228 Evatt to Hasluck

Cablegram 13 LONDON, 2 May 1946, 8 p.m.


Your United Nations 92 [1] and 97. [2]

1. I am greatly disturbed by your reports on Spanish sub- committee. By proceeding along the lines you indicate a fiasco may well be made of an enquiry which is important in itself and important as the first Security Council enquiry.

2. Any Committee of Investigation must not passively request information but also seek it. A mere request to the members [of] the United Nations to supply information especially on a confidential basis will bring forward political opinion and few facts except those which confirm that opinion. The United States were not at first in favour of the investigation and their official is not likely to produce any facts which might indicate need for action. If in fact the United States Government were in possession of such facts and were to reveal them they would be condemning themselves as members of the United Nations for not bringing them to the attention of the Security Council earlier.

Similarly with other governments.

3. Though this must have been clear, the enquiry has been limited to one month and thereby any first hand investigations or the taking of evidence outside New York is excluded. This was contrary to my instructions which were to have the main part of the Committee's enquiries centred nearer Spain.

4. Reference UN92 and paragraph 5 of 97. It is important that no evidence or information should be accepted which cannot be made public. Furthermore, the enquiry proper should be wholly open.

5. If a meeting of the Committee or any other reason prevents your attending committee on arrangements for setting up United Nations site I will nominate another official. General principle should be followed on all committees that the Australian representative unnamed will represent Australia and the Secretariat should be asked to accept that procedure as far as we are concerned.

Nomination of a particular person is too rigid and tends to misrepresent the true position.

1 This cable of 30 April had reported the Secretary-General's request, in line with a decision of the sub-committee on Spain, that Australia (like other' members) provide information likely to assist the sub-committee.

2 Document 226.

[AA:A1838 T189, 854/10/6/1]