455 Department of External Affairs to Hodgson

Cablegram P296 CANBERRA, 24 December 1948, 4.30 [p.m.]

IMMEDIATE CONFIDENTIAL

Press reports give substance of Soviet resolution. [1] This proposal is likely to prolong discussion and it becomes all the more necessary to press for an immediate vote on the resolution [2] already before the Council, thus forcing Soviet either to support or abstain.

2. If it is necessary to comment on the Soviet resolution, it seems clear we should oppose the Committee of Whole [3], first because it reflects upon the present Committee which has not in any way fallen down on its job and has lacked only the support of the Council which it had a right to expect. Enlargement of the Committee cannot increase its effectiveness. Moreover, Australia, who has taken an interest from the beginning and has a contribution to make in the final settlement, would be excluded as would also the Belgian up to the end of this year.

3. All this discussion and the Russians' resolution gives point to the attitude we have asked you to adopt, that is to follow the course we followed at New York originally of insisting upon an immediate vote on the straight issue of cease-fire, leaving these other questions of composition of Good Offices Committees etc. for later discussion. Press here is already expressing surprise on absence of finality on the clear issue of cease-fire.

1 See Document 462.

2 See Document 407.

3 i.e. the Soviet proposal to set up for Indonesia a commission of the Security Council composed of all the states which were members of the Security Council.

[AA:A1838, 854/10/4/3, iiib]