457 Australian Government to Australian Delegation, United Nations, and Fraser

Cablegrams 135, 50 CANBERRA, 6 March 1947, 5.20 p.m.


Reference Security 294.

U.S. Trusteeship Agreement for Japanese Mandated Islands.

1. You should not join or support opposition to consideration of United States draft by Security Council. You should make the following statement at the earliest moment consulting and acting jointly with the United Kingdom representative.

2. Begins. I want to make it clear at the outset that the Australian Government for its part has consistently supported and now warmly supports in the interest of peace and security the control and administration by the United States of the Japanese Mandated Islands and is in accord with the view that the United States should continue de facto administration.

The Australian Minister for External Affairs, in his statement to Parliament on 26th February said:-

'Australia's policy has been to support the United States policy in obtaining control of these islands. We therefore favour the proposal that the United States should continue to exercise her present control of them. It is, however, important from a longer- term point of view to observe correct procedures, and we think that whatever may be done in the Security Council in connection with the United States proposed Trusteeship Agreement should be related to and make subject to final confirmation by the Pacific Peace Conference.'

3. We consider that, before a final decision is made on the question of administering the territories mandated to Japan, all allies who were victorious belligerents in the Pacific War should be consulted. Australia's part in that victory, under United States leadership, has been referred to by General MacArthur, Admiral Nimitz [1], and General Marshall in terms of appreciation that need not be repeated here. It is true Australia is a member of the Security Council but that does not in any way detract from the necessity for establishing and maintaining the principle that all active belligerents should be consulted as to the final disposition of these islands.

4. This is a principle of justice and democracy. The Security Council should therefore, in giving its approval to the principle of the United States application, recognise the fact that its decision should be finally confirmed at the peace conference of the Pacific belligerents. Such a peace conference should be held as soon as possible. No doubt such confirmation will be readily forthcoming and Australia, recognising the supreme contribution of the United States to victory against Japan, will be among the foremost in proposing such confirmation.

5. The Australian Government points out that, in considering the terms of the proposed United States trusteeship, States, not members of the Security Council but who are concerned in the disposal of the Japanese Mandated Islands, should have an opportunity to discuss the terms of the trusteeship. The New Zealand Government for instance is a state so interested and should be given an opportunity to express its views. Article 31 of the Charter enables us to invite the participation without vote of members of the United Nations, not members of the Security Council, when the Council considers that the interests of that member are specially affected. It would seem to be convenient that a Committee of the Council be established for the purpose of considering the terms of trusteeship in detail and that this committee should consist of or be reinforced by representatives of countries having a direct interest in the future of the Japanese Mandated Islands. Ends. [2]

1 Chester W. Nimitz, Admiral of the Fleet; US Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Fleet and Pacific Ocean Area, December 1941-45.

2 Has luck delivered the substance of this statement to the Security Council meeting on 7 March.

[AA : A1067, P46/10/61, i]