185 Department of External Affairs to Hood

Cablegram 245 CANBERRA, II April 1946


Your 236. [1] Committee on Refugees.

1. Our preference is to make organisations of a social and welfare character an integral part of the United Nations, either under the Economic and Social Council or as a subsidiary organ of the Assembly. (See cablegram 54 of the 31st January to the Dominions Office which outlined our proposals for establishment of an international health organisation. [2]) Also, we prefer that the budget of such organisations should be consolidated with the United Nations Budget. We feel that so far the functions and responsibilities entrusted by the Charter to the Assembly and the Economic and Social Council have not been sufficiently taken into account in establishing such organisations. In this case we feel also that the political nature of the work makes it particularly necessary that the organisation should be accountable to the United Nations.

2. This approach is similar to the original policy on Refugees of the United Kingdom. (See cable D.39 of 8th January from Dominions Office. [3]) It was then represented that the political problems involved could be met only within the United Nations, and that the United Kingdom would have great difficulty in having separate grants voted for an organisation with a separate budget.

3. If a specialised agency is likely to be favoured by the Committee, we would desire to have it established at a conference convened by the Economic and Social Council, and linked as closely as possible with the Council in all phases of its work.

4. In any event the functions of the organisation should not be limited and it must have the authority and capacity to carry out the principles of the Assembly Resolution. [4]

5. Concerning agenda item 6 (your telegram 188 [5]) we do not object to temporary postponement if thought reasonable in all the circumstances.

1 Dispatched 5 April, it reported the U.K. Govt's aim that the committee described in Document 144 should recommend establishment of a specialised international agency with a central committee, regional offices and financial contributions, a structure similar to that of UNRRA.

2 See Document 9, note 4.

3 Document 16.

4 See Document 144, note 2.

5 Dispatched 21 March, it conveyed the committee's provisional agenda. Item 6 proposed postponing consideration of non-European refugees.

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