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

Cablegram UN297 NEW YORK, 21 March 1947, 9.26 p.m.

IMMEDIATE SECRET

Security 316.

Your UN174. We informed Cadogan of our new instructions with view to ascertaining whether he concurs. He is seeking instructions from London.

2. Debate on Japanese mandates unlikely to be resumed before next Wednesday at the earliest.

3. Reference penultimate paragraph of your UNY174. We submit for consideration following observations on suggestion that Australia make statement on behalf of United Kingdom. While we fully recognise the value of maintaining Australian position as spokesman for the Commonwealth in the Pacific we wonder whether it is desirable to speak in Security Council except in our own name.

Australian strength and reputation on Council rest on her independence and readiness to speak on merits of cases and in the interests of all members of the United Nations. In spite of our good record in this regard and Dr. Evatt's acknowledged leadership among middle powers and resistance to formation of blocs within Council there is still some tendency among the uninstructed to regard Australia as a British satellite in the same way as Poland is a Soviet satellite. We submit that both British Commonwealth and Australian interests will be better served and our capacity to discharge responsibilities as member of Council maintained if we keep strict independence on Council. Furthermore, in thinking of future elections to Council it is better to build up notion that we represent Far East and the Pacific rather than a second place for British Commonwealth countries. It will be recognised that above observations arise from our concern over working of Council rather than from consideration of particular issues now before it.

[1]

1 In reply, the Department of External Affairs on 23 March advised the Australian delegation to the United Nations that the 'United Kingdom delegate should at least endorse statement'.

[AA : A1838, 333/4, ii]