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

Cablegram UN1072 NEW YORK, 30 December 1946, 6.25 p.m.

Atomic 63.

1. The Commission [1] to-day approved the report [2] by 10 votes with 2 abstentions (Soviet and Poland).

2. Gromyko opened the meeting with a statement declaring that the report was inconsistent with the Charter and with the General Assembly resolution of 14th December. [3] His main objections were:

(a) The report did not specifically place the atomic control system within the Security Council system.

(b) The proposals in the report regarding the veto were tantamount to a revision of the Charter [4], and (c) A decision on the prohibition of atomic weapons should be the first step. Gromyko also proposed that the Commission should not consider the draft report but should consider the United States proposals of December 5th item by item.

3. After Baruch had moved adoption of the report Australia suggested that the Soviet was specifically proposing to abandon the last fortnight's intensive work by the Commission and start all over again and by implication was also abandoning the past six months work and returning to the position at the end of June. We reconciled Dr. Evatt's analysis of the problems on concluding chairmanship and showed that points now raised by the Soviet were precisely those which Dr. Evatt isolated for attention. During the past six months the Commission had worked to resolve these problems and had reached substantial agreement but now the Soviet wished to return to the starting point. It was hard to understand this dilatory approach. Australia saw no conflict between the present report and the Charter and Assembly resolutions and would support its adoption.

4. In turn Brazil, Canada, Egypt, United Kingdom, France, China and Netherlands expressed willingness to accept the report as drafted. Poland attempted to stall and raised various suggestions regarding the methods by which unanimous agreement might be reached. Australia suggested that the two members who opposed the report might be prepared to abstain from voting against adoption and indicate those particular passages to which they objected.

After luncheon adjournment United States pressed for vote.

1 That is, the Atomic Energy Commission.

2 The Atomic Energy Commission had decided on 13 November to submit a report on its work to the Security Council before 31 December. The report recommended 'the creation of a strong and comprehensive international system of control and inspection by a treaty or convention in which all Members of the United Nations would participate on fair and equitable terms'.

3 Resolution 41(I). See Documents 313, 314 and 321.

4 The report had recommended that the treaty referred to in note 2 should provide that the veto power of permanent members of the Security Council should not apply to the work of the proposed international authority.

[AA:A1838 T184, 720/1, i]