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

Cablegram UN25 NEW YORK, 9 January 1947, 11.50 p.m.

Security 217 Following is a summary of the Australian statement on disarmament.

Disarmament came before the Council under three headings, namely the Assembly resolution on disarmament, the Assembly resolution on armed forces and the first report of the Atomic Energy Commission.

The Assembly resolution of 14th December really covered all three matters and in addition draws attention to implementation of Article 43. The Assembly made four precise recommendations to the Security Council. The text was then quoted.

The Council should agree to take action on these five precise recommendations and then set up machinery and devise methods by which it could carry out the recommendations. Happily much of that machinery already existed and the methods were already part of the familiar practice of the United Nations.

It was implicit in the Assembly resolution that Council could not consider any of the various phases of disarmament in isolation from one another. Without at this stage attempting to say what phase might prove in the long run to be the more important, the Council should consider the whole problem, looking steadily towards the great Objective which all proposals were intended to serve. The Council was at the commencement of a period of practical and intensive work. In this matter co-operation between all nations, and particularly all the great powers, was desirable.

All members of the United Nations, by their unanimous acceptance of the General Assembly resolution of 14th December, pledged themselves to give that co-operation and had dedicated themselves to this task.

This was not the moment for discovering differences. It was not a moment for lining up on one side or the other or for attempting to force through favourite ideas at the expense of ideas of other members. It was not a time for trying to declare the final answer to every problem or to insist that such and such a conclusion must be accepted. It was a time for starting work. As a Security Council which now for the first time was taking up this most important subject, we could set aside any conflicts of opinion that may have gone to the making of the General Assembly resolution or to the preparation of the Atomic Energy Commission's report, and address ourselves squarely to the one matter which is now before us, namely, the commencement of constructive work of the Security Council in pursuance of the recommendations placed before it by the General Assembly, and making use of the very valuable report transmitted to us by the Atomic Energy Commission.

After accepting the Assembly's recommendations, the Council should concentrate on the initiation of measures for carrying them out.

At this point the proposals made by the U.S.S.R. and the United States would come under notice. Neither of these proposals need be exclusive of the other. The immediate outcome of deliberations might well be an agreement to take concurrent decisions to the following effect- (a) To establish along the lines proposed by the representative of the Soviet Union a commission to proceed immediately to working out of practical measures to implement the General Assembly's decision on the general regulation and reduction of armaments and armed forces and the establishment of international control to assure the reduction of armaments and armed forces.

(b) The acceptance of the first report of the Atomic Energy Commission as a basis for the immediate commencement by the Atomic Energy Commission of the second stage of its work and as the General Assembly resolution requires the facilitating of the Commission's work and the expediting of the preparation of a draft convention or conventions for the creation of [an International System of Atomic Energy Control and (c) The immediate reference to the Military Staff Committee of the question of accelerating the implementation of Article 43 and at the same time of taking action on the General Assembly resolution regarding information on armed forces.

If prompt measures of the kind could be taken we would have initiated on parallel lines a useful series of concurrent activities, all of which would be under constant review by the Security Council, and it might well lead within the course of the next two or three months to rapid progress in accordance with the unanimous wish of all members of the United Nations. Council should press on in a] [1] practical way with the task laid upon us both by the Charter of the United Nations and by the will of members.

1 Matter in square brackets was garbled in transmission and supplied in an unnumbered cablegram of 11 January from New York.

[AA : A1838, 854/12, i]