486 Hood to Burton

Cablegram UN1245 NEW YORK, 23 December 1947, 2.56 p.m.


Security 548.

1. Your UNY.763. [1] Would be perfectly prepared personally to call a meeting 26th December but must point out that absolutely no purpose would be served by this. On the contrary, it might badly prejudice the reception and discussion of our case three or four days later. The circumstances are as follows:

(1) Telegram received this morning by the Secretariat from Batavia states that as the Interim Report would be fuller than was expected it will now be sent by airmail. No mention is made of a telegraphed summary.

(2) Even if this information is prior to Critchley's advice to you quoted in your UNY.764 [2], I cannot see any certainty in paragraph 5(D) of Critchley's telegram that telegraphed summary would in fact be here by 26th.

(3) Assuming that at the very best summary is received here on 25th, it could not be processed, translated and distributed in time to allow Delegates to examine it before any meeting in less than forty-eight hours.

(4) In any case there would be practically no hope of getting Council to agree to start discussion on telegraphed summary when it was known that full text of report was on its way by air. At meeting of 19th December [3], seven Members of the Council indicated definitely that they wished to see and study the Committee's report before proceeding with discussion and this has been [the] attitude of the Council on previous similar occasions.

(5) Therefore, whether the Report reaches New York on 26th or not, it would be simply unrealistic to expect that any discussion could be held on 26th. (6) Over and above this, a full three days' notice is required for convening of a Council meeting and I could not feel justified in issuing notice of meeting this morning which is the latest time in the absence of certainty that essential document would be available.

2. If it becomes known by 26th that the summary will definitely be forthcoming in time, I can call a meeting for 29th. The date of 30th mentioned by me in my earlier telegram [4] was suggested by myself as being probably the earliest feasible taking into account uncertain date of receipt of report and the necessity of distributing etc. but it might be quite possible to advance this by one day, certainly not by more. I fully appreciate your desire for urgency which I share and greatly regret delays but these are due simply to delay in receipt of information from the Committee.

3. Will try also to reach you by telephone. [5]

1 Dispatched by Burton on 23 December, it instructed Hood to call a meeting of the Security Council to discuss the Indonesian question on 26 December (by which time it was hoped that a telegraphed summary of the interim report of the Committee of Good Offices would be available in New York).

2 Dispatched on 23 December, it conveyed the text of Document 482.

3 See Document 480.

4 Hood reported in cablegram UN1241 on 19 December that the next meeting of the Security Council had been tentatively scheduled for 30 December.

5 No record of any telephone conversation between Hood and Bottom has been located.

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