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

Cablegram UN595 NEW YORK, 2[July] 1948



1. In Security Council July 1st [1] Palar urged that in view of present stalemate in negotiations, council should inform the Committee of Good Offices that the Committee was free to act by majority decision in undertaking any steps which might lead to possible solution. If this method did not prove workable for breaking the deadlock then the only alternative was for the Council to do for Indonesia what it had done for Palestine and appoint a single mediator. [2]

2. Proposal to allow Committee to act by majority decision was supported by India and Australia but was not taken up by any member of the council.

3. After short statement by Van Kleffens attempting to reassure the Council that the situation need cause no concern, ensuing debate narrowed down to the single point of whether to request Committee to forward text of the Australian/American working paper. [3] This was formally proposed by China. We pointed out that it was anomalous for the council to have been discussing for two or three weeks situation created by the production of document and to be still without possession of the actual document itself.

It was not necessary that the council should immediately proceed to pass judgement on the contents of the document but a study of it by the council was essential for a proper understanding of the position.

4. Chinese proposal received six votes only (Canada, China, Colombia, Syria, Ukraine, U.S.S.R.) remainder abstaining.

5. Next meeting will probably be July 6th but it is difficult to see what further steps are open at present stage in the absence of some new lead from the Committee.

1 The full text of this discussion is given in United Nations, Security Council Official Records, Third Year, No.91, 328th Meeting, 1 July 1948, pp.1-35.

2 On 17 May, the General Assembly of the United Nations passed a resolution relieving the United Nations Palestine Commission of its responsibilities and appointing a United Nations Mediator in Palestine.

3 Document 173.

[AA:A1838, 854/10/4/2, vi]