132 Department of External Affairs to Spender

Minute, CANBERRA, 20 December 1949

CHINA [matter omitted]

5. The adoption of the resolution referring the question to the Interim Committee means that the whole question is likely to be further debated. The original Chinese draft resolution stated 'that the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics has persistently obstructed the efforts of the National Government of China in re-establishing Chinese national authority in the North-Eastern Provinces (Manchuria) since the surrender of Japan and given military and economic aid to the Chinese Communists in their insurrection against the National Government of China' and 'that the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics has, by obstructing the National Government of China and by giving aid to the Chinese Communists, violated the Charter of the United Nations and the Treaty of Friendship and Alliance between China and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics of 14th August 1945'. When the Chinese withdrew their original resolution in the Assembly, they announced that they would raise it in the Interim Committee.

6. An examination of the allegations made by the Chinese would seem to require:-

(a) a detailed investigation of the charges including a sifting of the evidence submitted;

(b) an assessment of the accuracy of the charges;

(c) an indication of the remedy, if the charges should be proved correct.

7. Such an examination would appear virtually impossible for the following reasons:-

(a) Difficult to check because of domination of mainland by Communists.

(b) Communists are being recognised and may shortly be sole Government of China when presumably charges will lapse.

(c) If that is so, no question of remedy, even if charges are proved.

In addition an investigation of this kind at this stage would merely tend to cause bitterness between Chinese Communists and other countries at a time when effort might more profitably be directed toward making some reasonable working arrangements with the Communist Government.

8. Further intervention by Australia in the United Nations, in view of the present factual situation may prejudice the possibility of establishing reasonable relations with the Communist regime in China.[1] For this reason, it is suggested it would be advisable for Australia to take no active part in any discussion in the Interim Committee.

9. No advice has yet been received as to when the Interim Committee will hold its next meeting.

[1] For Australia's deliberations at this time concerning relations with China see Volume 14, Document 281.

[AA : A1838, 3107/40/52/1, I]