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

Cablegram UN962 NEW YORK, 9 December 1946, 6.27 a.m.

IMMEDIATE SECRET

Assembly 381. Fourth Committee.

Trusteeship.

1. The Full Committee resumed sittings on Sunday morning 8th and received the report of the sub-committee Two. About one-third of the Committee was absent throughout the meeting, chiefly minor states Latin-American European and Asiatic.

2. Maximum of two meetings available for this part of the Committee's work as schedule requires all committees to wind up on Wednesday 11th December. The Committee agreed accordingly to limit time of speeches and to allot approximately half hour for debate on each main resolution proposed by the sub-committee.

3. On South-West Africa both the Soviet and India had put in amendments to United States - Danish resolution recommended by the subcommittee. [1] Amendments were substantially identical. They both asserted compulsory view of Trusteeship for Mandated territories, rejected any solution involving incorporation in Union and called on the Union to bring the territory under Trusteeship. In favour of the Indian amendment the Soviet amendment was not pressed. The Indian amendment was carried by 17 to 15 with 4 abstentions and 18 absences. All members of the British Commonwealth, United States, Denmark, Norway, Netherlands, France, Belgium, voted in minority.

4. On procedure for dealing with information supplied under Article 73(e) Cuba lodged an amendment identical with the one rejected by the sub-committee (Assembly 242) for appointment of an ad hoc Committee to meet some weeks before the next session of the Assembly and advise the Assembly on procedure for utilising the Secretary-General's summary and analysis of information supplied.

The Cuban amendment was carried by 21 against 12, with 4 abstentions and 17 absences.

5. On the Philippine resolution (Assembly 308) recommending nations administering non-self-governing territories to organise regional conferences, Soviet amendment rejected by the sub- committee (Assembly 339 with insertion after Social Council of words 'together with the Administrative authorities' recommended by Ukraine) was moved and carried by 17 against 15, with 4 abstentions and 18 absences.

6. The result is that there is practically nothing left of the resolutions proposed by the sub-committee Two. The debate was necessarily sketchy. The Australian representative pointed out that the sub-committee had been closely divided on matters of principle, and the minority in the sub-committee was clearly entitled to re-open these matters in the Full Committee. But the necessary implication of their doing so was that the Assembly must reorganise its time table and allow much longer time for resumed debate. One or two days or even weeks instead of hours would be required to ensure informed vote by the Full Committee on matters on which the sub-committee had been at work for a month.

7. The whole meeting was disturbing, and augurs ill for possibilities of responsible treatment of Trusteeship agreements.

The majority looked very like a [2] line-up of the Soviet group with the Arab league, Asiatic states and some of the more intransigent Latin-Americans. The majority today plainly exulted in its success. At the close of the meeting France, United Kingdom, United States, Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Netherlands, New Zealand and South Africa severally made a formal reservation of their rights in their non-self-governing territories because of doubts whether any of the morning's three resolutions as amended is fully consistent with the Charter. This applied with particular force to the Philippine-Soviet resolution regarding regional conferences.

8. During discussion of the Philippine-Soviet resolution the Australian representative again made the point stated in the sub- committee that United Nations super-vision of regional plans in the South Seas was neither necessary nor desired.

1 The text of this joint draft resolution, which replaced the U.S.

draft resolution referred to in Document 257, note 2, was conveyed in cablegram UN551, dispatched 30 November. Unlike the defeated Indian-Cuban draft resolution which rejected the validity of South Africa's claim that a majority of inhabitants in South West Africa favoured incorporation and called upon South Africa to submit a trusteeship agreement for the General Assembly's consideration, the U.S.-Danish draft resolution was 'hopeful' that the United Nations and South Africa would reach agreement on the future status of South West Africa and concluded that 'the data before this General Assembly do not justify action of the General Assembly approving the incorporation'.

2 A sign here indicates 'mutilated'.

[AA:A1838/2, 307/2/1]