SAN FRANCISCO -- Moving in an environment of anxiety that V-E Day may overtake this United Nations conference before it completes its labors, the British delegation was understood to have decided today to urge an immediate speed-up of proceedings.
The British were expected to make their hurry-up proposal at once, perhaps before there can be a showdown on Russia's request for three votes in the organization assembly and her demand for admission of Poland to this conference.
The state department has been estimating upward of six weeks for conference work. It was reported thnt the British want the delegaets out of the conference trenches in four weeks. The British were expected to suggest that this conference simply outline the general structure of the proposed international organization to maintain peace. Details -- perhaps Including the number of assembly votes to be enjoyed by Russia -- might be filled in later.
Would Divert Interest
The European war's end in the midst of conference deliberations would divert much delegate interest to postwar territorial, political and economic matters, it was felt here.
Russia, however, may at any time submit her request that the Ukraine and White Russia republics be seated here. Also pending Its the matter of admitting Argentina to conference membership.
Whether Foreign Commissar V. M. Molotov will also submit for a third time a demand that the Warsaw provisional Polish regime be represented was not yet known.
However, it appeared that there had been no actual developments on the Polish matter since the Big Three discussions were suspended in Washington because the imminent opening of the San Francisco gathering.
Some quarters said the Polish Issue would not be brought to a showdown today but would await further consultations between Molotov, W. Averell Harriman, United States ambassador to ' Moscow, and Sir Archibald Clark Kerr, British ambassador to Moscow. These three comprise the commission set up at Yalta to deal with Poland and there has been no change in their authority to handle the Issue.
Molotov made a surprise gesture which raised diplomatic hopes that the hurdles to conference agreement might be cleared more easily than expected.
He tendered a banquet last night to some 30 persons, Including the foreign ministers of Mexico, Chile, China, Australia, France, Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia.
Innumerable toasts, in vodka were drunk in the Russian fashion. It was learned that Molotov was frankly told by the Latin-American diplomats of their desire to see Argentina invited to San Francisco.
Molotov on his part reiterated the statement made by Marshal Stalin to President Roosevelt at Yalta -- that Russia-desired the Ukraine and White Russia to be represented as a tribute to the differing they have endured at the hands of the Germans.
So far as was known no commit ments were made on either side. But the prospect emerged that the Latin Americans might support the three vote request if Russia agreed to let in Argentina.
Committed to Support
Both the United States and Britain are committed to support the Russian request that the conference consider the admission of Ukraine and White Russia delegates. Britain will support the proposal down the line. Whether the American delegates will vote for it, as well as voting that it be considered, was not certain.
Molotov was scheduled to address a plenary session of the conference around 4 p. m. (P. W. T.). Guesses were that Molotov probably would avoid any public discussion of such controversial issues, at least for the time being.
Stettinius, Molotov and Eden canvassed the Polish question in Washington last weekend but remained deadlocked on Russia's request that the so-called Lublin government be admitted to this conference. They agreed to resume their talks here.
The conference began Wednesday in a spirit of determination to protect world peace, but with general recognition that there are obstacles to be overcome before a satisfactory basis of world collaboration can be achieved. Mr. Truman reminded the delegates that their task would not be easy when he opened the conference with an address broadcast from AVashington.
"We, who have lived through the torture and the tragedy of two world conflicts," he said, "must realize the magnitude of the problem be fore us. We do not need far-sighted vision to understand the trend of recent history. Its significance is all too clear.
"With ever-increasing brutality and destruction, modern warfare, if unchecked, would ultimately crush all civilization. We still have a choice between the. alternatives: Continuation of international chaos -- or the establishments of a world organization for the enforcement of peace," the President said.
Molotov will be one of three speakers today. The others are British Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden and Chinese Foreign Minister T. V. Soong. Those three with United States Secretary of State Edward R. Stettinius, who spoke at yesterday's opening session, represent the four governments which are sponsoring this conference to establish an international organization to maintain peace.
This is the beginning of a series of oratorical field days in which the heads of all delegations ultimately will have their say -- and they are expected to keep it fairly brief. Today's oratory will end about 5:30 p.m., to be resumed in another plenary session tomorrow.
Conference work will proceed with meetings of the steering, executive and other committees preliminary to establishment of the four major commissions into which conference business is to be divided.
A plan to make Soong, Eden and Molotov vice-chairmen of the conference to preside over plenary sessions when Stettinius is absent is being reexamined today. Stettinius 'may be named permanent chairman of the powerful conference executive committee. In that event, chairmanship of the plenary sessions would rotate among the chief delegates of the four sponsoring powers.
Yesterday's colorful opening ceremony was brief and was topped by Mr. Truman's speech. The President's words were politely but not boisterously applauded by the assembled delegates and their adies.