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

Cablegram UN211 NEW YORK, 23 March 1949, 10.54 p.m.



My 208. [1]

1. Council today adopted by 8 votes the following text of message to U.N.C.I.

proposed by Canada.

'It is the sense of the Security Council that U.N.C.I., in accordance with the Council's resolution [2] of 28th January, 1949, and without prejudicing the rights, claims and position of the parties, should assist the parties in reaching agreement as to, (a) The implementation of the Council's resolution of 28th January and in particular paragraphs 1 and 2 of the operative part thereof, and, (b) The time and conditions for holding the proposed conference at The Hague to the end that the negotiations contemplated by the resolution of 28th January may be held as soon as possible. It is further the sense of the Council that if such an agreement is reached, the holding of such a conference and the participation of U.N.C.I. in accordance with its terms of reference would be consistent with the purposes and objectives of the Council's resolution of 28th January, 1949'. [3]

2. Soviet Union, Ukraine and France abstained on the vote, the last on the grounds that the competence of the Council was doubtful.

3. In preceding discussion, India and Australia both stated reasons for objection to Canadian text. We spoke strongly on previous lines adding reference to The Hague as location of the conference, but it was obvious that, at the opening of the meeting, United States, Canada and the United Kingdom had succeeded in persuading Cuba and Egypt to support the adoption of the formula. Cuban representative told me afterwards that although he still disliked the terms of the formula, he felt that it was necessary to fall in with the United States and Canada in order to get something done by the Council. Egypt stated that they supported the text on the understanding that until the Republican Government had definitely been re-established, no attempt would be made to carry out the remaining parts of direction to the Commission.

4. The above decision of the Council is unsatisfactory and to some extent unexpected as I had understood that both Cuba and Egypt would maintain their objections referred to in my 208. Netherlands representative [4] said that he could make no comment on the Canadian formula without directions from his Government, but I am informed that Netherlands acceptance is probable on their own interpretation of what the formula means. However, Canadians mention that they have received an assurance from the Netherlands that there will be no objection 'In principle' to re-establishment of the Republican Government.

5. It would be useful if Critchley could be informed that the interpretation given to the formula by Egypt was not challenged in the Council.

It would be desirable if the Commission could send some preliminary comments or report in the light of the Council's decision in time for the next meeting which has been fixed for Monday, 28th March.

1 Document 310.

2 Document 168.

3 The full text of the resolution is given in United Nations, Security Council Official Records, Fourth Year, No.24, 421st Meeting, p.5.

4 J.H. van Roijen.

[AA : A1838, 402/4/1/1, ii]