404 Department of External Affairs to Kirby

Cablegram 330 CANBERRA, 6 November 1947, 3.40 [p.m.]


Our 325. [1]

We asked our United Nations Mission, New York, for clarification of last paragraph of United States resolution adopted by Security Council 1st November. [2] Following explanation has now been received from New York:

'After defeat of Soviet and Australian resolutions we were able in the subcommittee to obtain most of our desiderata for strengthening the resolution so far as Council was prepared to go.

[3] We seized on last paragraph suddenly proposed by Belgium in sub-committee, as one which was capable of wide interpretation and which would enable a strong Consular Commission and Committee of Three to exercise pressure on the parties to reach agreement to carry out withdrawals of such a nature as would ensure breaking contact between forces and in consequence would materially assist in making effective the order for cessation of hostilities.

This was our clear object in [view] of failure of Consular Commission to suggest proposals and defeat of resolutions on complete or partial withdrawal. We know also that this was wish of United States. You can appreciate however that this interpretation could not be stated publicly as the clause may then have been jeopardised, and its withdrawal obtained by Belgium, France and the United Kingdom. As it was the United Kingdom and France were lukewarm in support of last two paragraphs.

Will appreciate that at this stage it is not desirable to seek further clarification but that it should be left to good sense of Consular Commission and Committee of Three.'

1 Dispatched on 3 November, it conveyed the text of Document 402.

2 See Document 402.

3 See Document 400.

[AA:A1838/274, 854/10/4/2, ii]