61 Evatt to Burton

Cablegram E17 NEW YORK, 29 September 1947, 9.40 p.m.

MOST IMMEDIATE TOP SECRET PERSONAL

[matter omitted]

After some little hesitation and after consulting the Delegation I decided we should stand for the Economic and Social Council. Here the trouble is the complete lack of preparation at New York and Washington over the past six months. Tange has been away at Geneva. Neither Hodgson, Harry nor Makin have been in the slightest degree interested in gaining support in the Election.

Commitment after commitment has been made to various countries and our chances look impossible. I have been working very hard on it for two or three days and I think it better to stand a candidate in order to indicate our intention to go flat out next year than to keep out of the picture [1] next year. It is quite obvious these things cannot be handled at the last minute and that the officers concerned really have not been sufficiently interested in the matter.

I don't know what you have done at your end with regard to other countries, but it is very difficult to alter promises and commitments at the last minute. We have promises of support from the United Kingdom, but you know that they do not necessarily amount to very much at the present conference. It is the question of getting in the votes and I can hardly tell you how disgusted I am at the indifference of some of the Delegates. [2] Watt, Plimsoll, Deschamps, and, to some extent, Oldham, have gone flat out, but the general view of the Mission here following the Hasluck idea is that the Economic Council is of secondary importance when, in my opinion, in eighteen months or two years it will be of supreme importance.

1 The word 'until' was presumably omitted here.

2 A sign here indicates 'mutilated'.

[AA : A9420/1, 1]