35 Cabinet Submission by Chifley and Chambers

Agendum 1395 7 October 1947,

TRUSTEESHIP AGREEMENT FOR THE MANDATED TERRITORY OF NAURU

1. By instrument dated 17th December, 1920, a mandate under Article 22 of the Covenant of the League of Nations was conferred upon His Britannic Majesty. The Governments of Australia, the United Kingdom and New Zealand on 2nd July, 1919, agreed upon arrangements for the administration of the territory and for the working of the phosphate deposits. The interests of the Pacific Phosphate Company were purchased by those Governments for the sum of 3,500,000 contributed in the proportions of 42%, 42% and 16% respectively. In agreement with the United Kingdom and New Zealand Governments, Australia has administered the Territory.

2. At the General Assembly of the United Nations meeting in London in January 1946 the Australian Government announced 'its intention of negotiating an appropriate Trusteeship Agreement' with a view to bringing the mandated territory of Nauru under the international trusteeship system contemplated by Chapters XII and XIII of the United Nations Charter. This declaration was approved by Full Cabinet (Cabinet Agendum No. 1042 of 13th January 1946) and concurred in by the Governments of the United Kingdom and New Zealand.

3. The terms of an agreement to be submitted to the United Nations General Assembly now in session have been under discussion for some time by representatives of the Governments of the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia. The terms of the final draft to which New Zealand and United Kingdom have expressed agreement are summarised as follows:

(a) full powers of legislation, administration and jurisdiction in and over the territory to be conferred on the administering authority which will be a joint authority composed of the Governments of Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

(b) the Australian Government to be empowered to exercise with the approval of the Governments of the United Kingdom and New Zealand and on behalf of the Joint Administering authority full powers of legislation, administration and jurisdiction in and over the territory.

(c) the administering authority to undertake to administer the territory in accordance with the obligations imposed by the United Nations Charter.

(d) the administering authority to have full power to take all measures it considers desirable to provide for the defence of the Territory.

4. The Administrator of Nauru and a representative of the British Phosphate Commissioners have been sent to new York to assist the Australian Delegation in the discussion of the draft agreement at the General Assembly.

5. The United Nations Charter in Article 76(d), amongst other things, provides for equality of treatment for all members of the United Nations in economic matters. The question of the effect of this provision upon the existing rights of Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, under the Agreement of 2nd July, 1919, to the exclusive use of phosphates of Nauru, to the extent of their requirements, has been carefully considered. It has been agreed between representatives of the three Governments that no reference should be made in the Trusteeship Agreement document to the Agreement between the three Governments. It is considered that any move to modify the existing rights of Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom to the phosphate deposits of Nauru should be resisted. The Australian Delegation at the General Assembly should, therefore, be instructed not to agree to any amendment to the draft Agreement which would involve an alteration of the existing position in regard to the disposal of Nauru phosphate.

6. It is recommended that the terms of the draft agreement attached be approved on the understanding set out in paragraph 5 of this submission. [1]

J. B. CHIFLEY Acting Minister for External Affairs

CYRIL CHAMBERS Acting minister for External Territories

Attachment

DRAFT TRUSTEESHIP AGREEMENT FOR NAURU

In pursuance of a Mandate conferred upon His Britannic Majesty the Territory of Nauru has been administered in accordance with Article 22 of the Covenant of the League of Nations by the Government of Australia on the joint behalf of the Governments of Australia, new Zealand, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

The Charter of the United Nations, signed at San Francisco on 26th June, 1945, provides by Article 75 for the establishment of an international trusteeship system for the administration and supervision of such territories as may be placed thereunder by subsequent individual agreements.

His Majesty desires to place the Territory of Nauru under the trusteeship system and the Governments of Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom undertake to administer it on the terms set forth in the present trusteeship agreement.

THEREFORE THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE UNITED NATIONS acting in pursuance of Article 85 of the Charter APPROVES the following terms of trusteeship for the Territory of Nauru in substitution for the terms of the Mandate under which the Territory has been administered:

ARTICLE 1

The Territory to which this Trusteeship Agreement applies (hereinafter called 'the Territory') consists of the island of Nauru (Pleasant Island) situated approximately 167 Longitude East and approximately 0 25' Latitude South, being the Territory administered under the Mandate above referred to.

ARTICLE 2

The Governments of Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom (herein-after called 'the Administering Authority') are hereby designated as the joint authority which will exercise the administration of the Territory.

ARTICLE 3

The Administering Authority undertakes to administer the Territory in accordance with the provisions of the Charter and in such a manner as to achieve in the Territory the basic objectives of the international trusteeship system, which are set forth in Article 76 of the Charter.

ARTICLE 4

The Administering Authority will be responsible for the peace, order, good government and defence of the Territory, and for this purpose, in pursuance of an agreement and defence of the Territory, and for this purpose, in pursuance of an agreement made by the Governments of Australia, new Zealand and the United Kingdom, the Government of Australia will on behalf of the Administering Authority and except and until otherwise agreed by the Governments of Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom continue to exercise full powers of legislation administration and jurisdiction in and over the Territory.

ARTICLE 5

The Administering Authority undertakes that in the discharge of its obligations under Article 3 of the Agreement- (1) it will co-operate with the Trusteeship Council in the discharge of all the council's functions under Articles 87 and 88 of the Charter:

(2) it will, in accordance with its established policy- (a) take into consideration the customs and usages of the inhabitants of Nauru and respect the rights and safeguard the interests both present and future of indigenous inhabitants of the Territory; and in particular ensure that no rights over native land in favour of any person not an indigenous inhabitant of Nauru may be created or transferred except with the consent of the competent public authority;

(b) promote, as may be appropriate to the circumstances of the Territory, the economic, social, educational and cultural advancement of the inhabitants;

(c) assure to the inhabitants of the Territory, as may be appropriate to the particular circumstances of the Territory and its peoples a progressively increasing share in the administrative and other services of the Territory and take all appropriate measures with a view to the political advancement of the inhabitants in accordance with Article 76(b) of the Charter;

(d) guarantee to the inhabitants of the Territory, subject only to the requirements of public order, freedom of speech, of the press, of assembly and of petition, freedom of conscience and worship and freedom of religious teaching.

ARTICLE 6

The Administering Authority further undertakes to apply in the Territory the provisions of such international agreements and such recommendations of the specialised agencies referred to in Article 57 of the Charter as are, in the opinion of the Administering Authority, suited to the need and conditions of the Territory and conducive to the achievement of the basic objectives of the Trusteeship system.

ARTICLE 7

[In order to discharge its duties under Article 84 of the Charter and Article 4 of the present Agreement] [2] the Administering Authority may take all measures in the Territory which it considers desirable to provide for the defence of the Territory and for the maintenance of international peace and security.

1 Approved by Cabinet of 7 October and by the UN General Assembly on 1 November.

2 Words in square brackets were added at the suggestion of China during UN General Assembly discussion of the draft.

[AA: A518/1, 103/2/2, 1]