examined the subject together early in May, 1944, at their meeting in London, where the presence of the Governments of a number of the European Allies had long facilitated exchanges of views. On May 29, 1944, the Secretary of State of the United States, Mr. Cordell Hull, announced that he had discussed with the post war sub committee of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee " the general principles, questions and plans relating to the establishment of an international peace and security organisation in accordance with the principles contained in the Moscow four nation declaration, the Connally resolution and other similar declarations made in this country. He further declared, his intention of proceeding "with the approval of the President, with informal discussion on this subject with Great Britain, Russia, China and then with governments of other United Nations."

Preliminary Proposals Agreed at Dumbarton Oaks

Finally, at Dumbarton Oaks representatives of the United States, Britain, the U.S.S.R. and China have agreed on preliminary proposals for a world security organisation for submission first to their own governments and then to a general United Nations conference.

Whether it be composed of old ideas or new, the world alliance for peace which is to follow victory must be based on the same sort of international good will and co operation among the United Nations as that which will have made the victory itself possible. It is here that the United Nations idea the idea of teamwork for the common good will meet its final test.

It is here, too, that each citizen of the United Nations can contribute his share, for, in the. long run, co operative action between states can only result from the vigilance, readiness, courage and determination of individual men and women.

On whether and how citizens of the United Nations, individually and collectively, meet the test will depend not only their own fate, but the fate of their children and children's children for generations.


The governments signatory hereto,

Having subscribed to a common programme of purposes and priciples embodied in this joint declaration of the President of the United States of America and the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland dated August 14, 1941, known as the Atlantic Charter, being convinced that complete victory over their enemies is essential to defend life, liberty, independence and religious freedom, and to preserve human rights and justice in their own lands as well as in other lands, and that they are now engaged in a common struggle against savage and brutal forces seeking to subjugate the world, declare:

(1) Each government pledges itself to employ its full resources, military or economic, against those members of the Tripartite Pact and its adherenets with which such government is at war.

(2) Each government pledges itself to co-operate with the governments signatory hereto and not to make a separate armistice or peace with the enemies.

The foregoing declaration may be adhered to by other nations which are, or which may be, rendering material assistance and contributions in the struggle for victory over Hitlerism.

January First, 1942.

MOSCOW, OCTOBER 30th, 1943

The Governments of the United States of America, United Kingdom, the Soviet Union and China:
united in their determination, in accordance with the Declaration by the United Nations of January 1, 1942, and subsequent declarations, to continue hostilities against those Axis power with which they respectively are at war until such powers have laid down their arms on the basis of unconditional surrender;
conscious of their responsibility to secure the liberation of themselves and the peoples allied with them from the menace of aggression; recognising the necessity of ensuring a rapid and orderly transition from war to peace and of establishing and maintaining international peace and security with the least diversion of the world's human and economic resources for armaments;
jointly declare:

1. That their united action, pledged for the prosecution of the war against their respective enemies, will be continued for the organisation and maintenance of peace and security.
2. That those of them at war with a common enemy will act together in all matters relating to the surrender and disarmament of that enemy.
3. That they will take all measures deemed by them necessary to provide against any violation of the terms imposed upon the enemy.
4. That they recognise the necessity of establishing at the earliest practicable date a general international organisation, based on the principle of the sovereign equality of all peace-loving states, and open to membership by all such states, large and small, for the maintenance of international peace and security.
5. That for the purpose of maintaining international peace and security pending the re-establishment of law and order and the inauguration of a system of general security, they will consult with one another and as occasion requires with other members of the United Nations with a view to joint action on behalf of the community of nations.
6. That after the termination of hostilities they will not employ their military forces within the territories of other states except for the purposes envisaged in this declaration and after joint consultation.
7. That they will confer and co-operate with one another and with other members of the United Nations to bring about a practicable general agreement with respect to the regulation of armaments in the post-war period.


The governments signatory hereto,

Having subscribed to a common programme of purposes and priciples embodied in this joint declaration of the President of the United States of America and the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland dated August 14, 1941, known as the Atlantic Charter, being convinced that complete victory over their enemies is essential to defend life, liberty, independence and religious freedom, and to preserve human rights and justice in their own lands as well as in other lands, and that they are now engaged in a common struggle against savage and brutal forces seeking to subjugate the world, declare:

(1) Each government pledges itself to employ its full resources, military or economic, against those members of the Tripartite Pact and its adherenets with which such government is at war.

(2) Each government pledges itself to co-operate with the governments signatory hereto and not to make a separate armistice or peace with the enemies.

The foregoing declaration may be adhered to by other nations which are, or which may be, rendering material assistance and contributions in the struggle for victory over Hitlerism.

January First, 1942.


Conditions in Occupied Territories

A Series of Statements prepared by representatives of the Allied Governments in London. Nos. 1 to 7 were issued by the Inter-Allied Information Committee, No. 8 by its successor, the United Nations Information Organisation.
1. The Axis System of Hostages. (March 19, 1942).
2. Rationing under Axis Rule. (May 4, 1942).
3. Religious Persecution. (August 12, 1942).
4. Axis Opression of Education. (October 1, 1942).
5. The Penetration of German Capital into Europe. (October 12, 1942) Price 3d. (4d).
6. Persecution of the Jews. (December 18, 1942) Price ed. (4d).
7. Women under Axis Rule. (November 30, 1943) Price 3d. (4d).
8. Slave Labour and Deportation. (August 23, 1944) Price ed. (4d).

Nos. 1 to 4 are out of print.

Helping the People To Help Themselves

UNRRA: The Story of the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration.

(July 6, 1944) Price 4d. (5d).

Describes in a popular style how and why UNRRA was set up and the machinery it has adopted to achieve its aim of meeting the immediate needs of liberated countries. The booklet has the official approval of UNRRA as being an accurate and clear explanation of the organisation's functions and machinery.

An Introduction To The United Nations (in preparation)

Gives a brief account of each of the United Nations, its geography, history, natural resources and individual contribution to the joint war effort.

Prices in brackets include postage

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