471 Department of External Affairs to Australian Delegation, United Nations

Cablegram 747 CANBERRA, 16 December 1947, 1 p.m.


Please make the following statement at the Security Council meeting when Indonesia is discussed and after it is agreed that Australia continues . . . as member of Committee [1]:


I am instructed to raise with the Security Council the work of the Committee of Good Offices, particularly in respect of the requests made to it in relation to the observance of the 'cease fire' order.

2. The present position is that the 'cease fire' order has not yet been observed and that there are no agreed plans by which it can be observed. Our understanding is, however, that the Committee of Good Offices has put forward to both parties a plan [2] which, in their unanimous view, is practicable and reasonable. This was put forward early in December and immediately accepted by one party [3], but has not as yet been accepted by the second party [4] and therefore has not been implemented.

3. The details of this plan have not, of course, been communicated to the three member Governments of the Committee of Good Offices [5], though they have been communicated to the two parties to the dispute. In view of the apparent failure to reach agreement by the two parties, and the delay in responding to the proposals of the Committee of Good Offices, the Australian Government wishes to suggest that the Security Council should immediately and by telegraph ask for full details of the plan, so that the Security Council itself, if it considers the plan practicable and reasonable, can ask that it be immediately implemented.


4. See my immediately following telegram. [6]

1 See Document 461. The words 'on Council' have been deleted from this sentence.

2 Document 449.

3 The Republic of Indonesia.

4 The Netherlands.

5 The plan had, in fact, been made available by Kirby to Burton and the Australian Department of External Affairs (see Document 453).

6 Cablegram 748 was dispatched to the Delegation in two parts on 16 December. Part 1 advised that part 2 would contain the text of Document 449 with the explanation that Kirby wished the Committee of Good Offices to transmit the text to the Security Council because it was a restricted document which he was not free to disclose. It was also hoped that such a procedure would enable the Security Council to discuss the matter without delay. If the plan was transmitted to the Security Council, Hood was instructed to stress that it was 'reasonable in particular because it is provisional only and its adoption would be without prejudice to rights, claims or position of the parties'. Part 2 of cablegram 748 has not been located.

[AA:A1838/274, 854/10/4/2, ii]