283 Department of External Affairs to Australian Delegation, United Nations

Cablegram 479 CANBERRA, 14 August 1947


Your UN755. [1]

1. You should go ahead with our resolution asking for election of arbiters and observers as we suggested. [2]

2. If defeated each section should be taken separately endeavouring to obtain at least a commissioner to observe the cessation of hostilities and thus give opportunity for Assembly to deal with the matter, there being no agreement in the Council.

If Colombian resolution is put forward you should endeavour to have it amended so that the Council or a Committee of it and not America or any other member exercises good offices. Colombian resolution in effect implies that the Council cannot agree on arbitrators but one of its members can. Position of the Council must be maintained. Initiative for good offices or arbitration must come from it. Your object should be to avoid bypassing of Council. Private intervention can only lead to bargaining and compromise designed to secure some economic, commercial or other advantage and there will be no settlement based on justice and therefore no lasting settlement. Decisions made between the two parties outside the appropriate international organisation follows Hitler technique as at Berchtesgaden.

4. It is important also in any manoeuvring to ensure Australia's position in mediation or arbitration.

5. United Kingdom attitude is ridiculous and should be described as such. You have necessary arguments to answer procedural objections.

6. Rather than accept position United States wish to achieve you should vote against any resolution which does not make plain position of Security Council and does not recognise Australia's position in the matter. It is better that resolution be defeated thus focussing attention of opposition to our reasonable suggestion and leaving the matter to the Assembly along lines of our paragraph 2 above.

7. Tactics on Greece suggested by United States should be supported that is vote for the United States resolution if Australian resolution is vetoed by the Soviet. [3] You should use this to obtain United States support in the Indonesian matter which is of more vital concern to Australia than Greece is to United States.

1 Document 282.

2 See Document 280.

3 For documents relating to Australian participation in the Commission of Investigation appointed by the Security Council to examine Greek claims of border violations by Yugoslavia, and subsequent negotiations in New York, see Volume XII.

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