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169 Beasley to Evatt

Letter PARIS, 18 October 1946

I am forwarding under cover of this letter, concluding accounts of
the work of the principal Commissions up to the resumption of the
Plenary Sessions of the Paris Conference. The final report on the
work of the delegation and the Conference as a whole will follow
in due course. [1]

When I forwarded my last report, the Political Commissions on
Italy and Hungary, the two Economic Commissions and the Military
Commission had not completed their work and it has only been at
the expense of long and strenuous sessions, in one case extending
to twenty-eight hours on end, that this has been done in time to
permit the Plenary Conference to consider each treaty as a whole.

In addition to the accounts of the voting in each Commission
report, I attach a table giving a complete analysis of the voting
on the various Australian amendments. [2] The numbering of this is
as given in the original table which I also attach for convenience
of reference.

The last week before the resumption of the Plenary Sessions saw a
renewed struggle on questions of procedure. This centred in the
International Secretariat, where an attempt was made by the Soviet
delegation to replace the rules decided upon at the beginning of
the Conference by even less liberal regulations designed, so far
as one could see, to limit the Plenary Conference's compliance to
voting on the recommended clauses of the reports forwarded by the
various commissions.

It was disappointing to see how little opposition was offered to
this campaign by the other delegations and I think we can claim
reasonable credit for taking the lead in rallying the Secretariat
to the view that any regulations it drafted must be only
interpretative, in no way superseding the existing rules of
procedure. It was finally decided that the Plenary Conference
would meet on 5th October to discuss procedure for the concluding
sessions and that the Secretariat would offer as a guide to this
meeting a set of rules, the more important of which were that the
treaties would be discussed in the order of Italy, Roumania,
Bulgaria, Hungary, Finland, that the Commissions' reports should
be board in the order of political military and economic and that
each delegation would be allowed only 30 minutes to speak on each
treaty, after which voting would take place without further

The Plenary Session adopted these rules of procedure. As a result
of two Australian suggestions, it was agreed that they in no way
superseded the existing rules, and that at the end of the
Conference the final set of recommendations would be submitted to
the Plenary Conference for approval before submission by the
Secretary-General to the Council of Foreign Ministers.

General discussion opened in the Plenary Conference with the
Italian Treaty on 6th October. The statement which I made on
behalf of our own delegation is attached hereto. [3] I am
convinced from my discussions with representatives of other
delegations, as well as from reports reaching me from the press
and public, that it was received with sympathy and interest, and
that it was regarded as a full and practical review of the
Conference and of the relation which its achievements and its
practice bear to settlement in other parts of the world. We
intended this statement to serve in a sense as a valedictory
address, in which we hoped to emphasise the value and purpose of
our amendments and to place them in perspective in the light of
the whole work of the Conference. I referred particularly in this
to our proposal for treaty revision and concluded by moving an
amendment in this sense. On the actual vote we managed to obtain
six votes in support with three abstentions.

In view of the earlier reception of the same proposal in the
Commissions, this was a not inconsiderable result.


1 'Report of the Australian Delegation to the Conference of Paris
29th July - 15th October, 1946.' On file AA:A2910 T1, 412/25/25.

2 On file AA:A1067, P146/11/20.

3 On file AA:A1067, E46/38/30.

[AA:A1067, P146/11/20]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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