204 Department of External Affairs to Embassy in Washington

Cablegram 87 CANBERRA, 11 February 1949, 6.16 p.m.


Your 114. [1]

Position is quite clear. The Security Council has made a decision under Chapter 7 [2] of the Charter requiring the Netherlands to take certain action by February 15th. If by that date no action is taken, then the Council is obliged to consider what further step it should take. There is only one course open if the policy of unfaltering support for the United Nations is followed and that is to ask Council to take some form of compelling follow up action.

There is room for compromise to the extent that the Council might ask the Commission for its recommendation as to what form action might take in the circumstances.

2. The United States Government should not hesitate to take such a step merely because some members of the Council might not agree.

If other governments do not agree they can vote against or veto the resolution; but there is a clear duty to allow the matter to go to the Council in a form enabling the Council to determine what action if any it will take in the light of Dutch refusal to carry out its decisions.

3. The Council should not delay because of the Netherlands Cabinet meeting set down for February 15th. The selection of this date is yet another attempt to embarrass the Council.

4. Please keep New York informed of your messages and ours.

1 Document 202.

2 Chapter VII of the UN Charter (Articles 39-51) covers 'Action with Respect to Threats to the Peace, breaches of the Peace, and Acts of Aggression'.

[AA : A1838, 401/3/1/1, vi]