165 Addison to Australian Government

Cablegram D310 LONDON, 3 April 1946, 4.26 p.m.


Addressed New Zealand, repeated Canada, Australia and South Africa.

Thank you for your telegram 2nd April No. 98 on liquidation of the Mandates system. [1] The whole question has been further discussed between British Commonwealth Delegations and officials here in the light of your observations. The United Kingdom Government, for their part, accept the proposal that representatives of Mandatory powers in the course of their final statements should inform the League Assembly of their intentions with regard to the future of their respective mandated territories. Such declarations would not necessarily be identical in either form or content, though they would no doubt all make it clear that each Government would continue to adhere in administration of their mandated territories to the general principles of mandates. [2] They would presumably be of similar character to those previously made either in U.N.O.

Assembly or elsewhere. This would enable each individual mandatory power to refer either to a 'Trusteeship Agreement' or to 'other arrangements' or to use any other form of words.

2. Whether or not a resolution on the subject would subsequently be desirable could, we think, be left for further consideration at Geneva in the light of discussion there, and the United Kingdom Delegation will be instructed to keep in touch with other British Commonwealth Delegations as to this.

3. In case the need for such a resolution should arise, it seems important that respective Delegations should be in a position to agree on its terms at short notice. We ourselves feel, and hope that other Commonwealth Governments will agree, that a resolution should be limited to taking note of the statements made to the Assembly by the Mandatory powers. Strictly, it would be inappropriate for the League as such to concern itself with what happens after its liquidation. Quite apart from this, however, a resolution which contained a specific recommendation in favour of trusteeship, as in the last paragraph of your telegram, would be definitely embarrassing to the United Kingdom Government, because, as the New Zealand Government are aware, we have just negotiated a treaty with Trans-Jordan recognising its independence, and decision on the future of Palestine awaits the recommendations of the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry.

4. For the present, in approaching the French and Belgian Governments, we are informing them that our general idea is that mandatory powers should inform the League Assembly of their intentions with regard to their mandated territories and that subsequently a resolution taking note of such statements might or might not be found desirable.

1 In cablegram 98, the N.Z. Govt supported the Australian proposal in paragraph 3 of Document 147 for a declaration, but did not support the suggestion in paragraph 4, arguing that a reference to 'other arrangements' would 'inevitably be construed as a subterfuge'.

2 In his declaration for Australia to the League Assembly on 11 April, Bailey used the formula preferred by Canberra (see Documents 147 and 158).

[AA:A1067, UN46/1T/1/1]