26 Australian Government [1] to Addison

Cablegram 23 CANBERRA, 12 January 1946


(Your D49 [2] D50 [3]).

1. In our opinion States directly concerned clearly means those with some tangible existing interest recognized by International law. It clearly does not include members of the Security Council as such or of United Nations or neighbouring States. Phrase was put in simply to protect the alleged legal interest of the principal Allied and Associated Powers to whom were ceded German and other territories as a result of treaties of peace. In our view this original legal interest was terminated when the League of Nations placed the territories under Mandate. The United States, however, has kept the claim alive weak though it is. If it were substantiated by the World Court it would mean that one of the countries directly concerned in all Mandates would be the 'British Empire' under that name and not the 'United Kingdom'. We think it is a mistake to be bustled into making too absolute a declaration on the subject. The United Kingdom is in a different position in relation to 'B' class Mandates from that appertaining to 'C' class Mandates which are regarded as an integral portion of the territory of the Mandatory Power. The furthest we should go is indicated in the declaration which Cabinet will consider late next week, the text of which is my immediately following telegram. [4] You must not take it for granted that this will necessarily be approved without amendment.

It is quite out of the question for agreement to be drafted during the present sittings of the Assembly.

1 Although this cablegram and the cablegram which follows were written in the first person, there is no indication of authorship.

The style is Evatt's but in formal terms probably they were intended to be read as coming from Chifley.

2 Dispatched on 10 January, it reported the U.K.'s inclination to regard 'States directly concerned' in the negotiation of trusteeship agreements (Article 79 of the U.N. Charter) as being limited to states physically proximate to the dependency in question and not necessarily to include permanent members of the Security Council.

3 Dispatched on 11 January, it merely asked for a quick response to cablegram D49.

4 Document 27.

[AA:A1838/2, 306/1/1, i]