Cablegram [UN]951 NEW YORK, 8 December 1946, 3.59 p.m.
Assembly 370. Committee 3-Refugees.
1. On 7th December Committee 3 discussed resolution approving
Constitution of I.R.O. and arrangement for a preparatory
Commission (see pages 2, 3, 4 document A/127) and also interim
arrangements (pages 5, 6, 7 of A/127).
2. Lebanese amendment to resolution urging members of United
Nations to give favourable consideration to receiving in their
territories fair share of non-repatriable refugees was carried.
Resolution as a whole was then carried by 26 votes to 4. We
registered an abstention on behalf of Australia.
3. There was opposition, mainly from countries of origin, to
paragraph 3 of interim arrangements, on the ground that
Preparatory Commission would be authorised to take over functions
of existing organisations before it was even certain that I.R.O.
would secure necessary signatures to bring it into existence. No
separate vote was taken on paragraph 3, however, and interim
arrangements were carried by large majority. We again registered
an abstention for Australia.
4. Resolution requests Secretary General to open for signature,
with or without reservation as to subsequent acceptance,
constitution and interim arrangements. On instructions received
, we assume you do not wish us to sign either instrument, and
unless instructions are received to the contrary we will take no
action regarding signature. Australian position is fully protected
by statements in both Committees 3 and 5 that Australia reserves
its position both in regard to membership of I.R.O. and all the
obligations following therefrom, especially financial obligations.
5. Committee 3 has still to adopt Article 10 of Constitution (now
before Committee 5) and formally to adopt constitution as a whole.