222 Australian Delegation, United Nations, to Evatt

Cablegram UN88 NEW YORK, 29 April 1946, 8.38 p.m.


Security 52.

1. The Security Council today passed the Australian resolution on Spain [1] with slight amendments and appointed, Australia, Brazil, China, France and Poland to the sub-committee, Australia being nominated as chairman. The sub-committee met immediately after the Council arose to organise its work.

2. At the request of Poland, Australia agreed to amendment of the second sentence of resolution by inserting the word 'unanimous' before 'moral condemnation'. The last sentence was amended to provide that the sub-committee should report before the end of May, it being understood that it could ask for more time if required. The Polish Representative in requesting amendments made passing reference to the fear that sub-committee might be used for shelving the issue and Australian Representative [2] seized this occasion for stating firmly that Australian Delegation's intention in proposing resolution was that committee should be an active and effective body and that its studies should assist the Council to reach a decision promptly.

3. Gromyko announced that he would abstain from voting. He said that although changes had been made in the text, the resolution remained essentially the same in substance. It proposed an investigation in spite of the fact that the discussion in the Council had clearly shown that the Franco Regime was a danger to peace. The Soviet was opposed to the resolution because it proposed a course of negotiation and delay, but as some members of the Council were still unsatisfied on the information presented to them and as the Soviet vote would prevent this resolution from being adopted, he would abstain from voting but in doing so he directed attention of the Security Council to the fact that this abstention did not raise a precedent regarding the action of permanent members.

4. Both the Netherlands and the United States made explicit reservations on their position in regard to Mr. Gromyko's claim that he could have prevented the adoption of the resolution.

Australian Representative, recognising that a member might do the right thing for the wrong reasons and being unwilling to prejudice the chance of the smooth passage of the resolution by inaugurating a debate on the veto power, refrained from making any such reservation. In our view the Security Council was only being asked to approve the Australian resolution and not to express concurrence with any of the reasons that influenced the attitude of various members towards this resolution.

5. The resolution was declared adopted by 10 votes with one abstention and the chairman [3] immediately named the sub- committee. Poland then proposed that [4] be made president of the sub-committee. The Council then adjourned sine die.

6. Immediately after the Council meeting the sub-committee called an organizational meeting under Hasluck's chairmanship. The object of calling a meeting immediately was to strengthen the impression that the committee intended to work effectively and without delay and this line was stressed in the press conference which Hasluck was authorised to give immediately after the meeting. The sub- committee made arrangements regarding staff to be made immediately available by the secretariat and agreed that a request should be sent to members of the Security Council and to other members of the United Nations asking them to submit material helpful to the committee. The secretariat was instructed to prepare for submission to the next meeting a synopsis of the statements made during the Security Council debate and the large mass of material already received by the secretariat from non-governmental sources.

it was decided that the early working sessions should be held in private in order to allow members greater freedom in discussing methods of work and possible sources of information but that the sub-committee should then meet in public whenever possible. To suit the convenience of M. Bonnet the next meeting will be held on Wednesday afternoon but it is doubtful whether secretariat will be able to have much material ready and the effective work of the committee is not likely to begin until next Monday.

1 See Document 214.

2 P. M. C. Hasluck.

3 Hafez Afifi Pasha of Egypt.

4 A sign here indicates 'word apparently omitted'.

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