88 Department of External Affairs to Glasheen
Cablegram 13, CANBERRA, 27 February 1948
We agree with views in your paragraph 9 on the functions of observer groups. You should continue to take every opportunity of drawing attention of Committee to any departures from the functions of observation such as those mentioned in your paragraphs 3, 5 and 7.
2. Besides positive functions you suggest, observation of good neighbourly relations, in our view, ends with the determination that an incident or a dispute between the four Governments has occurred. The Committee is not called upon to decide which party is responsible for an incident reported by its observers, unless such a determination of responsibility becomes an essential part of conciliation. The immediate duty of the Committee on notification of an incident is to attempt to assist the parties to reach a settlement by bringing them together, or by other appropriate means of conciliation.
3. In pressing for strict interpretation of 'observation' functions you might draw attention to the kind of activity reported in your paragraph 6 which tends to strengthen the belief that observation could be carried out most effectively by the method suggested by you at the 18th meeting of Sub-Committee on 3rd February (Document Sub.Com. I/18). Please telegraph a fuller statement of your views on this question, together with an assessment of the possibility of re-organising existing observer teams in the manner suggested.
4. In the meantime the Committee must avoid appearance of partiality by treating Albanian and Bulgarian complaints not less thoroughly than charges made by Greece. Any suggestion of partiality on the part of the Committee at this stage will destroy your attempts to gain co-operation of the northern neighbours.