422 Burton to Kirby

Cablegram 349 CANBERRA, 15 November 1947, 11.30 p.m.


Your 412. [1] See our 330 of 6th November [2] giving you text of New York cable explaining Council resolution.

In my view, no good purpose is served by seeking further interpretation. Paragraphs in question [3] are clear and mean that any military advance, whether by hostile action or peaceful penetration beyond the position at August 4th, is inconsistent with Council resolution. Cease fire order in our view meant that both sides should stand fast and cease any movement of any kind until negotiations between the two parties determine subsequent moves. You might suggest that Committee ask for stand fast in this sense in present positions so as to prevent further mopping up pending clarification of Council resolution.

I feel in arguing about interpretation, Committee is being side- tracked from the main issues. The fact is, interpretation would be unimportant if there were willingness to conform with the spirit of the resolution and if there were willingness to co-operate with the Committee on finding terms of settlement. Meaning of terms and phrases you referred to is irrelevant to the main issues and if the parties are not willing to conform, then Committee has no alternative but to report back to Council. We do not fear the use of the veto and can assure you it will not be exercised in this case in favour of the Dutch. It is true Council will not welcome reference back but world opinion still less welcomes lack of progress in negotiations.

You may quote Australian interpretation which is clear if you wish and I am communicating with the Minister as you requested [4] but I would consider best course is to quote your own belief that the meaning and intention are clear and you will not accept further side-stepping.

Meanwhile settlement negotiations should be pursued. if there is no Co-operation on this, then lack of co-operation on ceasefire is unimportant.

1 Document 420.

2 Document 404.

3 i.e. the last two paragraphs of the Security Council's resolution of 1 November (see Document 402).

4 See Document 420, paragraph 2.

[AA:A1838/283, 403/3/1/1, xii]