286 Department of External Affairs to Australian Delegation, United Nations

Cablegram UNY466 CANBERRA, 7 December 1946


1. Your UN.930 just received and Assembly 350 [1] not yet to hand.

Considered reply will be sent as soon as possible after receipt of Assembly 350.

2. In the meantime two aspects in particular require your immediate and vigorous protest. First, you should protest at Soviet-American discussions on any aspect of the future disposal of Japanese territories. This matter should not be discussed between the Great Powers or any number of them without the direct participation of at least Australia and New Zealand. You should make every effort to impress on Dulles Australian policy in this regard.

3. Secondly, we are concerned at Soviet proposal that the draft agreement be discussed by the Great Powers before presentation to the Security Council. The Great Powers as such have no status in relation to the Assembly or in fact the Security Council. We have publicly protested in the past against such procedure and our views are well-known to United Kingdom. Yet not only has Gerig agreed but Thomas apparently has at least acquiesced. Bevin should know how disturbed we are at this and we expect his immediate resistance to any such proposal.

4. It is not sufficient to urge Bevin that no commitment be made by the United Kingdom as to States directly concerned. Australia must be represented directly and participate in any discussions.

5. These present discussions on future disposal of Japanese mandates seem to have arisen out of question of States directly concerned. Once that matter is settled in relation to present agreements discussions on future of Japanese mandates should be terminated. It cannot too strongly be emphasised to you, however, that even in respect of discussions on States directly concerned Australia must maintain her position and the delegation should concentrate on achieving this objective. [2]

1 Both cablegrams were dispatched 6 December (and were also numbered Assembly 354 and UN925 respectively). They concerned informal U.S.-Soviet discussions on the Soviet claim to be one of the 'states directly concerned' with respect to the old Japanese islands mandate in the Pacific.

2 Cablegram UN954 (Assembly 373) of 8 December reported that cablegram Assembly 350 should have noted that objections had been raised 'to small working party on ground that all States submitting agreements should be included', but that alternative had been rejected as 'involving too large a working party'.

[AA:A1838/1, 306/1/4]