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

Cablegram UN987 NEW YORK, 11 December 1946, 1.35 p.m.


Security 196.

(1) The Greek case [1] came before the Security Council yesterday when four hours were spent debating whether or not Greece, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria and Albania should be invited to participate in discussion. Whereas all Members agreed that under Article 31 [2] Greece and Yugoslavia should be asked to participate several, principally Netherlands and Australia, pointed out that Article 32 provided that non-Members could only be invited to participate in discussions relating to disputes to which they were a party. If and when it was determined that they were parties to a dispute they could be invited to participate but for the time being should only be asked to make statements of fact at invitation of Council.

(2) Gromyko debated stubbornly in favour of their full participation in discussion from commencement but the Council finally decided that for the time being Albania and Bulgaria should only be asked to prepare statements.

(3) Australia took advantage of the above discussion to express the view that the. Council should not immediately allow debate between parties but concentrate on examination of facts in order to make the preliminary determination whether or not it was a case for investigation under Article 34, and if so, it should immediately commence such investigation. Preliminary discussion should concentrate on this point.

(4) As on all previous occasions, handling of this case will be complicated by fear that Russia may claim and exercise veto on any proposal for investigation, and will try to use the Council as a forum where Soviet satellites can make contentious statements. It is extremely difficult to stiffen other Members against these tactics but we will continue to press the Australian policy of investigation. [3]

1 In a letter of 3 December to the Secretary-General, the Greek Govt had requested Security Council consideration of the situation in northern Greece resulting from support allegedly provided to Greek guerillas by Greece's northern neighbours, in particular Yugoslavia.

2 See Document 104, note 3.

3 On 19 December the Security Council adopted Resolution 15 (1946) to establish a Commission of Investigation, comprising a representative of each of the members of the Security Council as it would be constituted in 1947, to ascertain the facts relating to the alleged border violations. Hood represented Australia at the Commission's first meeting held on 30 January 1947 at Athens.

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