490 Hodgson to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram 296 PARIS, 28 December 1948, 2.25 p.m.

IMMEDIATE CONFIDENTIAL

See our en clair report [1] of this afternoon's proceedings.

1. Strong support for both resolutions this afternoon is indicative of [increasing] [2] Council irritation with delaying tactics of the Dutch whose repeated statements about the prestige of their Government and the undesirability of resolutions which might be construed as censuring them are not helping their case.

2. The United Kingdom, contrary to McNeil's assurances this morning to Beasley, was again represented by Falla, who once more did not vote for positive action on the grounds that the Dutch should be allowed to tell the Council what they propose to do.

Outspoken comments, both on the part of Syria and Colombia as to the motives underlying the voting on various withdrawal proposals, may have cleared the air a little and it is possible that if the Dutch continue to regard the Security Council directions as no more than pious hopes to be ignored some basis of agreement for firm action may be reached.

3. The Colombian resolution [3] does not appear to add very much as the Council has plenty of information on which to base its decisions. The last sentence of the resolution is obscure. I endeavoured privately to see what other members of the Council thought it really meant. Nobody understood or understands it but we did not raise the question as it can be subjected to a wide interpretation which suits our purpose. The clear view of the majority of the members of the Council was that it would provide for a report on the question of the practicability of withdrawal to the positions held on December 18th.

1 See Document 489.

2 Corrected from a copy on file AA:A4387/2, A48/19H.

3 See Document 481.

[AA:A1838, 854/10/4/3, iiib]