59 Department of External Affairs to Australian Delegation, United Nations

Cablegram 374 CANBERRA, 15 July 1947, 5.35 p.m.

SECRET

MEETING OF ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCIL

Please endeavour to enlist support for following proposals:-

(A) No more Commissions to be set up;

(B) No more meetings of Status of Women Commission this year;

(C) Alternates to be allowed to attend Sub-Commissions with full rights. [1] (This revises previous policy);

(D) Representatives on Commissions and Sub-Commissions are nominated by Governments, and on election do not become international civil servants at beck and call of Secretary- General. No Government can permit its nominees to be invited to New York at times not under its control and has the right to expect that communications to such nominees should be addressed through it.

The Government and the Department have been greatly embarrassed in several cases by independent action taken by Commission and Sub- Commission Delegates which has the guise of official sanction because they are officially nominated. We wish to be able to make it perfectly clear to these people that while we regard them as experts the final responsibility for their actions must rest with the Government.[2]

1 The position of alternates on sub-commissions was unclear because the Council, in its resolution to allow alternates for commissions, had overlooked the cue of sub-commissions.

2 The file copy was annotated by Shann: 'Officers to note that in some ways this telegram constitutes important revisions of our past policy.'

[AA : A1838, 856/5/2]