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

Cablegram UN823 NEW YORK, 27 November 1946, 12.46 a.m.


Assembly 265.

Reference your UNY.383 and 392. [1]


1. Attempts made by Bevin and representatives of other permanent members to induce Molotov to [2] common declaration regarding application of veto have failed to produce any result and we are closely watching for an opportunity to bring the question back into Committee One. For several days past the Committee has been deeply involved in the question of troops on foreign territory and because of the way debate has developed Committee may pass immediately to Soviet proposal on disarmament. [3] On the other hand if the Great Powers are not ready to discuss disarmament we may be able to bring discussion on veto to a head.

2. We submit for your consideration the following revised text of the resolution [4] on which we believe we could marshal considerable body of support including possibly the United Kingdom and United States:

BEGINS: 'The General Assembly, mindful of the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, and having taken notice of the manner in which the power of veto conferred by Article 27(3) of the Charter has been employed in the proceedings of the Security Council in relation to matters outside Chapter VII of the Charter, considers that in some instances the use and the threatened use of such power of veto has not been in keeping either with the general purposes and principles of the Charter or with the understanding of the United Nations Conference on International Organisation held at San Francisco, and [5] earnestly requests the permanent members of the Security Council to make every effort, in consultation with one another and with fellow members of the Security Council, to ensure that the Security Council is not hindered or obstructed by the vote of a single member in carrying out its solemn obligations in respect to the peaceful settlement of disputes. The General Assembly recommends to the Security Council the early adoption of practices and procedures, consistent with the Charter, to assist in reducing the difficulties in the application of Article 27 and to ensure the prompt and effective exercise by the Security Council of its functions under Chapter VI of the Charter, and further recommends that in developing such practices and procedures the Security Council take into consideration the views expressed by members of the United Nations during the second part of the first session of the General Assembly.


3. The Canadians and Americans have in mind the possibility of asking the Assembly to approve an agreed text setting out various procedures but we feel that such an attempt may strain the patience of the Committee too far and in any case is likely to produce a document which represents the minimum on which all could agree rather than the maximum contained in the Committee debates, while the general result of adopting an agreed text was to have a restrictive rather than liberalising influence in the work of the Security Council during the coming year.

4. We are trying to keep the Cuban proposals [6] strictly apart from our own. Cuba will now probably shift from an attempt to attain a Constitutional Conference to an attempt to appoint an Assembly Committee to hear evidence and make studies regarding possible revisions of the Charter and report to a future Assembly.

1 Document 237.

2 A sign here indicates 'Mutilated'.

3 See Document 186 and Document 244, note 2.

4 The original draft resolution is contained in Document 172.

5 A sign here indicates 'Mutilated'.

6 See Document 217, note 5.

[AA:A1838/2, 852/10/5, i]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013

Category: International relations

Topic: History