19 Australian Delegation, United Nations, to Evatt

Cablegram 195 LONDON, 10 January 1946, 11.30 p.m.

IMMEDIATE SECRET

Assembly 2.

1. Credentials. Your 168 [1] and 169 [2] received and provisional credentials lodged.

2. Security Council-Note handed to all Delegations this morning.

[3] Adjourned meeting at Dominions Office (see telegram 12645 from Hodgson [4]) was held late yesterday afternoon. Fraser spoke strongly on our behalf and bluntly told Addison that the proposed British selection of Canada would be quite unacceptable to public opinion in Australia and New Zealand. Hodgson and Fraser both emphasised Australia's claim on the grounds of war contribution and representation of Pacific Area. South Africa supported the selection of Canada and India was neutral. Addison in answer to a question said that the United Kingdom proposed to support Canada for both Security and Economic Councils. Despite pressure from South Africa and New Zealand that Canada should withdraw as a candidate for the Economic Council if elected [to] the Security Council, Canada refused to entertain the idea. Towards the end of the meeting which was protracted and characterised by plain speaking, Australia and New Zealand had made such a strong case that Chairman started to seek a compromise. Hodgson replied that his instructions were so definite that he could not discuss a compromise.

It was further suggested that Australia and Canada might get together and reach an understanding between themselves rather than risk splitting the vote.

Hodgson again replied that he would be prepared to discuss the question with Canada prior to a further meeting called for by New Zealand at 9.30 a.m. on Friday though his instructions and own convictions were so definite that he felt nothing could come from such discussion and stated that Australia would be a candidate even if it meant splitting the vote. The upshot was that the position was left open though since the meeting despite a statement by the United Kingdom that they would make no commitment, they have announced today that they are supporting the candidature of Canada. Subsequent discussions with other Delegates have encouraged United States hope for Latin American and Arab support. [5] The Russians have listened sympathetically. They had previously obtained the impression from the United Kingdom that Canada was the agreed British Commonwealth candidate.

Elections for the Security Council will probably take place as early as Saturday.

In paragraph 7 of our 12645 certain lists of candidates were suggested. The Latin American selection with United States approval is Peru, Chile, Colombia and Cuba. The United Kingdom is favouring Egypt for the Security Council rather than Iran as Representative of the Middle East, but Iran has informed us that it is still a candidate and requests our support. Otherwise the position is unchanged. Instructions re voting should reach us by Saturday morning.

3. General Debate-General Debate on the Preparatory Commission Report is expected to commence next Monday and it [is] suggested that we should try to obtain a place on the speaking list about Wednesday. Among other subjects, it is suggested that-it would be appropriate to include some statement even if only provisional re trusteeship in the opening address rather than to wait until Cabinet can discuss and the Trusteeship Committee meets.

1 Dispatched 10 January, it conveyed Evatt's approval of Hodgson's suggestion that those previously designated as advisers (Bailey, Hasluck and Watt) be appointed as alternate delegates at the forthcoming session of the General Assembly.

2 Document 17.

3 See Document 15.

4 See Volume VIII, Document 477.

5 Presumably this sentence was intended to read: 'Subsequent discussions with other Delegates have encouraged hope for United States, Latin American and Arab support'.

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