26 Australian Delegation, United Nations, to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram UN657 NEW YORK, 11 July 1947, 9.30 p.m.


Balkans Commission. Your 367.

1. In the Council today we made a general statement supporting the recommendations of the Commission but reserving our position on details of the United States resolution. This leaves way open to us to support worthwhile amendments submitted by France or Colombia. Parodi [1] has not yet spoken and is we understand consulting with United States regarding his proposals.

2. The following is a summary of our main points:

(a) Council cannot itself hear and evaluate evidence and must rely on its com- missions of investigation to ascertain facts. The Commission's 'conclusions' were conclusions as to the facts based on the evidence. What the Soviet Union and Poland describe as 'facts' are merely selected extracts from the testimony.

(b) Commission was instrument of the Council and allegation that it was not impartial implies that Council is also partial. In actual fact evidence shows that it was the Soviet Union which approach[ed] problem with preconceived ideas.

(c) The Soviet claim that Greek witnesses were all unreliable is unfounded. Many witnesses, though illiterate, stood up to hours of gruelling cross examination with only minor inconsistencies. All liaison officers had a[n] equal opportunity to present witnesses and any selection was made by committee of experts including U.S.S.R. and Poland.

(d) The Commission had complete freedom of movement in Greece and witnesses against the Greek Government spoke freely. Even Communist newspapers were sure to attack the Government policy.

(e) Soviet statements based on the fact that the Commission did not investigate the Macedonian issue are absurd as it was the Soviet representative who insisted that the Commission team should not visit the area involved.

(f) Liaison officers and Soviet and Polish representatives attempted to divert attention from real task of Commission by insisting on irrelevant investigation of internal affairs of Greece. It was not because the Commission considered incidents due to Greek internal policy.

(g) No adequate reasons have, therefore, been advanced why Council should not accept conclusions of majority of Commission. The report clearly indicates that continuance of situation on Greek frontiers is likely to endanger peace and security. It is the Council's duty to devise means to rectify position.

(h) Australia agrees with proposals made by Commission at invitation of Council including establishment of standing Commission which is the only recommendation which has been seriously questioned. It is significant that Greece has agreed in advance to establishment of Commission. Bulgaria, Yugoslavia and Albania on the other hand while demanding investigation by Council of incidents which they allege were provoked by Greece oppose establishment of organ which could effectively carry out investigation.

(i) Before expressing opinion on details of United States resolution it would be valuable to have explanation of reasons for departure from original proposal for 'a small commission or a single commissioner'. It is possible also that alternative suggestions may be made which should be taken into consideration.

3. Bulgarian Representative made a further statement claiming that Council had [no] such authority under charter to establish permanent commission. Johnson (United States) replied.

1 Alexandre Parodi, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations and French representative on the Security Council.

[AA : A1838, 854/10/7, ii]