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

Cablegram UN845 NEW YORK, 29 November 1946, 6.53 p.m.


Assembly 287.

Trusteeship-sub-committee 1.

1. Reference paragraphs 8 and 9 of Assembly 258-procedure for
subcommittee consideration of remaining texts. All proposals for
modifications of African texts were lodged 6 p.m. 28th.

Mandatories are to lodge brief written reports of these proposals
by 11 a.m. Saturday local time at the latest. The sub-committee
has requested Australia to adopt the same procedure.

2. It has now become impossible to proceed with the remaining
agreements on the present lines. Most of the objections have
already been raised and discussed in relation to Western Samoa
which has thus served as a kind of test case for all.

3. The sub-committee has suggested that the administering
authorities should clarify proposals for modifications as either
(a) acceptable without discussion,
(b) acceptable in principle but not in the form proposed,
(c) unnecessary and involving no change in substance, or as
trivial in character,
(d) unacceptable under any conditions.

In order to save time, the proposals accepted by the state
submitting agreement and the proposals already discussed in
relation to the New Zealand agreement would not be further
discussed. There will thus be no further formal second readings.

4. We attended on the night of 28th an informal meeting with other
mandatories for a first round-up of the proposals that had just
been received. All agreed to maintain the firm stand they have
taken during the New Zealand second reading. The result will be an
uncompromising and very negative set of reports. Virtually all
proposals for changes in substance will be declared either
unacceptable or unnecessary. This bothers France more than the
others but unless they get different instructions the French will
not, we think, break the common front. As an indication that
proposals for change have been given consideration in good faith
Britain, France and Belgium will accept several useful corrections
and drafting improvements but this will not amount to more than
two or three alterations on each case.

5. The eventual outcome is still uncertain. The Soviet group
maintains strictest reserve about possible action to assert their
claim to veto as a state directly concerned. India has formally
asserted its right regarding Tanganyika. We think it possible that
the matter will be taken to the floor of the plenary meeting of
the Assembly and that with determined support of the United States
all eight agreements will be approved.

6. The Australian text will not need [to] have a separate second
reading but will be considered along with other remaining texts.

The time at which the Chairman of the delegation can best make a
statement on Government administrative record and policy in New
Guinea as authorised in UNY414 will have to be arranged in the
light of changing circumstances. We are arranging to secure a good
press for it.

7. Our difficulties in preventing discrimination against the
Australian text because of its differences from the others will be
in subcommittee and in committee rather than in Assembly.

8. The time for receiving proposals having now expired, no new
demands can be made upon us.

9. Subject to further instructions, we will report to the
Secretariat at 11 a.m. Saturday that all proposed modifications
(set out in Assembly 225) are either unacceptable or unnecessary
with the exception of those mentioned in the two following
paragraphs giving a brief exposition of our reasons where not
covered but already taken during our own first reading or the New
Zealand second reading.

10. In view of paragraph 8 we think no harm could be done by
accepting the United States proposal for small verbal changes in
Article 5 which in Dulles' [1] and undisputed view would leave the
substance unaffected.

11. Additional articles are proposed (in form similar to that
adopted in the New Zealand text) by U.S.A., Iraq, U.S.S.R. and
China, regarding political institutions, freedom of worship and
missionary activity, freedom of expression and assembly, education
and land laws (Iraq does not propose this). There are also
proposals from U.S.A. regarding participation in regional
commissions, co-operation with the Trusteeship Council and
settlement of disputes, also along the New Zealand lines. China
proposed inclusion of an article along the New Zealand lines
regarding social abuses. Remaining additional articles proposed
are plainly unacceptable.

12. All these seem innocuous and could be accepted without
undertaking additional obligations not already covered by the
Charter and by the existing text. To accept them would certainly
assist in rallying support especially from Arab and Latin American
states. But having regard to the principles we have successfully
asserted we do not suggest that all should be adopted.

13. Bailey understands Minister's views would be expressed
rejecting as unnecessary the proposals which involve mere
paraphrase of the Charter (e.g., political development,
fundamental freedoms) while accepting in principle and subject to
later formulation in a single article those proposals which
represent merely an undertaking to continue existing
administrative policy (e.g., land laws, education, and religious
freedom). The latter should be along lines not of the mandate nor
New Zealand clause but to the United States own proposal for the
Japanese Islands omitting reference to migration. [2]

14. It would be along the lines of the Government's policy to add
a clause on co-operation with the Trusteeship Council. This would
please the whole committee especially China, and is in any event
already implied. Regional Commissions, we think, better kept
distinct from United Nations. Invite your special consideration of

15. Please advise urgently whether we may act along the lines of
paragraphs 13 and 14. We shall in any case forward to-night a
draft article for consideration by the Minister.

1 A sign here indicates 'mutilated'.

2 Article 6(2) of the U.S. draft agreement provided for the
protection of 'inhabitants against the loss of their lands and
resources', Article 6(4) for the promotion of 'the educational
advancements of the inhabitants', and Article 7 for 'freedom of
conscience, of worship, and of religious teaching' as well as for
'freedom of migration and movement'.

[AA:A1838/1, 306/1/4]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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