214 Australian Delegation, United Nations, to Evatt

NEW YORK, 26 April 1946, 3 p.m.

Cablegram UN86


Security 51.

1. After conference with Bonnet and Lange, Hodgson presented the following draft to the Security Council this morning. [1] Begins:-

The attention of the Security Council has 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 has been asked to declare that this situation has led to international friction and endangers international peace and security.

Therefore the Security Council, keeping in mind the moral condemnation of the Franco regime in the Security Council, and the resolutions concerning Spain which were adopted at the United Nations Conference on International Organisation at San Francisco and at the first General Assembly of the United Nations [2], and the views expressed by members of the Security Council regarding the Franco regime, hereby resolves To make further studies in order to determine whether the situation in Spain has led to international friction and does endanger international peace and security, and if it so finds, then to determine what practical measures the United Nations may take.

To this end, the Security Council appoints a Sub-Committee of five of its members and instructs this Sub-Committee to examine the statements made before the Security [Council] concerning Spain, to receive further statements and documents, and to conduct such inquiries as it may deem necessary, and to report to the Security Council as soon as practicable. Ends.

2. Mexico immediately moved that the taking of a vote be adjourned until Monday in order that Delegations might obtain instructions from their Governments and this suggestion was adopted. Mexico explained privately later that his object was to give Gromyko every chance of obtaining a change in instructions to allow him either to support the proposal or to abstain.

3. The Soviet objections, as indicated in our Security 49, paragraph 2, are to holding unnecessary inquiries instead of taking immediate action and so far they have not requested any constitutional questions relating to the Council's power to investigate a situation under Article 34. Our proposal, as at present drafted, will probably be readily accepted by all other representatives as subject for a procedural vote to which the veto would not apply, and we have carefully refrained from opening up this question. Both Americans and British, however, are fully conscious of the fact that the adoption of our resolution by procedural vote would help to establish precedent for avoiding the difficulties presented by Article 34 and while they do not appear to be averse to action which might help to overcome some of the problems created by the sponsoring powers declaration regarding investigation, it will be necessary to keep the resolution in such a form that the inquiry which it suggests should not appear to be the type of investigation provided for in Article 34. In particular, Cadogan takes the view that a Sub-Committee of the Council of the kind proposed could not by itself decide to proceed to Europe without prior reference to the full Council as he would consider such a decision would change the character of the Sub- Committee completely and give it the character of a formal commission of investigation of the kind envisaged in Article 34.

Moreover, he takes the view that a Sub-Committee of the Council should be composed of representatives on the Council named as individuals and that if the body were constituted otherwise it would again take on some of the characteristics of a formal commission of investigation.

4. Subject to these qualifications, it appears likely that our resolution in its new form will obtain general support and that possible Russian objections may be overcome by taking a procedural vote.

1 The original Australian draft given in Document 198 had been amended by the Australian delegation to meet French wishes to include a condemnation of Franco, to delete the two or three questions to be covered by the proposed inquiry and to have the committee of inquiry report on practical measures to be taken, and to meet Polish wishes to see the committee prepare a draft resolution containing recommendations for action.

2 The San Francisco Conference in 1945 had accepted a resolution sponsored by Mexico denying U.N. membership to Axis powers or to states with governments installed with their aid. Regarding the General Assembly resolution, see Document 178, note 3.

[AA:A1066, E45/28/7]