226 Australian Delegation, United Nations, to Evatt

Cablegram UN97 NEW YORK, 1 May 1946, 7.21 p.m.



1. The Spanish Sub-Committee held a useful private organizational session this afternoon. The Secretariat had prepared a synopsis of communications received from non-Governmental sources and arrangements were made for a further study of the facts contained in these telegrams.

Instructions were also given for the collection of other published material.

2. The Committee then discussed generally the nature of the information which would be required to assist the Security Council to determine whether or not the Spanish situation was a ca[u]se of international friction or a danger to international peace and security and tentatively agreed that information under the following headings would be relevant to its inquiry:-

(a) Relationship between Franco Government and the Axis during the war.

(b) Nature and structure of the present Spanish Government insofar as it might provide a danger centre of Fascist activity extending beyond national borders and offer a refuge to Fascists.

(c) The strength and disposition of Spanish military forces, not proportion of the army to the population, and the state of war industries.

(d) Political persecution.

(e) The detention in Spain of nationals of other states.

(f) The activities in regard to research or production of material of a warlike nature.

(g) Failure to act in accordance with the United Nations principles to such an extent as to prevent or endanger the [completion] of a United Nations system of world security.

The Secretariat was instructed to prepare a memorandum on the basis of this discussion for further examination by the Committee with a view to its adoption as a guide to the Committee's future work. When this statement has been approved by the Committee, all members of the United Nations will be requested to supply information under the various headings.

3. There was some discussion regarding the obtaining of evidence from non members of the United Nations and, in particular, from the Franco regime. The general view expressed was that while non members should not be invited to submit evidence, they should certainly have an opportunity to do so, but owing to Bonnet's opposition to anything remotely resembling recognition of the Franco regime it was decided simply to announce that the committee would welcome evidence 'from other sources'.

4. There was a long and useful discussion regarding methods of obtaining evidence and in particular, the question of public hearings on which no decision was reached. It was generally recognised that any public hearings would have to be carefully organised in order that the Committee was not made a political forum. In practice, we believe that any difficulties can be overcome through arrangements which the Chairman can make with various Delegations to present their statements at meetings of the Committee. For example, we believe that the United States Government will be willing to designate an official to appear at a public meeting of the Committee to present a statement and answer questions. Such meeting is not likely to take place for another ten days or SO.

5. The next meeting of the Committee on Monday afternoon will again be devoted to organisational questions and examination of material. Chairman [1] has stressed the necessity of giving careful consideration to procedures and methods of work inasmuch as this inquiry is the first undertaken by the United Nations and as the final decision of the Security Council will tend to establish the criteria for future determination of causes of friction and threat to peace.

[AA:A1066, E45/28/7]