105 Burton to Evatt
Cablegram 46 NEW DELHI, 18 January 1949, 7.20 p.m.
Thanks for your telegram.  Question of initiative is most difficult especially in the absence of a Minister. For example, at the opening session, friend Romulo, will probably insist on talking and others will follow and presumably observer status would force us into the background.
2. Question of status has been raised by the Press and have told them that we have nothing to add to statement originally made. It is incomprehensible from Conference point of view as there will be no voting and it is only a question of Australia's position in this group. If possible, suggest that observer be avoided and emphasis placed on official status.
3. Have spoken to officials and Nehru. Conference will go along the lines we want but undoubtedly it will be suggested that the Security Council should consider some form of enforcement action, if the Dutch ignore Council or delay. Assume as Australia raised the matter under Chapter 7  you would agree to proposal that Council should consider such action. Much will depend on the actual wording.
4. On regional organisation India can be persuaded to take joint action with us. In the meantime care must be taken at this Conference to ensure that continuing Committee or any such arrangement does not by degrees form into regional group.
5. Indians believe there are great advantages in forming regional group including only those countries with independent status, that is, excluding the U.K., U.S.A., France. Subsequently, it would not then be necessary to include Russia. Otherwise they fear regional group would be over-shadowed by the same considerations as prevent [effective]  work at other international conferences.
6. Your statements  reported today about the British Commonwealth countries in this area taking the lead even in world affairs was most helpful.