93 Kirby to Burton

Cablegram UN181 NEW YORK, 26 February 1948, 9.48 p.m.


1. Today's debate in Council ended without votes being taken on Colombian or Australian amendments or on Canadian draft resolution. See summary of debate in separate cable. [1]

2.Yesterday Cadogan agreed with me privately that he would vote for Australian amendment and would endeavour persuade Austin, McNaughton, Arce (Argentina) and Parodi (France) to do so. Tsiang agreed with me that he would not only vote for the amendment but would sponsor it.

3. Before the Council met today Cadogan told me Austin would not be persuaded and would abstain and that Parodi would not commit himself but Cadogan thought latter certain to abstain. Canadians said they would not vote for any amendment to their draft resolution. Argentina said they would follow Cadogan and vote for our amendment. In light of these facts (and with Russia and Ukraine at best abstaining on all three motions) it appeared certain our amendment would not be carried.

4. Later Cockram (United Kingdom) just as meeting began informed Forsyth that United Kingdom delegation had just received cable from Foreign Office with instructions to effect that Canadian resolution was not to be tampered with. Cadogan without maintaining any such instructions told me that our amendment seemed certain not to be carried but said if it were not put to vote he would make statement to effect that it was unnecessary because opinion of Council was clearly to effect that Committee itself had the right to change its procedure in the manner indicated in proposed Australia amendment. Cadogan later told me he was unable to vote for Australian amendment.

5. Forsyth and I then had talk with Tsiang who after conferring with Cadogan and with ourselves made statement to the Council as reported including following. Other representatives thought that the idea was a good idea, that the Committee might well use that procedure but that it was unnecessary for the Security Council to incorporate that idea in an amendment. I think there is a great deal to what these representatives stated and therefore I think that the Australian amendment might well go without a vote here.

Unless there should be a challenge to that idea I would not sponsor that amendment. If it is challenged then I would push that matter to a vote.

6. Present indications are that (a) Colombian resolution [2] will fail although [for] some extraordinary reason not apparent to anybody but themselves Americans are toying with idea of supporting it. [3]

(b) Australian amendment will not be put to vote unless Tsiang's statement challenged but if put to vote will fail.

(c) Canadian resolution [4] will be carried unless Russia uses veto of which Russia has given no indication one way or the other.

7. Although extremely disappointed by lack of voting support for Australian amendment we feel that Tsiang's statement today and Cadogan's promised statement will have same effect as far as Committee's future practice is concerned.

8. I am considering advisability of having it suggested to Council by Forsyth or Tsiang that Committee of Good Offices be asked to furnish immediate report to Council as to whether Dutch are in fact sponsoring New States in West Java and Madura and if so whether such a practice is justified. In this regard see summary of Van Kleffens Speech. [5]

1 Document 92.

2 See note 4 to Document 92.

3 The State Department in fact regarded the Committee of Good Offices as enabled, by the Security Council's resolution of 25 August 1947, to make suggestions without first awaiting the assent of the parties and to publicise suggestions by reporting them to the Security Council. It also believed that the Committee had such additional powers as the parties themselves requested. It reasoned that the United States should not vote for any resolution extending the Committee's powers but, at the same time, it did not wish the United States to abstain or vote against any resolution because of fears of either party that the other might abuse powers which already belonged to the Committee. See Department of State, Foreign Relations of the United States, 1948, vol. VI, Washington, 1974, pp.106-7.

4 Document 68.

5 See paragraph 4 of Document 92.

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