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250 Makin to Evatt

Cablegram UN801 NEW YORK, 26 November 1946, 1.25 a.m.


Assembly 244.


1. I called on Byrnes this morning, 25th, and pressed for active United States support for Australian Trusteeship Agreement in present form. Bailey came with me. Byrnes was cordial, sent you his personal regards, and paid handsome tribute to your share in writing into the Charter the provisions for protection and advancement of native peoples.

2. I explained that the present text has been accepted by Parliament, and that change now was politically impossible. He appreciated your position in this regard, and undertook to discuss the matter with his Assembly delegation.

3. On merits of the particular amendments regarding welfare, protection and the freedoms, Byrnes remarked that you had been a torch bearer in the fight for better colonial conditions, and such provisions seemed fully in accord with your policy. in reply, we explained the principles on which you had acted in drafting the agreement in a form Simple, fulfilling all Charter requirements, and suited to conditions of territory.

4. I commenced with general political reasons for support by the United States, e.g., continuance in peace of co-operation in the Pacific area during war, Australian support of the United States in other fields like atomic energy, recent Australian decisions regarding International Trade Organisation and International Bank and Fund.

5. I pointed out that the main critics of Trusteeship Agreements are countries which are either unfriendly to the United States or whose friendship is rather unstable, while Australia has proved herself a good neighbour of the United States and a stable friend in time of need.

6. Elaborating 5, we further pointed out that the draft agreements submitted by all Mandatory States are being attacked by China and India in an effort to break down control of immigration, by the Soviet, China and India in an attempt to break down the defence provisions, and by the Soviet, its satellites and India along Marxist lines as exhibitions of reactionary Colonialism.

7. We urged that the inevitable effect of pressing now for including the clauses proposed by the United States delegation would be to exhibit distrust of good faith and administrative policy of the Australian Government in New Guinea, which would be completely unjustified, and which we were sure the United States would never wish to do.

8. The real question now was why the United States should join in the attack on the Mandatories for the purpose only of including unnecessary and abstract clauses such as those proposed. [1]

9. By joining in present attack on Mandatories, the United States Government was helping to build up the case for an attack on its own draft agreement for the Japanese Islands.

10. Byrnes was evidently not informed on the details of the matter, and agreed to discuss it at once with his Assembly delegation. He repeated his appreciation of the political aspects of Australia's position.

11. I saw Vandenberg subsequently. Byrnes had already discussed the position with him. Vandenberg was also cordial and sent greetings. He assured me of general support but referred me to Dulles on the specific matter.

12. During the afternoon of 25th I also saw Dulles with Bailey.

Personal sympathy of Dulles as already reported is in our favour but he is under instructions from the State Department which has felt obliged to ask formally from us by way of proposed modifications what they have asked and obtained from other Mandatories earlier. Dulles, therefore, felt that under present conditions the United States delegation would not be able to give us active support in Sub-Committee or in Committee. He did say, however, that they would not press their amendments strongly and that some of them were only there for record. When agreements did reach Plenary Meeting of Assembly he thought we could count on active support of the United Nations [2] for approval of Australian draft in whatever form.

13. Byrnes has not seen Dulles since my talk with Byrnes this morning. I shall, therefore, take the matter up again when he has done so.

1 The proposed U.S. amendments were similar to those contained in the Attachment to Document 93.

2 'United Nations' presumably should read 'United States'.

[AA:A1838/1, 306/1/4]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013

Category: International relations

Topic: History