358 Department of External Affairs to Australian Delegation, Educational Conference [1]

Cablegram 467 CANBERRA, 2 November 1945


Reference Dominions Office telegram D1965 [2] and our 447 to Hasluck. [3]

1. Concerning relationship of proposed Educational and Cultural body to United Nations, we have broadly three alternatives:-

(a) To establish it as a specialised agency under either Article 57 or 59 of the Charter.

(b) To create a subsidiary organ of the General Assembly under Article 22.

(c) To establish a Commission of the Economic and Social Council under Article 68.

In paragraph 5 of D1965 no clear distinction is made between (a) and (b). If it is intended to set up a specialised agency then it must be established in conformity with the provisions of the Charter.

2. After consideration of D1965 and experience of our representatives on Executive Committee of the United Nations, we think you should work for the establishing of the proposed organisation by resolution of the General Assembly, thereby creating it as a subsidiary organ of the United Nations.

This involves pressing for a closer integration with the United Nations than that proposed in our Department memorandum of 23rd October, 1945 [4], forwarded by air, which suggested Educational and Cultural body should be a specialised agency very closely associated with the United Nations. If above proposal is adopted it would remove organisational disadvantages of French plan referred to in our telegram 439 of 25th October [5], and have advantages mentioned in paragraph 2 of Hasluck's telegram 11237.

Council may come up and you should consult with Hasluck and Tange on this. On balance we favour a subsidiary organ created by Assembly, which would better provide for:-

(a) The self contained and comprehensive character of the proposed Educational and Cultural Organisation's purposes and activities.

(b) The desirability of a measure of working autonomy and a recognised status for the Organisation within this specialised field.

(c) A more practicable compromise alternative to the French plan and Draft proposals. [7]

[AA : A1066, H45/703/1/2]

1 Evatt was formally appointed Australia's delegate. In Evatt's absence at the Far Eastern Advisory Commission meetings in Washington, E. R. Walker and H. S. Wyndham, of the N.S.W. Dept of Education and the Dept of Post-War Reconstruction, were nominated alternative delegates with J. A. Seitz, Director of Education in Victoria, as adviser. As it happened Walker was engaged in the International Labour Organisation Conference in Paris, and Australia's representation was therefore left mainly to Wyndham.

It became necessary for W. C. Radford and C. Deane, both listed as Secretaries, to serve on some of the five Commissions dealing with aspects of the constitution. (See Seitz's report, dated 3 January 1946, on file AA : A1066, H45/703/1/2.) 2 Document 328.

3 See Document 351, note 1.

4 An undated draft of the memorandum is on the file cited in note 1.

5 On the file cited in note 1.

6 Document 351.

7 This proposal received no support at the Conference. (See Wyndham's report of 29 November to Burton, on the file cited in note 1.) Wyndham continued as Australia's delegate on the Preparatory Commission which convened immediately after the Education Conference. The Instrument establishing a Preparatory Educational, Scientific and Cultural Commission was signed on 11 February 1946 and the Commonwealth Govt gave its formal acceptance of the constitution on 1 May.

[6] 3. The alternative of a commission of the Economic and Social