147 Australian Government to Addison

Cablegram 139 CANBERRA, 27 March 1946


Your telegram D.246. [1]

Liquidation of Mandate System 1. We agree that possible courses (a) and (b) should be rejected.

In any event it is hard to see how formal action in relation to a mandate by the League Assembly, as distinct from the Council, could be regarded as having legal efficacy.

2. Whilst appreciating your point that the future of the mandated territories (except the Japanese) has been covered in the declarations made by the mandatories in the first session of the General Assembly of the United Nations, we think that questions will inevitably be asked as to the effect that the dissolution of the League will have upon the mandated territories in the interval before the London declarations come into force. We think the politic course is to forestall these questions by explaining the position in advance.

3. We would therefore propose to declare in the League Assembly that notwithstanding the impossibility of continuing the mandate system in its entirety after the disappearance of the Permanent Mandates Commission and the dissolution of the League itself, we do not regard the dissolution of the League as lessening the obligations imposed on us by the Mandate which we regard as of full force and effect, and that until the coming into force of a trusteeship agreement under Chapter XII of the Charter of the United Nations we will continue to administer it in accordance with the provisions of the mandate for the protection and advancement of the inhabitants.

4. Possibly all the mandatory states might be willing to make at the League Assembly a declaration along the lines suggested in paragraph 3 above. For this purpose the specific reference to the coming into force of a 'trusteeship agreement' might be replaced by a reference to the coming into force of 'other arrangements regarding the territory' or by some similar phrase. With this alteration, the proposed declaration should be acceptable to South Africa. Palestine could be separately mentioned.

5. A resolution of the general character suggested in your paragraph (6) could appropriately take note of any such declaration or declarations, as well as of those made at the General Assembly of the United Nations.

6. Not for juridical reasons but solely from the point of view of public opinion, we think that the mandatories themselves, or some of them, should take the initiative in the directions mentioned above, and should not allow themselves to be placed on the defensive by waiting for questions or criticism, either from other delegations or from the press.

1 Document 132.

[AA:A1067, UN46/IT/1/1]