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32 Evatt to Makin

Cablegram 1005 WASHINGTON, 20 July 1946, 12.52 a.m.


1. Your No. UNY150 [1], it is not possible for me to express concluded view on proposed statement on Trusteeship. I would gather from its tone the document is being drafted by Bailey and Eggleston. I have already sent telegram [2] clearly indicating that a more simple and business-like approach to the question of the trusteeship agreement should be made than the far too elaborate draft they were proposing to recommend. Putting the matter quite frankly, what should, in my opinion, be primarily emphasised is first that Australia will have complete and exclusive power in controlling administration and Government [ask what] [3] territory continues to be an integral part of Australia itself and second that the only limitation upon this control will be the obligation to carry out the duties imposed by the Charter.

It is quite a mistake to say, as your paragraph (B)(11) states, that Australia cannot use her position to obtain any benefits or privileges not open to other members of the United Nations. In my opinion, as one of the draftsmen most concerned with this part of the Charter, this assertion is by no means correct. The truth is that in order to carry out the general duty of protecting the welfare and advancement of the native inhabitants, Australia can in her discretion and must, in part at least, act with the inevitable result that other members of the United Nations will not have the same rights as Australia's in the area. The doctrine of the open door was never applicable to the 'C' class mandates and I took very good care at San Francisco to see that it was not included as a specific duty upon the trustee. For these reasons what you call the second consideration stated in paragraph (B)(11) should assert the general duty to promote the welfare and advancement of the inhabitants in accordance with the administrative powers and discretions of the trustee.

2. All the above is quite clear. Bailey in particular knows thoroughly my views on the matter and my repeated public statements on the general principles which I think might be quoted. Above all, it must be recognised that very delicate considerations are present and when broad statements now made are apt to be misleading. The problems of the United Kingdom and New Zealand are not quite the same as ours, dealing as we are with the Melanesian population. Above all I wish to guard against the assumption that our jurisdiction might be in the slightest degree lessened from that exercised under the Mandate. On the contrary, our jurisdiction in certain respects extended and strengthened.

3. With regard to paragraph 2 it would be quite wrong to designate a strategic area in the trusteeship agreement or to suggest that we might do so at the present time. Our proposed arrangement with the United States will probably cover the use of a certain portion of the Admiralty Islands and to do anything indicating that this question directly or indirectly may be thrown into the Security Council is quite embarrassing at present.

4. With regard to immigration, I do not think it is necessary to develop the point at any length, however there must be no doubt whatever that under the powers of Australia no immigration whatever will be permitted which might in any way interfere with the native welfare.

5. With regard to states directly concerned, I have no objection to France being consulted informally without prejudice to the question whether she is or is not technically a state directly concerned.

6. I quite agree that some statement has got to be made to Parliament.

However the points should be limited to those few matters covered by my own draft. [4]

7. Frankly I feel that both Bailey and Eggleston are pushing the matter of imposing duties upon Australia a good deal further than I would go and, as I have already indicated, further than the Charter suggests or requires. I am determined that if possible the trusteeship system should succeed. At the same time the authority of Australia in the territory under the trusteeship agreement is a matter of deep public concern and everything should be done to make this perfectly plain including the fact that our authority in relation to fortification and defence will be extended as a result of converting the mandate into a trusteeship. It should also be stressed that if the terms we desire to have included are not agreed to then the existing state of affairs continues and our jurisdiction and practical sovereignty will remain indefinitely. I would commend to you a careful review of all my telegrams and consultation with Burton and perhaps Forsyth too, if he is physically fit again.

1 Document 28.

2 Document 26.

3 Presumably words in square brackets should read 'as that'.

4 To meet Evatt's wishes, the statement to Parliament was amended to refer to Australia's 'complete and exclusive power in controlling the administration of New Guinea' subject only to duties imposed by the U.N. Charter.

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

Category: International relations

Topic: History