Skip to main content

Historical documents

178 Department of External Affairs to Australian Delegation, United Nations

Cablegram [UNY]302 CANBERRA, 25 October 1946


Your 554.

Attlee and Truman statements [1] would almost appear as though
criticism of exercise of veto had originated with them. The long
fight at San Francisco is conveniently forgotten. In this
connection you will have seen Dominion Office telegram on veto and
our reply. [2] Please ensure that in Ambassador's statement a full
review is made of the persistent efforts by Minister at San
Francisco to modify the veto provisions and later at Security
Council to restrict the exercise of the veto.

2. It should be stressed that Australian fears, for which we were
called 'perfectionists' at San Francisco, have been more than
justified, even in opinion of many of those who, at San Francisco,
resisted us.

3. Any suggestion that matter should not be discussed in Assembly
should be strongly resisted reference being made to Article 10 and
San Francisco struggle for it.

1 In the House of Commons on 24 October, Attlee had urged that the
veto be reviewed 'with a view to restraining it to its original
intent', and Truman, addressing the General Assembly the previous
day, had declared that the Security Council should be used' as a
means for promoting settlement of disputes as well as for airing
them. The exercise of neither veto rights nor majority rights can
make peace secure'.

2 Document 172.

[AA:A1838/2, 852/10/5, i]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
Back to top