Cablegram UN877 NEW YORK, 2 December 1946, 11.50 p.m.
Trusteeship, sub-committee one.
1. I am sending this cable so that there may be no doubt that the
implications of the situation as it presents itself to us here are
clear to you. I trust that the detailed reports sent by the
Delegation have assisted you to keep in touch with present
2. The rapid development of sub-committee work this week has not
falsified the forecast in my telegram Assembly 246  but on the
contrary has rendered our position more acute. Failure to obtain
approval in subcommittee and in full Committee for the present
Australian text, unless definite concessions such as those
suggested in telegram Assembly 296 of 30th November  can be
made immediately, is highly probable. Work of sub-committee has
proceeded fast, all articles of New Guinea text have been
examined, and few really controversial points remain on African
texts. We shall shortly be confronted in isolation with proposals
for additional Articles from United States and Iraq as well as
USSR, India and China.
3. We think a declaration of policy even by the Government could
no longer be resorted to with confidence. A Delegation statement
alone would be less effective. Unless something concrete is
written into the agreement to meet the requests for additional
undertakings in administrative matters, my present strong feeling
is that even with United States support in full Assembly we shall
fail to get necessary two-thirds majority for approval. In that
event the Trusteeship Council may be set up without Australia.
4. The sub-committee's opinion on our agreement will carry great
weight with full Committee, Assembly and the public, I must advise
that feeling in the sub-committee is not now favourable. Whereas
our interventions were welcomed less than a week ago for the great
help they afforded in the sub-committee's task of clarification,
we are now heard with much less patience. Our necessary firmness
has come to be looked on as obstinacy, especially where matters
regarded by other Delegations as questions of mere drafting are
concerned. This has been especially noticeable yesterday and to-
day when we had to decline proposals supported as being only
formal by United States.
5. On all matters of substance in the seven Articles of our text,
we have had strong support in the sub-committee, and no proposal
for substantial alteration has secured a majority, the position
will be different when we come (probably Tuesday night at latest)
to deal with the proposals for new Articles.
6. The absence from the text of our Agreement of any concrete
indication of the lines of administrative policy to which we are
prepared to subscribe has already led to some suspicion of our
motives in defending so tenaciously so brief a text, especially
when we do so even on points which others regard as purely formal.
The feeling is spreading that we are trying to get away with
7. We have met with hints from others of the view emphatically
stated to me yesterday by Dulles, that Australia is out of
character in bringing this Document to a world body organised on
democratic lines and then rejecting every suggestion for change,
and giving no inkling of an intention to respect [international]
 opinion to the extent of accepting suggestions regarded as in
no way harmful to our powers of administration and embodying
principles we have ourselves sponsored in the past.
8. We feel that in this field the reputation of Australia is at
stake and urge that instructions be sent to us to accept for
inclusion in our text at least the points suggested in our
Assembly 296. We regard reference to the Trusteeship Council as
9. In sub-committee Australia's administrative record has been
presented constantly both in substance and by way of illustration
of argument, and information for members of the sub-committee
desiring it has been prepared and made available despite very
intense pressure on the small group concerned due to the speeding
up of the sub-committee's programme.
10. In the absence of further instructions a statement will be
made in sub-committee along the lines of your UNY437 , but I
have little expectation that this would at this stage enable us to
secure sub-committee or committee approval of the text as it
stands. We fear that our friends would not understand our scruples
about putting into the text, at this stage, principles that we are
willing to place on record by way of declaration.