166 Australian Delegation United Nations, to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram 430 [NEW YORK], 3 April 1946, 1.36 p.m.


From United Nations 35.

Security 24.

1. Acting on instructions in your UNY19 Hodgson endeavoured in private conversations today to obtain support for further investigation of the Iranian question or for deferring the passage of any resolution by the Council until after examination of the facts but without exception all representatives prefer to adjust the matter immediately if possible and except for some slight hesitation on the part of the Egyptians they are prepared to support a proposal which Byrnes has circulated to the effect that having taken note of the replies given by the Soviet and Iran, the Council defer further proceedings until 6th May by which time the two Governments should report to the Council whether the withdrawal of troops has been completed and the Council should then decide what further steps are required. In the meantime Byrnes proposes that if there are any developments which would retard the withdrawal of troops [t]he Secretary General should draw attention to such reports and they should take priority over all other items on the Council's agenda. Byrnes intends to move to this effect when the Council meets tomorrow and Australia is at present the only dissentient. The full text of Byrnes proposal is given in our immediately succeeding telegram.

2. Acceptance of Byrnes' proposal by other representatives is based on the belief that the concluding sentences of the Soviet reply (see our Security 23 paragraph 1) amount to an assurance by Soviet the withdrawal will be unconditional and they believe that Iran is also ready to accept this assurance. The Iranian Ambassador's statement in answer to Byrnes' at this morning's meeting is supported by a note in identical language which had been handed to the Secretary General before the meeting but which as it was a personal and private message from the Iranian Prime Minister' [1], he did not feel at liberty to disclose at a public session. Taking this view they are convinced that the Council will complete its task of mediation by accepting Byrnes' proposal;

Cadogan pointed out in conversation that the assurances refer only to the withdrawal of troops and Iran's complaints regarding interference in internal affairs have not been remedied. The answer which Cadogan advanced was that if Iran was prepared not to press for consideration of the matter the Council need not concern itself further.

3. After the adjournment of this morning's meeting the Secretary General called another private meeting of representatives. Hodgson immediately protested both to the President and the Secretary General but was informed that the Secretary General had various administrative and general questions to discuss but that some delegate might raise procedural questions regarding Iran. Hodgson stated that he could not take part if the Iranian question was to be discussed. No guarantee could be given about this. At the meeting Byrnes did raise the Iranian question and Hodgson again protested and announced his intention to withdraw. He remained only on condition that a paper which Byrnes presented was to be regarded as for information only without discussion of its substance. The meeting proceeded to an informal exchange of views but no decision was sought or given.

4. We fully recognize the strong objections to the manner in which the Council has proceeded and we have tried hard to advance the policy laid down in our instructions but the plain fact to be faced at present is that all other members of the Council regard the Byrnes proposal as the best way out.

1 Qavam es-Sultaneh.

[AA:A1838 T189, 854/10/2, i]