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

Cablegram UN112 NEW YORK, 12 November 1947, 1.03 a.m.


Assembly 153.


1. In accordance with Prime Minister's instructions (E-46 of 2nd October) we have tried to secure variation in last year's Assembly Resolution so that Spain would not be barred from Specialised Agencies where her participation would be in the interests of other Members. Matter was discussed with Representatives of all British Commonwealth countries, United States of America, Belgium, France and some Latin American States. Canada was willing to join us in sponsoring a joint resolution if sufficient support could be obtained. Most Latin American States and all the Soviet Group strongly opposed any relaxation of last year's resolution in any respect. Some of the European States felt that for internal political reasons they could not support us at this stage. The United Kingdom, United States of America, India and others agreed with our criticism of the provision relating to Specialised Agencies, but considered that it would be unwise to raise the subject at present because it would result in violent debate in which the supporting Governments would be criticised as friendly to Franco and therefore they were unwilling to support a Resolution on Specialised Agencies. If the motion had been moved, we would have secured very few votes. Canadians should be more favourable next year for an attempt to change the position.

2. Preceding cable contains text of Resolution adopted by Committee today. In agreement with Canada and United States of America we voted for preamble and last paragraph but against clause reaffirming last year's decision [1], which was carried by 30 votes to 14 with 11 abstentions, minority including Australia, Brazil, Canada, Netherlands, Pakistan and United States of America. We abstained on motion as a whole which was carried by 30 to 6, with 19 abstentions. United Kingdom voted for the Resolution, stating that it did so only because it considered the last paragraph watered down the reaffirmation. Vote against reaffirmation was in accordance with instructions on Specialised Agencies.

1 A resolution adopted by the General Assembly on 12 December 1946 recalled earlier decisions that Spain under the Franco government could not be admitted to the UN, recommended exclusion of Spain from international agencies, recommended that the Security Council might in the future consider how to bring democracy to Spain, and recommended that UN member states withdraw heads of missions from Madrid. Australia supported the resolution.

[AA : A1068, E47/30/1/3]