33 Department of External Affairs to Makin

Cablegram UND[5] CANBERRA, 16 January 1946


Confirming Minister's conversation tonight with Watt:

1. Minister does not agree your position as President Security Council [1] obliges you to take neutral attitude [2]; but on contrary will give opportunities to take lead on questions now to be discussed.

2. Main outstanding question at present meetings from Australian point of view is site of centre. We should not assume recommendation of preparatory commission will be accepted and whole Delegation must work hard for San Francisco. Tactic should be yes or no decision on U.S.A. then not coast versus coast debate but separate vote on each recommended site.

3. Decision on site should not be postponed. It is most important that next meeting of Assembly should not be in London but at chosen site or as near as is physically possible from accommodation point of view. Security Council should be transferred to site as soon as current meetings complete and before proposed April meeting of Assembly.

4. You are aware Minister's views on atomic energy. [3] While Security Council must be closely associated with proposals for control the Assembly must play full part and be in position to discuss and recommend at all stages and have reports constantly referred to it.

5. Election Secretary General presents problem as no candidate so far named is outstanding. Minister definitely opposed to Van Kleffens. He is equally opposed in principle to national of great powers and persons named from United Kingdom and China [4] are also not acceptable on personal grounds. Simic must be regarded as Russian representative and is objectionable on grounds of above principle. Pearson has not necessary strength and in any case Canada is too closely associated with major powers. Both these objections to Pearson became obvious at San Francisco. On balance Lie is strongly favoured and Minister desires you and Hodgson to meet him, indicate we wish to support Norway and find out whether he is a candidate, what is his general attitude to Assembly and role of small powers. Minister desires full report. Lie should know we desire support Norway and also that we voted for him as President. [5]

1 Cablegram 256 of 13 January reported that Makin would become first President of the Security Council under its Provisional Rules of Procedure, which provided that each month's presidency was to be held in turn by the members of the Security Council in the English alphabetical order of their names.

2 Makin had commented in cablegram 311 of 15 January that Australia's presidency of the Security Council for the first month made it 'difficult' for Australia to advocate any candidate for Secretary-General.

3 See Document 24, and note 3 thereto.

4 Anthony Eden and V. K. Wellington Koo, respectively.

5 In plenary session of the General Assembly on 10 January, Lie had been defeated for the presidency of the General Assembly by Paul-Henri Spaak of Belgium.

[AA:A1838 T189, 852/9/1, i]