263 Department of External Affairs to Beasley

Cablegram 286 CANBERRA, 9 August 1947, 11.50 a.m.


United Kingdom High Commissioner has transmitted a message from the Prime Minister to the Prime Minister in which he states he is concerned at reports that Hodgson has been suggesting that the Egyptian dispute [1] should be referred to the Court. [2] Hodgson's own instructions, which have been confirmed, are to act in close consultation with the United Kingdom delegate on this matter. [3]

2. At the same time, we should be able to expect United Kingdom Delegate to act in consultation with Hodgson on the Indonesian matter. On Tuesday, Hodgson will introduce a resolution suggesting Australian-American arbitration and a small commission of two or three to observe the carrying out of the 'cease fire' order and any determinations resulting from arbitration. [4]

3. The alternatives are greatly to be feared. Indonesians will not accept single mediation and will insist on arbitration by a broad commission. This would be completely unacceptable to the Dutch.

There will be deadlock, and the matter will be referred back to the Security Council where merits will be discussed. Please discuss fully and at the highest possible level this whole question, with a view to ensuring United Kingdom support at subsequent meetings of the Security Council in spite of their abstention at the original stage.

1 On 8 July, the Government of Egypt had called on the Security Council to direct the immediate evacuation of British troops from Egypt and the Sudan and the termination of the Anglo-Egyptian Condominium in the Sudan.

2 The International Court of Justice.

3 Hodgson replied on 9 August that the report was mistaken and that the suggestion that the status of the Anglo-Egyptian Treaty of 1936 could be referred to the International Court of Justice had in fact been raised by the United States Delegation at the United Nations. The Egyptian complaint was the subject of inconclusive discussion by the Security Council during August and September.

4 See Documents 261 and 262.

[AA:A1838/274, 854/10/4, ii]