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

Cablegram UN29 NEW YORK, 10 January 1947, 9.25 p.m.


Security 219.

1. Our Security 220 contains draft Australian Resolution on disarmament which is submitted for your consideration with a view to placing it before the Security Council next Wednesday morning.

2. In drafting the resolution we have based ourselves squarely on the General Assembly resolution of December 14th in order to gain the greatest strength possible from unanimous adoption of that resolution. The preamble borrows some phrases from the Soviet resolution but the operative part is mainly a quotation from various sections of the Assembly resolution. One of our main purposes is to try to obtain concurrent action so as to avoid both any dispute over priorities and any attempt to prejudice the Atomic Energy Commission while at the same time recognising the strength of the argument for appointment of commission to prepare proposals on General Disarmament.

3. The main difficulties before the Council are ...

(A) lack of unanimity on certain parts of Atomic Energy Commission's first report. These possibly include some sections besides those referring to veto and Soviet position regarding report is not yet wholly clear.

(B) unwillingness of the United States to proceed further until Atomic Energy Report has been approved although we believe that the United States, given a brief delay, might be prepared to accept the resolution by Council taking note of Atomic Report as sufficient for immediate purposes.

(C) unwillingness of Soviet to consider Atomic Energy Report first and probable desire on their part to divert attention from the Atomic Energy report and even sidetrack Atomic Energy Commission by creating Disarmament Commission.

Soviet views are indefinite and possibly the best way of clarifying them is by precise definition of functions of the new commission. Grouping the commission's establishment in one resolution with instruction to the Atomic Energy Commission to proceed should make it clear that neither excludes the other.

4. Our general suggestion regarding procedure is that if possible the Atomic Energy Commission might be encouraged to continue work along the lines of its report without waiting for the Security Council's formal approval of report and that at the same time the new commission might commence work on general disarmament. Co- ordination could be ensured by almost identical membership of both commissions and by the fact that their work could be under review by the Security Council. While making these suggestions we would stress that the outlook is by no means bright and the General Assembly resolution which was result of various conflicting purposes was probably premature and does not in reality express unanimity. Its tortuous terms rather than the unanimous vote for its adoption indicate its true nature.

[AA : A1838, 854/12, i]