24 Department of External Affairs to Australian Delegation, United Nations

Cablegram 204 (extract) CANBERRA, 12 January 1946


Your 136 (Assembly 1). [1]

1. You are familiar with our general line of approach which is to emphasize and secure position of General Assembly as the central and basic, organ of United Nations. The Minister is most anxious that the San Francisco achievements to this end are vigorously followed up.

2. This will mean insisting upon right of Assembly particularly under Article 10 to deal with any matter in its own way as the fully representative organ of the United Nations. Thus in regard to proposed Atomic Energy Commission we should urge that it be made responsible to the Assembly as the constituting body and one which has general competence especially in a matter which so vitally affects each and every one of the United Nations. The Assembly would consider reports from the Commission and refer security aspects in its discretion to the Security Council for detailed examination. The Minister has already affirmed the principle that Atomic weapons are 'facilities' [2] (see December issue of 'Free World' [3]) and it is for the Security Council to assume jurisdiction over such weapons without prejudicing full Assembly control of Commission charged with investigating all aspects of problem of atomic energy.

[matter omitted]

1 Document 14.

2 Article 43 of the Charter had U.N. members 'make available to the Security Council... armed forces, assistance, and facilities ... necessary for the purpose of maintaining international peace and security'.

3 Presumably the issue of January 1946, in which Evatt, in an article entitled 'United Nations Organization Venus World Government', argued that the restriction of armaments, including the control of atomic energy, should be a function of the United Nations Organization, and that its constitution had 'not overlooked either the matter of regulating armaments or of placing armament facilities at the disposal of the Security Council'.

Evatt was a member of the International Board of Free World, which described itself as 'A Monthly Magazine for the United Nations' and was published in New York.

[AA:A3196, 1946, 0.787]