15 Department of External Affairs to Watt

Cablegram 30 CANBERRA, 9 January 1946


The Minister has redrafted the note to be presented to the heads of Delegations. [1]

The Minister instructs that the document should be presented by hand wherever possible by one of the Australian advisers. The closest secrecy should be observed, United Kingdom to be included in presentation. The following is the text:-

'The Minister for External Affairs for Australia, The Right Honourable H. V. Evatt, presents his compliments to the Minister for Foreign Affairs of ... (or to the head of the delegation for ...) in connection with the present meeting of the Assembly of the United Nations. The Minister for External Affairs who represented the Australian Government at the San Francisco Conference, regrets that owing to very urgent public business in Australia he is not able to attend the present meeting of the Assembly. He will be in constant touch with Australia's representatives and will take the keenest interest in the whole of the Assembly proceedings.

Dr. Evatt wishes to draw attention to that part of Article 23 of the Charter regarding the relevant considerations for election of nonpermanent members of the Security Council, namely: "The General Assembly shall elect six other Members of the United Nations to be non-permanent members of the Security Council, due regard being specially paid, in the first instance to the contribution of Members of the United Nations to the maintenance of international peace and security and to the other purposes of the Organisation, and also to equitable geographical distribution."

He would call the special attention of the Minister for Foreign Affairs to the claims of Australia for election to the Security Council in accordance with the considerations set out in the Charter. In the first place, as you are aware, Australia has made a very great contribution to victory in both World Wars, and in this War particularly in the air over Europe, in the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern conflicts, and in the fighting in the Pacific which proved to be the turning point against Japan. In the second place, Australia occupies a special geographical position by reason of its situation in the South-West Pacific Area.

The Australian Government would accordingly welcome your support and assistance in affording to Australia the opportunity as a nonpermanent member of the Security Council to carry out the special obligations involved. It is submitted that if Article 23 of the Charter is applied, both in letter and in spirit, no nation has a greater claim to election to the first Security Council than Australia.

Similarly by reason of its contribution over many years in pioneering social and economic legislation, the policies which it has successfully advocated at recent international conferences, and its position in world trade, Australia is willing and able to bear the special responsibility to the Assembly in such matters as will fall to members of the Economic and Social Council.

The Australian Minister for External Affairs would assure the Foreign Minister that the Australian Government looks forward to co-operating with the Government of ...... in continuing at the first Assembly Meeting of the United Nations the work begun at San Francisco and, in particular, in raising the status of the Assembly whose wide powers and general character were assured at San Francisco by the Australian Delegation in conjunction with the majority of the Nations represented there.'

1 See Document 5, note 5.

[AA:A1838 T189, 854/4/2]