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Historical documents

18 Australian Delegation, United Nations, to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram United Nations 261 NEW YORK, 9 July 1946, 5.27 p.m.


Reference your 124 Membership in the United Nations.

1. Applications for membership have now been formally received
from Albania, Siam, Afghanistan, Mongolia and Transjordan. On 17th
May the Security Council decided to set up a Committee composed of
representatives of each member of the Council to consider
applications for membership received before July 15th and report
to the Security Council not later than 1st August. [1] Among the
reasons for the United States action of introducing this
resolution was the desire to avoid an expected debate over Albania
on the Soviet initiative. [2]

2. Although our representative objected throughout the procedure
which gave initiative in the admission of members to the Security
Council [3], Dr. Evatt feels that we are obliged to nominate a
representative to this Committee and to participate in its work
but that we should maintain our stand that the work of this
Committee does not in any way preclude applications direct to the
General Assembly up to the time the Assembly meets. Intervention
by our representative at the meeting of 17th May made it plain
that appointment of the Committee did not set July 15th as a
deadline for receiving applications for membership. Our statement
in the Security Council left the way open for us to raise in the
General Assembly question of adopting other procedures for
admission which will take better account of the respective roles
of the Assembly and Council. [4]

3. Dr. Evatt's view is that we should not commit Australia at
present either to support or reject any application but take the
stand that all applications must be considered objectively in the
light of the Charter and of the facts placed before the United
Nations to determine whether the applicants are [(a) sovereign
states, (b) peace loving, and (c)] [5] able and willing to carry
out the obligations of the Charter. We should also take care to
ensure that the Assembly's rights are not prejudiced by
anticipatory recommendations before the Assembly meets by which
time further facts might be brought forward which could influence
recommendation by the Security Council.

1 These two deadlines were later extended.

2 The Soviet Union, with an eye to Albania, had proposed that
applications for the admission of new members be considered by the
Security Council immediately on receipt; the United States,
opposed to the admission of Albania but wishing to avoid conflict
on the question, proposed that applications be considered by a
committee and submitted to the Security Council.

3 Australia had argued that applications should be received by the
General Assembly and dealt with by the Security Council only after
referral from the Assembly.

4 The statement contended that the admission of new members
concerned the organisation as a whole and that the Security
Council was not empowered to lay down procedures for any other

5 Corrected from copy on file SFU : Evatt Collection, External
Affairs-Original File(a).

[AA:A1838 T189, 854/10/14, i]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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