198 Australian Delegation, United Nations, to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram United Nations 73 NEW YORK, 18 April 1946, 10.43 p.m.


Repeated London for Dr. Evatt. Security 42.

1. Cadogan resumed the debate on Spain in the Security Council this afternoon. [1] He stated that before the council embarked on collective action it must be sure that it did so in conformity with the charter and that its action would produce the desired result. After raising the familiar arguments regarding domestic jurisdiction he traversed the Polish statement and questioned the accuracy of some of its statements. He also pointed out that the question of Spain had been raised under Chapter VI but Poland request immediate enforcement of measures under Chapter VII. [2] United Kingdom would be unable to vote for Polish resolution.

2. Gromyko spoke at great length dealing with the issue of domestic jurisdiction and then addressing himself to three questions- (a) the Fascist nature of the Franco regime, (b) the foreign policy of Franco during the war and (c) whether the Franco regime constituted a threat to peace.

He pointed to the dangerous results of a policy of non- intervention and urged the United Nations to take determined action. His speech, like that of the Polish representative, was obviously directed in part towards the American public and he made frequent use of United States sources and referred to the United States Congressmen and others who had been calling for action against Spain.

3. The Brazilian representative enlarged upon the importance which Brazil attached to article 2(7) [3] and declared that Brazil would vote against any action by the Council violating this principle of the charter. He also argued that the purpose in article 1 [4] would not be served by the proposed action and he, therefore, opposed the Polish resolution.

4. Hodgson came in effectively at the end of a rather tiresome and representative debate and made a most forceful speech of the series. He said that the Polish motion referring to a situation of the kind mentioned in chapter VI, raised fundamental issues relating to the peace aims for which the United Nations had fought the war and, therefore, the utmost care should be taken to handle it in a manner which would serve these aims. At the outset the issue of domestic jurisdiction had to be faced. Australia placed great value on the limitation in article 2 paragraph 7 about the line between domestic and international matters had not been fixed. A Government of Fascist origin and tendencies might adapt practices at home or enter into relations with reactionary Governments in other countries which would seriously threaten international peace and security and thus become a matter which was not merely of domestic concern. There was evidence in the San Francisco, London and Potsdam declarations, to which Australia had subscribed, that the Spanish situation was recognised as being of international concern and furthermore the declaration of 4th March by the French, United Kingdom and United States Governments was even more significant. [5] But what were the facts behind this declaration? What was the reason why these three major powers desired the removal of the Franco regime and what information was in their possession when they try this international action? Further, the United States Department of State and Foreign Economic Administration had published certain white papers and pamphlets alleging that Nazis were in basic control of important phases of Spanish economic and industrial life. Again what were the facts and the reasons behind these allegations? Prima Facie it would appear that the Spanish situation was a matter of international concern but the Security Council was not yet in possession of full information. The next question was whether the Spanish situation was a cause of international friction. The Polish representative had referred to conditions on the frontier but the French representative had said no word about this being a cause of friction. What evidence was there on this aspect? At present it was not an established fact or a cause of disputation.

Thirdly, did the Spanish situation endanger international peace and security? The Polish delegate had made several assertions but on the other hand they were statements of a different kind. The Polish delegate had referred to a Spaniard who had come to the United States to buy a plant to produce uranium. Did he, in fact, buy it and if so, what had happened to the plant? The Security Council did not yet know the truth.

case to the council under chapter VI which envisaged investigation, and then asked the Council to pass, without further proof, to the enforcement measures in chapter VII. The attitude of the Australian delegation had been consistent throughout. It could not accept either the Polish proposal that the Council should immediately pass judgement on Spain or the proposal of other members that the Council should do nothing because it was a matter of domestic jurisdiction. The Australian view was that before any decision was reached the case must be investigated and if after an investigation it was found that the Spanish situation was a matter of international concern and a source of international friction, and that its continuance endangered international peace and security, then the Council should decide what action to take. As to the possible nature of that action, he would only say that it must be such as to service the objectives. If it was found desirable to remove the Franco regime, and that appeared to be the main objective of all around the table, then it was doubtful whether breaking off diplomatic relations would alone do it.

According to the nature of the findings after an investigation, the Council should be prepared to take whatever action was open to it under the charter.

[6.] Hodgson then moved the following amendment.

'The attention of the Security Council having been drawn to the situation in Spain by a member of the United Nations acting in accordance with article 35 of the charter, and the Security Council having been asked to declare that this situation has led to international friction and endangers international peace and security, the Security Council hereby resolves, in accordance with article 34 of the charter, to make further inquiries in order to determine whether such a situation does exist. To this end the Security Council appoints a committee of five of its members and instructs this committee to examine the statements made before the Security Council concerning Spain, to call for further written statements and documentary evidence from members of the United Nations and from the Franco regime, and to make such other inquiries as it may deem fit in order that the committee may report to the Security Council not later than 17th May, 1946 on the two following questions- (1) Is the Spanish situation one essentially within the jurisdiction of Spain? (2) Is the situation in Spain one which might lead to international friction or give rise to a dispute? (3) if the answer to question (2) is 'yes', is the continuance of the situation likely to endanger the maintenance of international peace and security?'

[7.] Our move has had good effect and it appears it would be given considerable support, both from Cadogan and Stettinius on the one hand and from Poland and China on the other, but modifications may be sought in terms of amendment particularly as regards the composition and powers of the committee. The majority will probably wish to limit its function to that of fact finding under the three headings proposed, leaving the answering of these questions to the full Council. There seems to be some support, particularly from Poland, to conducting the enquiry from France.

Security Council has adjourned to 3 p.m. next Tuesday.

[AA:A1066, E45/28/7]

1 Debate on Spain was inaugurated on 17 April by the Polish representative, 0. R. Lange, who moved that the Security Council declare that the situation in Spain endangered international peace and security, and that, under Articles 39 and 41 of the U.N.

Charter, it call on all members to sever diplomatic relations with the Franco Govt.

2 Chapter VI of the U.N. Charter covered the 'Pacific Settlement of Disputes'; Chapter VII covered 'Action with Respect to the Peace, Breaches of the Peace, and Acts of Aggression'.

3 Article 2(7) of the U.N. Charter bars U.N. intervention in matters 'essentially within the domestic jurisdiction' of any state except in the context of enforcement measures relating to threats to peace.

4 Under Article 1 of its Charter, the United Nations was to maintain or restore international peace and security in 'conformity with the principles of justice and international law', and to develop friendly relations among nations 'based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples'.

5 The governments of France, the United Kingdom and the United States had agreed that, white the Franco Geer, which had been aided by German Nazism and Italian Facism in its rise to power, remained in control of Spain, the Spanish people could not anticipate full and cordial association with those nations, which, by common effort, had defeated Germany and Italy.

[5.] Hodgson then referred to the fact that Poland had brought its