209 Burton to Hodgson

Cablegram 412 CANBERRA, 31 July 1947, 4.30 [p.m.]


It is reported over shortwave that Dutch Cabinet have now decided to accept United States - United Kingdom approaches for mediation.

This is no doubt response to our move, though that will not be admitted. The situation will change hour by hour and therefore you must have freedom to use discretion. If it is stated at Security Council that mediation is in process and that arrangements have been made for hostilities to cease, it may be sufficient for Security Council to note that, and merely leave matter on Agenda.

However, if this does happen, in the interests of the United Nations, opportunity should not be lost in implying that the speedy cessation of hostilities and commencement of negotiations can be regarded as a great achievement for the Security Council.

No doubt attempts will be made, not [only] to resist Security Council jurisdiction, but by other means such as this to avoid Security Council decision. You will agree that every opportunity should be taken to build up the prestige of the Security Council.

2. It may be possible for you to arrange particularly for Colombia and Brazil, and perhaps other States, to make statements welcoming Australian action on the basis of leadership in support of United Nations machinery. I have Assembly elections in mind. The greatest possible advantage can be taken of this Australian initiative.

[AA:A1838/274, 854/10/4, i]