28 Makin to Evatt

Cablegram A101 CANBERRA, 19 July 1946


Please convey this cable immediately to Dr. Evatt from Mr. Makin.

[1] It is most important Dr. Evatt see this before departure for United Kingdom. if this is not possible please relay to him while en route if he has cypher and in any case advise us of your action.

1. Reference statement by Prime Minister on Trusteeship Agreement to be made in House probably next week, following is outline of statement- (A) Introduction: refers to Declaration of 16th January regarding intention to place Territory under Trusteeship system [2], and proceeds by describing briefly the procedure for so doing, referring to necessity for consultation with states we consider to be concerned;

(B) Main body of statement then refers to the two main considerations on which Government will rely in drafting and negotiation of agreement- (i) complete and exclusive power of administration in Commonwealth of Australia as under Mandate. This point to be developed and explained with particular stress on power to fortify and provide generally for defence of New Guinea;

(ii) recognition and complete acceptance of duty to promote welfare and advancement of inhabitants as set out in Charter.

Proceeds by referring to basic objectives of Trusteeship system set out in Charter and to fact that Australia cannot use her position as exclusive administering authority to obtain any benefits or privileges not open to other members of United Nations;

(C) Conclusion: Statement will stress Australia has initiative in drafting terms of agreement and must be consenting party to the eventual terms which are submitted to the Assembly. Concludes by regretting that no opportunity to present detailed terms will present itself as House will not be in Session again before Assembly meets. Assurance given that agreement will be based on two fundamental principles mentioned in (B) above and fact that implementation will require legislation is additional safeguard of Parliament's ultimate authority.

2. As a result of statement following issues may be raised and subject to your views we propose to take the line indicated- (a) Strategic areas-We have full power under the Charter to designate a strategic area in the Trusteeship Agreement. Whether we do so now, or later or at all depends largely on the development of the United Nations security system of defence and that clarification of the part to be played therein by British Commonwealth countries in the South and South West Pacific;

(b) Immigration-Brief reference is made in statement to power to control Immigration as illustration of complete administrative control and ability to apply to Territory those laws of Australia the Administration deems appropriate to needs and conditions of New Guinea. It seems inadvisable to develop the point any further and possib[ly] draw attention at this stage of other interested Powers;

(c) States Directly Concerned-Government may be asked to indicate those states it considers to fall within this category. The New Zealand Government has included France and as far as we can gather is unlikely to depart from that decision. I should be glad to secure confirmation of your view that France is not to be consulted by us as I feel there is a risk of misunderstanding with French with whom our relations have been so cordial, particularly in matters affecting the South Pacific.

1 This cablegram was sent to the Australian Embassy in Washington and forwarded to Evatt in New York.

2 See Volume IX, Documents 27 and 34.

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