58 Australian Delegation, Paris Peace Conference, to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram PC12 PARIS, 9 August 1946, 6.20 p.m.


Report 9.

In view of protracted and tiring struggle which resulted in the success of smaller powers in securing adoption of United Kingdom amendment [1] Australia after consultation with all small powers considered it would be advantageous not to try to force through amendment regarding voting procedures in subordinate commissions.

To do so would have meant another long bitter fight on a matter of comparatively small importance in view of the fact that in any case a minority of Conference has full right to present case to Plenary Session of Conference and to obtain a recommendation from that Conference to Council of Foreign Ministers. Accordingly at yesterday's meeting of the Commission on Procedures Minister withdrew Australian amendment. The result of withdrawal caused immediate satisfaction and an improvement in work of the Commission.

2. It was agreed that five ex-enemy states should be invited to Plenary Session of Conference on Saturday and that these states could be summoned to appear before any Commission. Regarding Chairmanships of Commissions, it was agreed no member of Conference could hold more than one Commission Chairmanship and that no member of Council of Foreign Ministers could hold any of these Chairmanships.

3. Finally at instigation of Dr. Evatt, Commission decided that Secretariat on Conference should provide documents, reports and surveys upon which claims of Council were based and that whenever a procedural question arises which is not covered by the Commission's recommendations on procedure, principle of rules of procedure of United Nations Assembly should be used as a guide.

1 See Documents 56 and 57.

[AA:A1067, E46/38/14]