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

Cablegram United Nations 261 NEW YORK, 9 July 1946, 5.27 p.m.


Reference your 124 Membership in the United Nations.

1. Applications for membership have now been formally received from Albania, Siam, Afghanistan, Mongolia and Transjordan. On 17th May the Security Council decided to set up a Committee composed of representatives of each member of the Council to consider applications for membership received before July 15th and report to the Security Council not later than 1st August. [1] Among the reasons for the United States action of introducing this resolution was the desire to avoid an expected debate over Albania on the Soviet initiative. [2]

2. Although our representative objected throughout the procedure which gave initiative in the admission of members to the Security Council [3], Dr. Evatt feels that we are obliged to nominate a representative to this Committee and to participate in its work but that we should maintain our stand that the work of this Committee does not in any way preclude applications direct to the General Assembly up to the time the Assembly meets. Intervention by our representative at the meeting of 17th May made it plain that appointment of the Committee did not set July 15th as a deadline for receiving applications for membership. Our statement in the Security Council left the way open for us to raise in the General Assembly question of adopting other procedures for admission which will take better account of the respective roles of the Assembly and Council. [4]

3. Dr. Evatt's view is that we should not commit Australia at present either to support or reject any application but take the stand that all applications must be considered objectively in the light of the Charter and of the facts placed before the United Nations to determine whether the applicants are [(a) sovereign states, (b) peace loving, and (c)] [5] able and willing to carry out the obligations of the Charter. We should also take care to ensure that the Assembly's rights are not prejudiced by anticipatory recommendations before the Assembly meets by which time further facts might be brought forward which could influence recommendation by the Security Council.

1 These two deadlines were later extended.

2 The Soviet Union, with an eye to Albania, had proposed that applications for the admission of new members be considered by the Security Council immediately on receipt; the United States, opposed to the admission of Albania but wishing to avoid conflict on the question, proposed that applications be considered by a committee and submitted to the Security Council.

3 Australia had argued that applications should be received by the General Assembly and dealt with by the Security Council only after referral from the Assembly.

4 The statement contended that the admission of new members concerned the organisation as a whole and that the Security Council was not empowered to lay down procedures for any other organ.

5 Corrected from copy on file SFU : Evatt Collection, External Affairs-Original File(a).

[AA:A1838 T189, 854/10/14, i]