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

Cablegram 1044 LONDON, 14 February 1946, 11.33 a.m.


Assembly 83. HEADQUARTERS.

1. After further long debate during which Hodgson again made a strong case the Australian amendment to locate temporary Headquarters in San Francisco was put to the vote and rejected by 21 votes against 19 and 4 abstentions. [1] We were supported in the minority by Arab States, France, China, Philippines, Bolivia, Chile, Cuba, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru and Denmark. The French then withdrew their proposal to leave the decision to the Secretary-General and the Committee proceeded to vote on the Interim Committee's recommendation for New York. This was adopted by 29 votes to 13, the minority comprising Australia, China, Arab States and six Latins. France, Denmark, Philippines, Panama, Peru and Nicaragua crossed to the majority.

2. China and some of the remaining Latins privately indicated they were unlikely to go any further and were prepared to move that the vote be carried unanimously. As it was clear that supporters of the report would be able to gain two-thirds majority in the Plenary, Hodgson announced that Australia, having put its case forcefully and at length, would now accept the majority decision gracefully and would loyally co-operate to make the Headquarters a success. He therefore proposed that the decision be made unanimous. Applause and subsequent congratulations showed appreciation both of our vigorous fight and of final acceptance of the verdict.

3. The Committee then discussed the appointment of a Planning Commission on Headquarters to report to the Second Part of the First Session in September. Australia is one of eight members to be recommended to the Plenary for appointment to this Committee, the character of which has been changed somewhat from purely Expert Body proposed in Chapter X of the Preparatory Commission's report. Australia has also been appointed to the Headquarters negotiating Committee on the recommendations of Sixth Committee which prepared the final draft of the proposed convention between United Nations and United States.

1 In fact, there were three abstentions: Belgium, Inn and the United States.

[AA:A1838 T189, 852/9/1]