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Historical documents

288 Evatt to Makin

Cablegram UNY467 CANBERRA, 8 December 1946


Your UN.901. [1]

Development of discussion on veto at Assembly meetings has been
most disturbing, revealing a story of repeated sidetracking of
Australian proposals and deliberate clouding of the purpose of
those proposals by the Great Powers. It is most difficult at this
distance to apportion responsibility for this between what you
claim has been biased chairmanship of Committee 1, the growing
desire of the Great Powers not to concede special privileges, and
inertia on the part of ourselves and our supporters.

First, the debate was adjourned to allow of private Great Power
discussion which, had it been successful, would have established a
most unfortunate precedent. Then the debate hung fire for some
time while other issues were discussed. All this time the
Australian resolution had not been unequivocally put for-ward at
all. It was not until 1st December that a real effort was made to
bring our resolution to the vote, and then the effort failed, with
the submission of the matter to a sub-committee, a device of which
you must know I strongly disapprove, and which is being
increasingly used to produce recommendations that do not reflect
the attitude of all the members.

Meantime the Soviet has produced a draft that means absolutely
nothing, and the Chinese have seized the initiative by putting
forward one based on it and calculated to weaken support for our
resolution, the only one which is likely to achieve anything at
all. The Chinese proposal is equally meaningless and almost
amounts to gibberish. It would not be unreasonable to suggest that
the Great Powers have been acting in concert over this matter,
especially as you appear to believe that the United States is
likely to desert us.

My experience of the feeling of the Nations at San Francisco and
later on this issue makes it hard for me to believe that you could
not have held the leadership then gained and rallied sufficient
support for our draft. Although it seems that the real issues
involved have been hopelessly lost in the confusion of resolutions
and amendments bouncing from Committee to Sub-committee I want a
final supreme effort made to have our resolution brought before
the Plenary and accorded a roll-call vote. Meantime all members of
the Delegation should spare no effort to convince other
Delegations of the reasons underlying our actions, and the
necessity for our positive resolution being adopted. You should
remember the San Francisco experience that those who fight to the
end win.

1 Document 276.

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