148 Burton to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram 75 NEW DELHI, 23 January 1949, 12.55 p.m.


Your telegram 40 [1] and Minister's en clair telegram [2] having no priority marking arrived only 11 p.m. last night after drafting complete for plenary. On the question of ad referendum, throughout the Conference there has been and at the plenary there will be no voting and no signatures, yet resolution is drafted in the form of message to the Security Council from the Governments represented at the Conference. All delegates regard their approval ad referendum but to make the position clear we will have statement made at plenary by the Prime Minister that resolution is going forward direct to the Secretary-General because the matter is now being discussed but also to the Governments for their approval. I will ensure that the Australian Press note the statement.

2. Drafting changes suggested could easily have been made had we received them earlier. Dates were set because of general opinion that unless schedule is observed there will be practical difficulties and moreover the intention would lack definiteness.

No doubt the Indian experience in the background timetable is close to that suggested by the U.S.A.

3. On the question of sub-committees, in the absence of instructions we strove to eliminate Secretariat as it seemed to prejudice regional moves you might contemplate particularly as, had it been set up, the intention was to use it for other matters of common interest. It was difficult to obtain exclusion of both the Secretariat and wider reference and our insistence led to only long arguments in the Conference but no ill-will resulted. In fact India told us that they were glad that we pressed the point on wider consultation. The final resolution which merely suggests to Governments that they consider question of regional consultation in their own areas supports Australian policy and appears now as there was a desire for an expression of confidence in friendly consultation of this Conference.

4. The final plenary is now in progress and we depart just before the conclusion for the plane. Will arrive Sydney Wednesday morning and desire immediate onward transport.

1 Document 141.

2 Document 142.

[AA : A1838, 401/3/1/1, vi]