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

Cablegram UN984 NEW YORK, 11 December 1946, 4.36 a.m.


Assembly 398. Fourth Committee. Trusteeship.

1. Result of voting in the full committee on individual proposals for amendments in texts submitted and for insertion of new articles resulted in the adoption of three proposals only. All three are applicable to all eight texts. No change is proposed exclusively in the New Guinea text.

2. All three proposals were adopted by narrow majorities, after necessarily hurried and restricted discussion, in meetings attended by only two thirds of the members of the Committee, and with numerous abstentions.

3. The first proposal accepted by the Committee was by the Soviet for omission of the words 'as if it were an integral part of Australia' from Article 4. This was recommended alone for all other texts except Western Samoan from which New Zealand had previously agreed to omit similar phrase.

4. The second proposal accepted by the Committee was by the Soviet to add a new article as follows. Begins.

'The present agreement shall enter into force upon its approval by the General Assembly and shall remain in force for a period of ten years and shall thereafter be reviewed and modified according to the degree of attainment of the purposes set forth in Article 76 of the Charter'. Ends.

5. The third proposal accepted by the Committee was by India for the following new article. Begins.

'The administering authority shall administer the Trust Territory on behalf of and solely for the benefit and in the interest of its people, and on the termination of the trusteeship, all powers of the authority shall cease and it shall surrender the territories together with all public property then existing whether moveable or immoveable to the peoples whose sovereignty and whose right to self-government or independence shall always be recognized.' Ends.

6. No mention was made in the full committee of the two minor amendments in articles four and five already rejected.

7. Full Committee will vote during Wednesday on the motion for approval of each agreement as a whole. In accordance with instructions we shall intimate the government's inability to accept changes proposed by the Committee. We understand that all mandatories will make the same intimation. We have been actively enlisting support. There is no likelihood of discrimination against the Australian agreement and though large scale absences create difficulties we expect a solid majority for all agreements.

8. We understand that the Soviet group are preparing an attack either for full committee or for Plenary meeting upon procedure followed in presenting agreements. Probably based largely on absence of identifiable [1] parties. See their cautious but firm declaration noted in paragraph 5 of Assembly 397. [2]

1 A sign here indicates 'as received'.

2 Dispatched 11 December. The declaration conveyed a Soviet complaint that the conclusion of trusteeship agreements submitted to the First Session of the General Assembly did not comply with the provisions of Article 79 of the Charter.

[AA:A4311, BOX 481]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013

Category: International relations

Topic: History