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

Cablegram UN224 NEW YORK, 24 June 1946, 10.36 p.m.


Security 104.

1. At the meeting of the Security Council this afternoon [Poland] [1] presented an amended resolution to that originally proposed calling for breach of diplomatic relations. [2] The resolution as amended read:-

The Security Council declares that the existence and activities of the Franco Regime in Spain have led to International friction and endanger international peace and security.

In accordance with the authority vested in it, the Security Council calls upon all members of the United Nations who maintain diplomatic relations with the Franco Government to sever such relations immediately.

The Security Council expresses its deep sympathy to the Spanish people. It hopes and expects that the people of Spain will regain the freedom of which they have been deprived with the aid and contrivance of Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany. The Security Council is convinced that the day will come soon when it will be able to welcome the Spanish nation into the community of the United Nations.

2. Dr. Evatt, after reviewing establishment of the Sub-Committee, its findings and recommendations and veto by the Soviet pointed out that the action Poland wished the Council to take could only be taken under Chapter VII of the Charter. Before acting under that chapter, the Council must be satisfied that the facts disclosed a threat to peace existed. However, Sub-Committee had found this was not so and the majority of the Council agreed with this finding.

3. France stated that they would support the Polish resolution.

This was not inconsistent with their support of the sub- Committee's recommendations which also called for a breach of Diplomatic relations but later and not immediately. Mexico and the Soviet also supported the Polish resolution while China associated herself with Australia.

4. A vote was taken and the resolution was defeated only the Soviet, Mexico, France supporting Poland.

5. Poland then moved the following resolution:-

'The Security Council takes notice of the report of the Sub- Committee on the Spanish question, appointed on the 29th April, 1946. The investigation of the Sub-Committee confirms fully the facts which have led to condemnation of the Franco Regime by the Conference in San Francisco and Potsdam, by the General Assembly in London, and by the Security Council in its resolution of April 29th, 1946. The investigation also establishes beyond any doubt that Franco's Fascist Regime is a serious danger to the maintenance of International Peace and Security. The Security Council, therefore, decides to keep the situation in Spain under continuous observation and keep the question on the list of matters of which it is seized, in order to be able to take such measures as may be necessary in the interest of peace and security.

But the Security Council will take up the matter again not later than September 1st, 1946, in order to determine what appropriate practical measures provided by the Charter should be taken. Any member of the Security Council has a right to bring the matter up before the Security Council at any time before the mentioned date.'

6. Dr. Evatt objected that in case of Article [12](1) [3] of the Charter this resolution if adopted might prevent the Assembly from making recommendations on the Spanish question. Also it was not correct to say that investigation established that the Franco Regime was a serious danger to the maintenance of peace. The Sub- Committee had found merely that continuance of the Regime is likely to endanger peace. Finally, he felt generally that when questions were raised in Council they should be disposed of and the States should be responsible for raising them again if necessary.

7. Poland replied that the resolution was not intended to prejudice the jurisdiction of the Assembly. The Council could remove the matter from the list of matters of which it is seized at any time so that the Assembly might consider it. Conclusion regarding results of investigation was that of Poland alone with which it was hoped Council would agree.

8. United Kingdom, United States and France supported Australia's objections and, to meet first objections, the United Kingdom suggested insertion in the last sentence of first paragraph after words 'observation and' the phrase 'pending meeting of Assembly in September'.

9. Soviet supported by Poland, opposed this amendment. Although the resolution was weak they were prepared to accept it. However, the United Kingdom amendment would mean when the Council reconsidered the matter in September, it would be compelled to remit it to the Assembly.

10. On Poland's suggestion a Committee of Australia, United Kingdom and Poland was appointed to find a new text. Dr. Evatt was appointed chairman. The Council then adjourned until Wednesday afternoon.

11. Throughout proceedings today Australia adopted the role of leader and Dr. Evatt's proposals found approval of the majority of the Council. Poland and the Soviet now appear to be indulging in face-saving tactics. However, provided the latest Polish resolution is amended to safeguard the jurisdiction of the Assembly and conform to findings of Sub-Committee, there appears to be no serious objection and probably the Committee will agree on text along these lines.

1 A sign here indicates 'word omitted'.

2 See Document 198, note 1.

3 Precluding the General Assembly from making recommendations regarding disputes before the Security Council, unless requested by the Council.

[AA:A1066, E45/28/7]