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

Cablegram United Nations 284 NEW YORK, 7 June 1946, 5.39 p.m.


Security 96.

1. In presenting the report of Spanish Sub-Committee to the Council yesterday afternoon [1], the Minister spoke on behalf of all its members. After viewing the Sub-Committee's work, and presenting its findings on the facts, he cited provisions of previous United Nations declarations on Spain and showed these declarations were steps in the application of a constant policy towards the Franco Regime which has now led to the stage where the Council was called upon to take positive action. He then outlined the Sub-Committee's recommendations which its members considered action likely to prove effective in encouraging peaceful withdrawal of the Franco regime.

2. In reply to criticism advanced in some quarters, that action proposed by Sub-Committee was contrary to Article 2(7) of the Charter, Dr. Evatt said this was based partly on misunderstanding that Article 2(7) meant that the United Nations should not intervene in any matter essentially within the Domestic jurisdiction of any State except when the matter fell within Chapter 7. This was not correct. Under Article [2(7)] the only matter to be decided was, whether the question fell essentially within Domestic jurisdiction. This was a question of fact, and depended upon the circumstances of each case. Facts regarding Spain showed situation there was complete antithesis of domestic situation. Also the breach of Diplomatic relations recommended by the Sub-Committee was form of action completely within the control of various members, and solely within their discretion. Finally objective of recommendation, namely, to remove danger to International peace, and cause of international friction, was International in character, and no way domestic.

Committee's recommendations would be adopted unanimously in same way as previous declaration by the United Nations on Spain. He stressed that the Council was not concerned with the type of political party in power in Spain, but with the impact of the Spanish Regime upon International security. He then moved that all the Sub-Committee's recommendations be adopted.

4. Polish delegate stated that although he wished the Council to recommend breach of Diplomatic relations, without referring to the General Assembly, he was prepared to support the Sub-Committee's recommendations in the hope of obtaining unanimous agreement.

France also expressed support and reasoned that reference to the General Assembly was preferable, because all members would then have the opportunity to participate in decision which would affect all of them.

5. United States and the United Kingdom then proposed adjournment on the ground that their Governments needed more time to consider the report and the Council adjourned until Tuesday.

6. We expect the members of the Sub-Committee to maintain their support of its recommendations and this means that the majority of Council are in favour of reference to the General Assembly. The attitude of Major powers has not yet been fully defined and unanimity is by no means certain. However, it appears the stage for attempts at bargaining has now been set. The United Kingdom delegation has been considering the objection based on interference in Domestic jurisdiction, but the Minister's statement yesterday on this point, seems to have cleared away doubts in most quarters.

7. By moving the Sub-Committee's recommendations we have taken up position consistent with decisions at San Francisco and London.

[2] Any member who wishes to dissent from any one or more of the Sub-Committee's recommendations will have to move amendments which will be voted first and which are almost certain not to obtain the necessary majority for success.

8. The Minister's speech was very well received amongst other Delegations, and created most favourable impression, except in a few quarters which are authorities of organised pro-Franco propaganda. A thorough and just enquiry has been held, a good report produced and a course of positive action within the terms of the charter placed before the Council. Acceptance of Sub- Committee's recommendations should do much to remove unfavourable impression created by the Council's inability to take positive action regarding Iran. On the other hand nothing is lost if recommendations are sent to the Assembly which is the General Plenary body authority of which has been constantly supported by Australia.

[AA:A1066, E45/28/7]

1 See Document 288.

2 See Document 214, note 2, and Document 178, note 3.

[3.] The Minister concluded by saying that he hoped the Sub-