288 Evatt to Makin

Cablegram UNY467 CANBERRA, 8 December 1946


Your UN.901. [1]

Development of discussion on veto at Assembly meetings has been most disturbing, revealing a story of repeated sidetracking of Australian proposals and deliberate clouding of the purpose of those proposals by the Great Powers. It is most difficult at this distance to apportion responsibility for this between what you claim has been biased chairmanship of Committee 1, the growing desire of the Great Powers not to concede special privileges, and inertia on the part of ourselves and our supporters.

First, the debate was adjourned to allow of private Great Power discussion which, had it been successful, would have established a most unfortunate precedent. Then the debate hung fire for some time while other issues were discussed. All this time the Australian resolution had not been unequivocally put for-ward at all. It was not until 1st December that a real effort was made to bring our resolution to the vote, and then the effort failed, with the submission of the matter to a sub-committee, a device of which you must know I strongly disapprove, and which is being increasingly used to produce recommendations that do not reflect the attitude of all the members.

Meantime the Soviet has produced a draft that means absolutely nothing, and the Chinese have seized the initiative by putting forward one based on it and calculated to weaken support for our resolution, the only one which is likely to achieve anything at all. The Chinese proposal is equally meaningless and almost amounts to gibberish. It would not be unreasonable to suggest that the Great Powers have been acting in concert over this matter, especially as you appear to believe that the United States is likely to desert us.

My experience of the feeling of the Nations at San Francisco and later on this issue makes it hard for me to believe that you could not have held the leadership then gained and rallied sufficient support for our draft. Although it seems that the real issues involved have been hopelessly lost in the confusion of resolutions and amendments bouncing from Committee to Sub-committee I want a final supreme effort made to have our resolution brought before the Plenary and accorded a roll-call vote. Meantime all members of the Delegation should spare no effort to convince other Delegations of the reasons underlying our actions, and the necessity for our positive resolution being adopted. You should remember the San Francisco experience that those who fight to the end win.

1 Document 276.

[AA:A1838/2, 852/10/5, i]