291 Department of External Affairs to Australian Delegation, United Nations

Cablegram UNY472 CANBERRA, 8 December 1946


Your UN.935. [1]

1. It must be clear to you that before final approval of the government can be given an accurate and complete draft must be submitted in final proposed form. Even the preamble is not tentatively agreed. In these circumstances it should be clear to you that approval given regarding additional article must be subject to final approval by government of agreement as a whole.

At the same time, government and therefore Parliament approval will almost certainly be obtained if you are not driven further by Soviet tactics.

2. In view of the delays caused by sub-committee there should be no difficulty in arranging a procedure whereby the Council is elected on the basis of those powers having agreements approved by the Assembly even though such agreements are subject to the final approval of the governments concerned. Presumably, Council will not meet for several months.

3. Regarding two amendments voted for by Committee, we are strongly opposed to deletion of 'in the opinion of' for reasons already given. Whatever interpretation might be placed on the article this deletion will be given significance in the future.

Eggleston's opinion [2] is convincing on this point and United States attitude stated by you is very satisfactory and we thank Dulles accordingly.

4. Regarding addition in Article 4 [3] of 'in so far as etc.' we would be prepared to agree to insert after word 'desirable' the words 'in order to carry out the terms of the present agreement and the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations'. You will appreciate point that under C class mandate Australia's legislative power internally is equivalent to that exercisable by Australia in respect of its own territories. It would be interference of trust if legislative power were itself conditioned by clause of Soviet draft particularly as High Court might even regard clause as invalidating legislation internally.

5. As, however, Russia proposes to vote against text on other grounds, we do not see any point in making unnecessary additions unless such action carries with it the support of Russia for the whole draft.

6. You should seek support from Middle East, European and Latin American groups. We have repeatedly made concessions without any tangible evidence of support in return.

7. Regarding cables on press reports [4] additional clause and our initiative on trusteeship should convince majority.

8. Disturbing element is that we desired clause 8 to go through as last resort because we think it quite unnecessary. In fact the gauntlet will have to be run again and further demands made.

1 Document 287.

2 Conveyed in Document 270.

3 See Document 292.

4 Possibly a reference to cablegram UN924 of 6 December reporting favourably on the Australian statement of 3 December and the tabling of the new Article 8, but more likely a response to the comment in paragraph 13 of Document 287.

[AA:A1838/1, 306/1/4]