THE proposals agreed upon at Dumbarton Oaks set the debate over regionalism versus universalism in postwar international organization in new terms. The plan for world security there evolved makes concessions to regionalism in a much more explicit and positive form than the League Covenant did in Article XXI.

Section C of Chapter VIII of the Dumbarton Oaks draft frankly contemplates that regional arrangements and agencies "for dealing with such matters relating to the maintenance of international peace and security as are appropriate for regional action" may coëxist with the permanent United Nations system, "provided such arrangements or agencies and their activities are consistent with the purposes and principles" of the over-all organization. The plan further proposes that "the Security Council should encourage settlement of local disputes" through appropriate regional arrangements or regional agencies "either on the initiative of the states concerned or by reference from the Security Council," and that the Council "should, where appropriate, utilize such arrangements or agencies for enforcement action" under its own authority. A third provision stipulates that "the Security Council should at all times be kept fully informed of activities undertaken or in contemplation under regional arrangements or by regional agencies for the maintenance of international peace and security."

The italicized clauses pose the key questions: (1) What problems are "appropriate for regional action?" (2) How is consistency of regional "purposes and principles" with those of the world organization to be determined in the event of disagreement? (3) How can regional arrangements for the settlement of disputes be related to a global peace system without complicating its operation, or perhaps weakening its effectiveness? (4) Under what conditions, if at all, will it be practicable to devolve upon regional agencies the responsibility for the execution of security measures authorized by the world Security Council? These questions are not all of equal import. But the answers given to them may vitally affect the future of the United Nations.

By the same token the postwar rôle of organized Pan Americanism is at issue. Official circles take for granted that the inter-American regional system will remain intact after victory. Speaking before the assembled diplomats of the American Republics on Columbus Day 1944, President Roosevelt declared: "The bonds that united the American Republics into a community of good neighbors must remain strong. We have not labored long and faithfully to build in this New World a system of international security and coöperation -- merely to let it be dissipated in any period of postwar indifference. Within the framework of . . . this world organization of the United Nations which the governments and the people of the American Republics are helping to establish, the inter-American system can and must play a strong and vital rôle."

Recent rifts in the façade of hemispheric solidarity may suggest to skeptics that the structure of inter-American coöperation does not provide quite such "a solid cornerstone for a future world order" as the President, Mr. Cordell Hull, Mr. Sumner Welles and others have liked to believe. Irrespective of the turn which may be taken by the immediate problem of Argentina, however, it is clear that most of the existing inter-American machinery will continue to function after the war. Accordingly, its working relations with the new United Nations system will require careful adjustment at a number of points if duplication, confusion and friction are to be avoided.[i] The direct assumption by the United States of world security commitments will give Pan Americanism a radically different context from that which it had yesterday.


There is no real inconsistency between the basic tenets of inter-American collaboration and the "purposes and principles" of the Dumbarton Oaks plan for a world peace system. In each case, the "sovereign equality" of states is the professed point of departure for coöperative action. In slightly different language, the members of both systems agree not to resort to force in the conduct of their relations with other states, and they undertake to settle their disputes by peaceful means. It may be assumed that most, if not all, of the American Republics (including the United States) will become parties to the statute of whatever international court of justice is eventually made "the principal judicial organ" of the new world organization. For the pacific settlement of intra-American disputes, moreover, there exists a plethora of procedures in the various treaties, conventions and protocols which have issued from Pan American conferences during the past twenty years. Although these agreements in their present form are confusing and unnecessarily complicated, the task of simplification and codification, temporarily delayed by the war, is now proceeding, the Inter-American Juridical Committee having recently transmitted to the Governing Board of the Pan American Union two excellent alternative drafts of an instrument of coördination.[ii]

Elaborate procedures for pacific settlement, through mediation, conciliation and arbitration, may abound on paper; but in the final analysis their utility will depend upon the direct initiative of one or both of the parties to a controversy before it has reached the explosive stage. What is still lacking in the inter-American system is any permanent representative mechanism which can effectively and expeditiously take cognizance of situations resulting from the failure or refusal of the parties concerned to invoke any of the procedures available. Neither the Governing Board of the Pan American Union nor the consultative meetings of American Foreign Ministers can, as they are now constituted, serve as a permanently functioning political council for the Americas comparable to the proposed world Security Council.

The Governing Board still labors under a "constitutional" restriction (laid down in 1928) which prevents it from exercising functions "of a political character." Meetings of Foreign Ministers were initiated in 1939 as an informal arrangement for political consultation in the event of any threat to the peace and security of the hemisphere; but plainly the objection of any one of the major American Powers -- certainly the United States and probably Brazil or Mexico -- or of any considerable number of lesser states, is enough to block favorable action on any government's request for a meeting. Only after a general agreement to call a meeting has been reached through diplomatic channels does the Governing Board of the P.A.U. have authority to convoke one. At best, this procedure is cumbersome and slow-moving; at worst, it may result in manœuvre like the calling of the Mexico City Conference, outside the jurisdiction of the Pan American system, in order to exclude one or more American Republics -- in this instance Argentina and El Salvador.

Both the Governing Board and the consultative meetings of Foreign Ministers suffer from further defects. They are rather too large to act rapidly and they can reach substantive decisions only by unanimous vote, with the result that frequently they produce some watered-down compromise or no positive recommendation at all. Neither body, it need hardly be added, possesses any executive powers of its own.

In contrast to these rudimentary consultative arrangements the proposed United Nations organization will have in permanent session a Security Council, limited to 11 members and empowered to act immediately by some as yet undetermined majority vote. There have been indications that our Latin American neighbors would like to be given direct regional representation on this body, either by the designation of one of them (Brazil presumably) as a permanent member or by the assignment to Latin America of a fixed quota of seats to be filled by election. Whether or not they realize this desire, their combined voting strength in the General Assembly will be such that, as in the case of elections to non-permanent seats on the League Council, they should easily enough secure the election of one, if not two, Latin American members to the new Security Council.

Chapter VIII of the Dumbarton Oaks proposals endows the Security Council with authority to consider "any dispute, or any situation which may lead to international friction or give rise to a dispute, in order to determine whether its continuance is likely to endanger the maintenance of international peace and security." This power has no geographical limitation. If, for example, the relations between Brazil and Argentina were to reach a point of serious tension along about 1947, the issue might be brought before the Council in any of the following ways: by the direct initiative of either Brazil or Argentina; by the United States, as the permanent Council member most vitally concerned with a peaceful adjustment of the controversy; by some other member of the Council, including any of the lesser Latin American countries that might then be represented on that body; or by action of the Secretary-General of the organization. If, for some reason, the United States preferred that the Council refrain from making any positive recommendations, it could hardly prevent a full airing of the situation by the Council. At the same time, it might be able to persuade its associates on the Council to refer the controversy to some inter-American agency or procedure for investigation and report. Even in this contingency, however, the Council very possibly would insist upon utilizing its own mechanism of inquiry in order to avoid the sort of "crossing-the-wires" or "passing-the-buck" which so tragically delayed the settlement of the Chaco affair.

The Leticia dispute of 1933 between Colombia and Peru affords a clue as to how such a situation might be handled. In this case the United States, although not a member of the League of Nations, welcomed its intervention at the outset. The League Council appointed an advisory committee to investigate the controversy on the spot and the Governments of the United States and Brazil collaborated wholeheartedly in its work. A contingent of Colombia troops under the auspices of the League and wearing League arm bands was placed in charge of the disputed territory pending the negotiation of a definitive settlement.

The point to be emphasized is this: The world security organization must and will have authority to deal initially with any threat to international peace that may arise within, or be directed against, the western hemisphere. In view of the weapons of war which will be at the disposal of the world of tomorrow any attempt to wrap up security problems in nice geographical packages seems futile. In some border disturbance involving two militarily weak Latin American countries the expedient course may be to "encourage" an adjustment of the matter by distinctly inter-American means, provided the right of the Security Council to intervene is always preserved. But responsibility for determining basic policy in the maintenance of peace should, for the Americas no less than for other regions, rest primarily with the United Nations.


Thus far we have touched only non-coercive aspects of the security problem. In considering what the Dumbarton Oaks plan calls "enforcement action," we enter a field that offers a wider range for speculation. The inter-American regional system has never developed any machinery for the imposition of forcible sanctions. The obligation to consult, first agreed to in 1936 at Buenos Aires and elaborated two years later at Lima, does not carry any obligation to act collectively in case hostilities occur. In the words of the Buenos Aires Convention, the High Contracting Parties pledge themselves merely to "adopt in their character as neutrals a common and solidary attitude." By the Declaration of Lima they proclaim "their determination to make effective their solidarity . . . using the measures which in each case the circumstances may make advisable," but with the explicit understanding that they will "act independently in their individual capacity."

The studied vagueness of these commitments was due mainly to the implications of the rigid "neutrality" policy then still being pursued by the United States. Since 1940, and especially since the entrance of the United States and 13 of her Latin American neighbors into the war, certain coöperative steps, such as the reciprocal use and development of bases and airfields, have been taken for the defense of the Americas. In addition, the Third Meeting of Foreign Ministers at Rio de Janeiro authorized the establishment of two advisory bodies for the furtherance of hemispheric defense. The Emergency Advisory Committee for Political Defense, with headquarters at Montevideo, is of a temporary character and will no doubt be liquidated at the end of the war. The Inter-American Defense Board, however, might usefully be continued to perform various technical tasks connected with the negotiation and administration of the special agreements between members of the United Nations in this hemisphere, stipulating what forces, bases and other facilities they will make available to the Security Council.

The further question arises whether the Security Council might not designate the Inter-American Defense Board as its subsidiary "regional" agent for the execution of security measures affecting the Americas. The Dumbarton Oaks plan authorizes the Security Council to create regional subcommittees of its Military Staff Committee. Since the actual employment of force on behalf of the organization must, in every case, have the sanction of the Council, we may infer that such regional subcommittees would ordinarily be of an ad hoc character. On the other hand, there is nothing in the plan to preclude setting up these subcommittees on a permanent basis if the Council so desired.

At first glance the idea of delegating quasi-executive functions to the Inter-American Defense Board seems to offer an ingenious method of interlocking the world-wide and regional security systems. Two objections, however, are to be noted. In the first place, the Inter-American Defense Board, comprising military, naval and air experts from all 21 of the American Republics (at any rate, when all their governments are "in good standing"!), would not be particularly suited to "combined" staff planning and the direction of forces to be used against one or more of the participating countries. The strategic importance of Canada, not a member of the Board, further complicates the problem. Secondly, since the Board is appointed by and responsible to the governments represented, there would not be any direct line of authority from the central Military Staff Committee at world headquarters down to the forces in the field. For the handling of the complex problems of strategy, logistics, and the assignment of national contingents, any such "federalistic" division of staff control strikes a layman as not a good way to begin to develop an international policing system.

To be sure, the foregoing difficulties could be overcome in time by altering the composition of the Inter-American Defense Board. Representation on it might be reduced to the major military powers of the hemisphere -- the United States, Brazil, Mexico [iii] and presumably, in due course, Argentina, together with a small rotating or ad hoc representation of the remaining states. Further, the American members of the United Nations might, by special arrangement, agree that the staff officers appointed to the Board would be responsible to the orders of the central Military Staff Committee in so far as concerned the planning and execution of military operations against an American aggressor.

The Latin American nations might be induced to accept some such modus operandi. From the standpoint of military efficiency, of course, nothing would be gained; but there might be some political advantage in that the responsibility for keeping peace in the American region would, nominally at least, be shared by the United States with other American Republics. In other words, the onus for action would not fall exclusively upon the Power which, "good neighborism" notwithstanding, is still believed south of the Rio Grande to be capable of developing a policy of "hemispheric neo-imperialism" during the years ahead.

Under the flexible provisions of the Dumbarton Oaks plan a similar result could be achieved without the intermediation of a regional agency. In the event of a serious dispute between two Latin American states the Security Council might call directly upon certain other Latin American countries to collaborate with United States air or naval forces to prevent or check hostilities. The contribution of a relatively strong South American Power like Brazil might be considerable, including, perhaps, a contingent of land or air forces; while that of lesser countries might be merely of a token character, involving the right to use airfields or communications facilities.

Obviously, neither procedure could be applied if the United States were alleged to be the aggressor. Such a possibility may seem remote in these times, but suspicious Latin Americans will not dismiss it from their minds. Indeed, it doubtless accounts for their keen interest in the question whether the Great Power members of the Security Council are to be allowed to sit in judgment on themselves. Considering the overwhelming superiority of military power which will be concentrated in the United States, the Soviet Union and the British Commonwealth, the voting issue has much less practical importance than would appear at first glance. Neither Russia in eastern Europe nor the United States in the western hemisphere could be restrained merely by a formal decision of the Council if it ever determined on expansion at the expense of militarily weak neighbors -- that is, short of a general war. Nor would any regional combination be sufficient to deter either nation under such circumstances. Pan Americanism has been historically possible only because of the policy of self-restraint practised by the United States. When this self-restraint is not in evidence, inter-American coöperation wanes. This is why so few continental Europeans (including perhaps Stalin) have ever been able to understand that Latin America is not just a Yankee "sphere of influence" in the traditional power politics sense of the term.

One fundamental point must not be overlooked in assessing the probable position of the inter-American system within the framework of the United Nations. Many argue with reason that the entire process for the maintenance of international security is -- as Litvinov said years ago of peace itself -- indivisible. They contend that the process cannot be separated into sections or assigned for handling to different agencies. To "wage peace" successfully requires continuous effort on many fronts, but the various segments of the effort must be correlated with one another. The economic and social conditions which lead to serious friction cannot be remedied except through world-wide collaboration; and the imposition of economic and financial, if not military, sanctions against any aggressor nation with substantial resources requires world-wide action. It follows that regional security arrangements can play only a very restricted and subordinate rôle in the total business. Undue "encouragement" of such arrangements detracts from the authority and prestige of the world system. Moreover, in this country, it might play into the hands of former isolationists who now pose as "American nationalists" armed to the teeth!

When the United Nations Charter is put into final form, then, it is to be hoped that the American negotiators will resist every pressure to make further concessions to regionalism. It would be particularly unfortunate if anything in the Charter could be interpreted by American opinion or by Congress as indicating that this country is any less committed to help prevent acts of aggression originating outside rather than inside the strategic zone of the western hemisphere, no matter how broadly that zone is defined.


The word "regional" is not to be found in the chapter of the Dumbarton Oaks plan outlining "arrangements for international economic and social coöperation." This is not surprising because the approach here is entirely "functional," the assumption being that through the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council and the central Secretariat the activities of a loose congeries of specialized agencies can somehow be woven into a coherent fabric of policy. Realistic recognition is given to the fact that international institutions for purposes of economic and social welfare will emerge at different times and assume varying forms, and that, accordingly, each should enjoy considerable freedom of action. While only one important agency of this type (the I.L.O.) is now in operation, several (e.g. the Bank and the Fund, the Food and Agriculture Organization, and the Civil Aviation Organization) are already at the blueprint stage, and plans for others are reported to be under discussion in Washington and London.

Interestingly enough, the non-political activities of the inter-American system have evolved along lines not wholly unlike those envisaged for the new United Nations structure. Well over a score of semi-autonomous specialized commissions, bureaus, offices and institutes have come into being during the past 40 years through the initiative of many general, special and technical conferences of American states. For a few of these agencies the Pan American Union serves as permanent secretariat or fiscal agent; but many of them have complete operational independence, with headquarters in various American capitals -- Washington, Havana, Mexico City, Rio de Janeiro, Montevideo and Panamá. Their activities cover a multiplicity of subjects -- postal and radio communications, maritime shipping, economic development, regulation of trademarks, agricultural research, standardization of statistics, public health, the promotion of child welfare, and so on. Most of them operate on exceedingly modest budgets and with tiny staffs. A few, such as the Pan American Sanitary Bureau and the Inter-American Financial and Economic Advisory Committee, are doing highly useful work; others seem little more than "paper" creations.

As the United Nations system gets under way, the problem will arise as to how many parts of this loose, unintegrated Pan American machinery should be continued and under what conditions. Certain of them handle problems which not only are "appropriate for regional action," but could be treated only in that way. Such, for example, is the case with the Inter-American Coffee Board, the Pan American Highway Confederation and the Inter-American Indian Institute. But where the activity is substantially interlocked with the world's economy or the world's cultural life there is sure to be a good deal of duplication of effort, and possibly some working at cross purposes, unless the inter-American agency concerned is closely articulated, both in policy and in administration, with the corresponding world agency.

Nowhere will this articulation be more needed than between the central Secretariat of the United Nations and the Pan American Union. Absurd as it may seem in retrospect, the Union and the League of Nations Secretariat scarcely recognized each other's existence until the middle 1930's, when the League Assembly adopted a resolution authorizing the regular transmission of League documents to the P.A.U. At the American end, it was not until the Lima Conference of 1938 that action was taken recommending that the P.A.U. and related inter-American agencies "make available to other international bodies the information they have at their disposal; exchange points of view and, as much as possible, coördinate the investigations they may carry on in the fields of economic, social, cultural and juridical activity." Since then, the Union has sent its publications and reports to such bodies.

But the exchange of documentation represents only a small step toward effective administrative liaison. The research and informational work of the permanent staffs of the world agencies will crisscross with that of various inter-American bodies. Both sets of agencies may be asking the same governments at the same time for the same statistical or other data. Overlapping investigations and surveys may be undertaken by different agencies operating more or less in the same field. One agency may try to outbid another for the services of scarce technical experts. All these phenomena, so familiar in the relations of the federal and state bureaucracies of this country, may easily be repeated in the international sphere unless steps are taken early to combat them.

What should such steps be? One might suggest that, soon after the Secretary-General of the United Nations is appointed, he should invite the directors of the major functional and regional international agencies to a series of conferences to plan for administrative coördination. Out of such discussions might emerge joint standing committees or even joint services, say, on research and publications; on personnel standards (training, recruitment methods, compensation, retirement, etc.); on budgetary and fiscal management; on the organization of international conferences; and on the handling of international documentation. These are all matters which affect international administration wherever and on whatever scale it may operate.

While no miracle need be expected from such joint endeavors, they would at the very least get the administrators of different agencies into the habit of going to one another for help and advice. In addition, arrangements should certainly be made for a constant if limited flow of staff personnel from one international agency to another, vertically as well as horizontally, by loan or special detail. There is nothing like a change of air to freshen the outlook of a professional bureaucrat -- whether of a municipality, a province, a nation or an international secretariat.

The new world organization should also tap available regional facilities for the performance of subsidiary technical, economic, social, or other services of concern to the international community generally. Thus existing inter-American bodies might, in some instances, become the regional "section" or "committee" or "office" of the corresponding world agency. The United Nations Economic and Social Council might request the Inter-American Financial and Economic Advisory Committee to act as one of its "commissions of experts," with definitely regional responsibilities. Similarly, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization might find it expedient to combine a regional office for northern Latin America with the Inter-American Institute of Agricultural Sciences recently established in Costa Rica. To cite only one other case: the Pan American Sanitary Bureau, now lodged in the Pan American Union building, might be expanded and serve as the western hemisphere section of whatever new world health and welfare organization may be established. Various economies of personnel, equipment and supplies would result. But the chief gain would come from the day-to-day contact of staff specialists working on similar problems.

The temporary isolation of Europe has stimulated a number of undertakings which show how inter-American action can fruitfully supplement the work of related world agencies when there is adequate joint planning in advance. An example may be found in the Statute of the Permanent Inter-American Committee on Social Security. The initiative for this novel instrument came from a meeting of social security administrators convened jointly in December 1940 by the President of Peru and the Director of the International Labor Office. An inter-American committee to promote social security was set up at this gathering. Under its auspices the Government of Chile invited the First Inter-American Conference on Social Security to meet at Santiago in December 1942. Delegates attended from 21 American countries, including Canada, together with representatives of the International Labor Office, the Pan American Sanitary Bureau and the International American Institute for the Protection of Childhood.

Besides issuing a general declaration of continental solidarity in the pursuit of social security and adopting 14 technical resolutions, the Santiago Conference decided to create a permanent coöperative agency to work in concert with the International Labor Office. This agency will include a Conference of representatives of the social insurance institutions or funds of all participating countries, and a Permanent Committee to prepare the sessions of the Conference and to give effect to its recommendations. This Committee is composed of one regular member and at least one substitute member from each country represented. A tripartite delegation appointed by the Governing Body of the International Labor Organization, the Director of the International Labor Office, the Director General of the Pan American Union, and the Director of the Pan American Sanitary Bureau may also serve as members of the Committee; and in fact these agencies and officials have accepted membership. The Committee has appointed an Executive Body consisting of the representatives of the United States, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico and Peru. To quote from the Legal Adviser of the I.L.O.: "The Statute thus has something of the nature of an agreement between the Inter-American Social Security Conference and the International Labor Organization defining a modus operandi for coöperation between them."

This ingenious form of collaboration by an inter-American and a world-wide organization may pave the way for similar experiments in other fields. Already, according to the Report of the International Labor Office to the Philadelphia Conference, the First Inter-American Conference on Population Problems has requested the I.L.O. "to develop its work relating to migration."

Economic development offers another area for associated planning. When the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development is passing on requests for loans for industrial projects in Latin American countries it might appropriately ask the Inter-American Development Commission to act in a consultative capacity. Conversely, the Commission's work, in so far as it relates to agriculture, should either be transferred outright to the Food and Agriculture Organization or be carried on in the closest possible coöperation with this new agency. In the latter event, the Inter-American Development Commission might well be invited to nominate a delegation of its own members to serve as non-voting members of any regional committee for Latin America the F.A.O. may decide to set up. Comparable arrangements for "joint" standing advisory committees of world-wide and regional agencies could be multiplied without encroaching on the "constitutional" autonomy of either.

Collaboration will be no less desirable when basic policies are formulated. Reciprocal participation, without right of vote, in the meetings of related agencies should be made a matter of right and not remain subject as at present to the hazards of special invitation. The Governing Board of the Pan American Union would thus be entitled to send representatives to the United Nations General Assembly, and vice versa: and similarly in the case of specialized agencies. Further, the Director of the Pan American Union ought to have a right to submit suggestions relative to the agenda of the world assembly, and the same privilege should be extended to the Secretary-General of the world organization as regards Pan American conferences. In this way there will be more assurance that the programs of the latter will usefully supplement and implement the broad international action proposed by the world organization.

In some instances it may be advisable for the competent authorities of related organizations to negotiate formal agreements defining the responsibilities of each and laying down methods of coöperation. This is actually foreshadowed by Article XII of the draft Constitution of the Food and Agriculture Organization, and subsequently a similar provision was inserted in Chapter IX of the Dumbarton Oaks proposals, according to which the relationship of any specialized organization or agency to the over-all organization may be "determined by agreement between the Economic and Social Council and the appropriate authorities of the specialized organization or agency, subject to approval by the General Assembly." There is no reason why the same technique should not be employed, where appropriate, to adjust the jurisdictional boundaries between cognate parts of the United Nations system and inter-American agencies. International "federalism" might thus evolve piecemeal.


It is encouraging that the official leadership of the inter-American system is at last giving serious attention to how it can best meet the requirements of the postwar era.[iv] Even its most loyal friends will admit that it would benefit from a general stock-taking and some overhauling. The accumulation of dead wood in Pan Americanism should be cleared away. There is urgent need for a closer coördination of its institutional parts. Functions now performed indifferently by certain of its bureaus and commissions might advantageously be transferred to stronger world agencies. In the interest of dispatch and efficiency, it should expand its mechanisms of "selective" representation, enlarging on the admirable precedent of the two limited-membership committees which have done such outstanding work during these war years -- the Inter-American Juridical Committee and the Emergency Advisory Committee for Political Defense. Sooner or later, the ill-defined and unsatisfactory relationship now existing between the Governing Board, the consultative meetings of Foreign Ministers, the full-dress Pan American conferences, and the various technical conferences will have to be rationalized.

The period of transition from war to peace will also offer opportunity to consider once again how the Pan American Union can be made an instrument of greater service, not in the relations of the United States and the Latin American republics but in the relations between those republics. Agencies of the United States Government, lavishly endowed with funds, now carry on extensive programs for the former purpose. Why should the Pan American Union attempt to duplicate on a small scale what these agencies can do in more impressive style? Not only should the Union shift the emphasis of its work "southward," but the time has surely come to add a number of distinguished Latin Americans to its staff--including the election of one, probably, to the directorship when that post becomes vacant. The Union now struggles along with a staff which, although devoted and hard-working, is underpaid and undersized. Recently some increases have been made in its budget; but it still has only a half million dollars at its disposal and will be hard put to compete with the new United Nations agencies for properly qualified personnel after the war.

In the long run, the fate of Pan Americanism will depend upon whether sufficient political unity can be maintained to prevent dangerous crosscurrents or hostile alignments from emerging on the southern continent. If a common front can be preserved -- or restored -- the regional system of the Americas should be able to play a not unimportant part in the future organization of world peace. At some points, notably in the enforcement of security, its institutional rôle will necessarily be modest, perhaps negligible. In other respects it will have considerable scope and can usefully implement policies and services sponsored by the United Nations system. The working interrelationships of the two systems will be varied in character; but they must be sufficiently flexible to adjust themselves to changing conditions of world power and the changing demands of the world economy.

One fact is clear. If Pan Americanism is to contribute as it should to shaping "the better world" it must be ready to yield to the overriding authority of the United Nations whenever the interests of the wider international community, functioning under a régime of law sanctioned by force, so require. Only in this way, paradoxically, can the historic ideals of Pan Americanism continue to flourish.

[i] The Inter-American Conference at Mexico City may act in this connection before this article appears.

[ii] For the text of these drafts see Appendix A and B of the report on "Pan American Postwar Organization," by the Executive Committee on Postwar Problems of the Governing Board of the Pan American Union (Washington, Pan American Union, 1944).

[iii] Canada's rôle would be a problem here also.

[iv] The recent report of the Executive Committee on Postwar Problems of the Governing Board of the P.A.U., cited earlier, contains a number of constructive, if cautious, proposals for modifications. An admirable monograph by M. Margaret Ball on "The Problem of Inter-American Organization" (Stanford University Press, 1944) weighs feasible changes in less timid fashion.

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  • WALTER R. SHARP, Professor of Government at the College of the City of New York; Chief of Organizational Planning, United Nations Interim Commission on Food and Agriculture
  • More By Walter R. Sharp