60 Makin to Evatt

Cablegram 691 LONDON, 30 January 1946, 5.20 p.m.


Assembly 39.

Committee 6 (Rules of Procedure.) 1. Reference paragraph 2 of your UND14 (two-year term). [1] Elections to the Councils took place under supplementary Rule S of Assembly's Provisional Rules of Procedure. This provides that term of office of members of Councils elected for one, two and three years shall end on the day of the elections held at the second, third and fourth regular sessions respectively of the General Assembly.

2. This rule to cover the temporary situation created by holding the First Assembly in January was accepted unanimously at the Executive Committee stage and by Preparatory Commission and was adopted prior to elections by the General Assembly itself.

3. A sub-Committee of Committee 6 this morning considered an amendment filed by Delegation for Egypt which was elected for a one-year term to the Security Council. The object of the amendment was to give all members recently elected full terms stated in Charter with a result that there would permanently be lame duck sessions of the Councils.

4. In accordance with your instructions Bailey strongly emphasised juridicial arguments against the validity of supplementary rule 'S'.

5. The Egyptian amendment is most unlikely to be carried in sub- Committee. Supplementary Rule 'S' was fully in mind during discussion of candidature before elections, and influenced both the choice of those elected and the decision of others to stand down for the present. If the Egyptian amendment were to be carried, it is clear that there would be a determined move to re- open the elections altogether. In the much more probable event of failure, those who support the amendment would be stigmatised as having accepted the provisional rules as the basis of their election and then sought to alter them to their own advantage.

This is particularly the case with Australia in view of the fact that, though elected to the last place in the Security Council, we were immediately afterwards chosen for the longer term.

6. Discussion so far has done no real harm but Bailey urges that to press the matter further would diminish our own prestige and reputation for objectivity without real likelihood of tangible advantage for Australia.

7. Discussion in sub-Committee has been adjourned till tomorrow.

Unless I hear from you to the contrary I propose to instruct Bailey to accept Rule S as it stands. I fear that otherwise we shall lose caste with our strongest supporters.

1 Dispatched 28 January, it had instructed Bailey to oppose any reduction of the two-year term on the Security Council.

[AA:A3195, 1946, 1.2735]