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

Cablegram UN986 NEW YORK, 11 December 1946, 12.24 p.m.

IMMEDIATE SECRET

Assembly 399.

1. Your UNY.491 apparently refers to the Sub-Committee meeting.

[1] During preparation of the draft, Canada and United Kingdom proposed insertion of a paragraph calling for completion of measures under Article 43 and India and Egypt also revived proposals for making references to the withdrawal of troops in foreign territory.

2. Having regard to the fact that you had instructed us not to include the paragraph on Article 43 in the Australian resolution (your UNY.380) [2] and taking the view that the resolution was being encumbered with questions not directly related to the immediate objective of initiating action under Article 26, we voted against inclusion of this paragraph but were in a minority.

Our statement to the Committee in opposition to this paragraph made the following three points:-

(a) The Assembly need not attempt to decide all the problems of disarmament but only initiate action and elaborate sufficient principles to enable work to start on sound lines.

(b) We particularly drew attention to the principles contained in your UNY.486 [3], and (c) If we were to attempt to set out in the resolution all the necessary conditions for completion of disarmament we should include a great number of others besides withdrawal of troops, for example, confidence in Security Council.

3. Although we spoke strongly on the above lines, the majority of the Committee is now in a position where in the attempt to ensure full Soviet participation they have become entangled in a process of concessions and counter-concessions which is resulting in a very confused draft. Our aim, although so far unsuccessful, has been towards simplification with precision along the lines of original Australian resolution.

1 The External Affairs Dept requested clarification of press reports that the Australian delegation had voted against 'the setting up of United Nations Armed Forces' in the First Committee on 9 December.

2 See Document 228, note 3.

3 Document 305.

[AA:A1838/2, 852/10/4]