15 Department of External Affairs to Noel-Baker

Cablegram 10, CANBERRA, 16 January 1948, 5.30 p.m.

SECRET

Middle East.

We have been interested to receive information as to treaty negotiations which the United Kingdom has been carrying out in this area with a view to a defensive system in the Middle East. It seems to us that the occasion of such negotiations which are obviously of great benefit to the Arab countries concerned as well as to the United Kingdom, is an appropriate one to impress on them the need to observe the decisions and recommendations of the United Nations, in particular, in the case of Palestine. In fact we consider the matter of such importance as to make Arab agreement to support this United Nations decision[1] a condition precedent for the finalizing of such treaties. Otherwise we greatly fear that negotiations conducted at the present time might be interpreted either by Arabs and by other interested Governments as being in some way condoning Arab resistance to carrying out of United Nations decision.

[1] The decision to partition Palestine (Resolution 181 (II) of 29 November 1947). On the partition plan see Volume 12, Document 14.

[AA : A1838, 852/20/2, III]