Date range
Open the calendar popup.
Open the calendar popup.

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

Cablegram UN885 NEW YORK, 3 December 1946, 1.27 p.m.


Assembly 321. TRUSTEESHIP.

Sub-Committee I.

1. Sub-Committee I, 2nd December, two meetings, continued consideration of proposed modifications to African and New Guinea texts.

2. The Soviet proposal in regard to Article 4 of French and 5 of other agreements (power for administrative unions and common services) was to delete whole paragraph B of Tanganyika Article 5 and similar modification of other agreements including New Guinea whole Article 5.

3. The Soviet argument followed the familiar trend (tendency to incorporation) and stressed that utility depended on similarity of territories concerned. India strongly opposed union of Tanganyika with Kenya where racial discrimination was, next to South Africa, the worst in the world. China supported both. United States supported the useful principle of the agreements. Mexico and Iraq supported Soviet. Canada, Belgium, France supported United States.

Australia drew attention to the special need for provision for power to make administrative arrangements for New Guinea and Papua together giving factual reasons. The United Kingdom pointed to 25 years of practice, twitted Soviet itself on annexation and affirmed Tanganyika would retain identity. The Soviet reacted promptly referring to agreement between powers including Britain in some cases and expressed wishes of the people of other territories in question.

4. Soviet and Chinese proposals to the effect mentioned were defeated by ten to six with Iraq abstaining. An Indian proposal to a similar effect was defeated nine to four with United States, U.S.S.R., Iraq, Czechoslovakia abstaining.

5. In the course of the debate, the United Kingdom answering Iraq expressed willingness to place on record the following declaration repudiating the intention of annexation or extinguishing the status of Tanganyika as a trust territory.

'The Sub-Committee invites the rapporteur to include in his report an assurance from the delegate of the United Kingdom, in response to a suggestion by the delegate of Iraq, that the United Kingdom delegation does not regard the terms of Article 5(b) in the proposed agreements for Tanganyika, Togoland under British administration and the Cameroons under British administration as giving powers to the administering authority to establish any form of association between the trust territory and adjacent territories which would involve annexation of the trust territory in any sense or would have the effect of extinguishing its status as a trust territory.'

6. The Sub-Committee invited delegations of other mandatories to associate themselves with this declaration. All agreed to do so subject to settlement of exact terms in consultation. Assurance would be included in Committee's report.

7. The United States proposal to delete 'in its opinion' which appears only in Article 5 of the Australian draft was carried by 8 to 5, Canada, Czechoslovakia, Soviet and Yugoslavia abstaining. In this vote Australia was supported by Belgium, New Zealand, South Africa, United Kingdom.

8. [1] Dulles took this action despite prior appeal made privately by Bailey. United States view was that inclusion of phrase did not alter substance but gave a disagreeable and provocative emphasis which other texts had avoided.

9. Principle contained in our Article 6 was not discussed as no modifications had been proposed in respect of any agreement. This accords with procedure at present stage whereby modifications only and not paragraphs as submitted are being discussed.

10. Article 7. Soviet, India and China had proposed modification of defence article (including our Article 7) designed to bring all defence arrangements under the Security Council. Discussion was short in view of the exhaustive discussion on Western Samoa (see Assembly 302 [2]).

11. The Soviet proposal defeated by ten to six, Iraq abstaining.

China, Czechoslovakia, India, Mexico and Yugoslavia voted with Soviet.

12. Indian proposal [3] was defeated by 9 to 4, Czechoslovakia, Iraq, United States and Soviet abstaining. China, Mexico, Yugoslavia voted with India. This vote applied to the first part of Indian proposal regarding New Guinea.

13. Second part of Indian proposal regarding New Guinea was defeated by 8 to 5, four abstaining. China, Mexico, Soviet and Yugoslavia supported India. Czechoslovakia, Iraq, Uruguay and Netherlands abstained.

14. Byelorussia introduced proposal along the lines in our Assembly 225 stressing consultation under direction of Trusteeship Council.

15. Bailey pointed out that whereas this was proposed as a modification of articles existing in the texts of African mandates it was in respect of New Guinea a proposed new paragraph, and it had been agreed that new proposals should be considered after all existing clauses had been dealt with. The chairman confirmed this so that consideration of all new proposals for New Guinea will not take place until all modifications of African mandates have been dealt with. At the present pace, however, this may be Tuesday, 3rd.

16. The Byelorussian proposal was defeated 9 to 7, Iraq abstaining.

1 This and subsequent paragraph numbering has been corrected from an unnumbered cablegram dispatched 4 December.

2 Dispatched 1 December, it reported the Australian Delegation's 'understanding' that the Soviet Union would try to block the trusteeship agreements if its attempts to put the establishment of bases under the control of the Security Council were defeated.

3 Cablegram UN774, dispatched 22 November, conveyed the Indian proposal which allowed for the administering authority to provide for the 'local defence of the Territory' but made any further measures subject to the authority of the Security Council.

[AA:A1838/2, 852/13/4, ii]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013

Category: International relations

Topic: History