447 Addison to Australian Government

Cablegram D19 LONDON, 9 January 1947, 10.25 a.m.


My telegram 27th November, D No. 1092.

United States Draft Terms of Trusteeship Following our representations the United States Government have not so far presented their draft to the Security Council. They have indicated, however, that, if they are to defer action pending our comments, they will expect to receive these at a very early date.

2.We have not yet formulated our final views on the strategic implications of United States action in producing their draft.

Subject to this reservation this telegram outlines our considered views and probable lines along which we shall very shortly approach the United States Government.

A. Policy Official United States statements in the last year have made it clear that, as the power in occupation, they will take the initiative in negotiating an agreement regarding these islands with the Security Council (this of course meaning that they plan to proceed under Article 83 of Charter) [1], that they would not agree to any arrangement unsatisfactory to themselves and that, if they met with opposition to this initiative in the Security Council, they would simply remain in occupation. It is clear, therefore, that a strategic area Trusteeship is as far as the United States Government are prepared to go in permitting any type of International super-vision of the mandates. Advantages of having an agreement seem conclusive in that- (a) Trusteeship issue as a whole is thereby strengthened, and (b) we should in virtue of it be able to exercise at any rate some control over the situation in these islands through the Security Council.

B. Timing We consider, however, that the present is the wrong time for United States to press their proposals or to put them formally to the Security Council. The fact that United States Government are initiating Trusteeship terms prior to the Peace Treaty with Japan is bound to be widely challenged, and, from our point of view, is open to serious practical objection that such action might confuse the issue about Trusteeship for ex-Italian colonies (we should no doubt be challenged by the United States and others if we presented a Draft Trusteeship Agreement for Cyrenaica in advance of the Peace Treaty with Italy).

2. The line which we propose to take with the United States on timing is, therefore, that we appreciate their action in submitting draft Trusteeship terms for Japanese islands as an earnest of their intention (which we welcome) to implement the Trusteeship principle, that we regard this action as a declaration of intention which cannot, however, take effect in advance of peace treaty with Japan and that we should like meanwhile to discuss certain textual points with them.

C. Comments on Text We do not want at this stage to discourage United States from placing Japanese Islands under Trusteeship by commenting any more than is necessary on their draft terms, which with exception of Articles 8 (1i) and 13, seem to us more liberal than might have been expected ...

[matter omitted]

1 Article 83 is in Chapter XII of the Charter (International Trusteeship System)and provides for all functions of the United Nations relating to strategic areas, including approval of the terms of trusteeship agreements, to be exercised by the Security Council.

[AA : A5466/2, CCJ/4H]