Cablegram UN698 NEW YORK, 14 November 1946, 8.10 p.m.
Committee 3-Refugees. Further to our Assembly 147. For references
below, see Document A/127 (text of Constitution  and annexes).
Over 150 amendments to draft constitution have now been submitted.
These are being forwarded by airmail immediately.
2. The great majority of amendments are submitted by the Eastern
group, and are designed to
(a) Reduce to a minimum or eliminate settlement plans, for
instance, by giving countries of origin a veto on such plans
affecting their Nationals.
(b) Eliminate or restrict certain categories of refugees from
scope of I.R.O. See annex 1 parts 1 and 2, for instance,
elimination of persons who voluntarily gave non-military help to
enemy for humanitarian reasons.
(c) Increase influence of Eastern Group in I.R.O. for instance,
amendment to Article 7, Paragraph 2 to ensure 'adequate
representation' on executive council for countries of origin.
(d) Permit fullest access by representatives of countries of
origin to Refugee camps and to complete lists of refugees.
(e) Avoid liability for contribution to operational Budget, for
instance, by permitting 'countries which have suffered from enemy
occupation in World War 2' to make merely voluntary contributions.
3. A few Western group amendments on the other hand are designed
(a) To underline overall responsibilities of all countries which
become members, for instance Article 4, paragraph 7-United States
proposal to delete second sentence , Article 17, paragraph 1-
Canadian proposal for new sub paragraph (c) under which no state
may become party to constitution by signature or acceptance which
is accompanied by reservation purporting to exempt it from
(b) To protect interests of 'unaccompanied children' by making it
possible not to repatriate them if some other plan is preferable
in their interests.
(c) To take special account of situation of countries who
'receive' refugees, and to credit them with costs of resettlement,
for instance, Chile-Peru amendment which would permit countries to
join I.R.O. after expiration of period prescribed by constitution,
provided they (1) undertake to liquidate outstanding contributions
or (2) submit resettlement plans for admission to their
territories of refugees involving an expenditure or investment
approximately equal to contribution they would otherwise have to
make as members of organisation. (note-French amendment proposes
that contributions for large scale resettlement expenditure shall
be on voluntary basis.)
4. Close study of Eastern Group amendment shows insistence, almost
to the point of obsession, on political view that Nationals are
the property of the State, which can dispose of individuals as it
deems fit, irrespective of their wishes or welfare. In addition,
there is evidence of morbid fear that refugee camps are being used
to prepare aggression. In the circumstances it is difficult to see
how Eastern and Western groups can reach common ground regarding
I.R.O. even if question of finance is left out of consideration.
Committee 3 may be faced with following dilemma-
(a) I.R.O. without membership and willing co-operation of Eastern
group may not be effective.
(b) Co-operation of Eastern group may be obtainable only at cost
of yielding on fundamental principles.
Some members of United States and United Kingdom Delegations
incline to the view that if I.R.O. were constituted without
Eastern group it could still be effective-
(a) because Eastern group opposition within I.R.O. would be
(b) because countries of origin will still take refugees who wish
to be repatriated.
5. Refer your UNY353, paragraph 1(b).  Present text of Article
to provides that total Budget, covering administrative,
operational and large scale resettlement costs, shall be allocated
to members in proportions for each heading to be determined from
time to time by a two-thirds majority vote of members of General
Council present and voting. As indicated above, Yugoslavia will
try to secure modification permitting voluntary contributions from
'countries who suffered from enemy occupation'. Do you wish us to
take positive steps in effort to widen this proposed modification
by trying to secure acceptance of principle of voluntary
contributions to operational budget in respect of all countries
(question) this might attract support of Eastern Group, but might
also draw western group resentment, particularly if we decide
later not to join organisation. Alternative would be for us merely
to indicate that if principle of compulsory contribution to
operational budget remains intact, this will be an additional
reason for adhering to our general reservation regarding
membership of I.R.O. Please advise urgently.