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Historical documents

291 Department of External Affairs to Australian Delegation, United Nations

Cablegram UNY472 CANBERRA, 8 December 1946


Your UN.935. [1]

1. It must be clear to you that before final approval of the
government can be given an accurate and complete draft must be
submitted in final proposed form. Even the preamble is not
tentatively agreed. In these circumstances it should be clear to
you that approval given regarding additional article must be
subject to final approval by government of agreement as a whole.

At the same time, government and therefore Parliament approval
will almost certainly be obtained if you are not driven further by
Soviet tactics.

2. In view of the delays caused by sub-committee there should be
no difficulty in arranging a procedure whereby the Council is
elected on the basis of those powers having agreements approved by
the Assembly even though such agreements are subject to the final
approval of the governments concerned. Presumably, Council will
not meet for several months.

3. Regarding two amendments voted for by Committee, we are
strongly opposed to deletion of 'in the opinion of' for reasons
already given. Whatever interpretation might be placed on the
article this deletion will be given significance in the future.

Eggleston's opinion [2] is convincing on this point and United
States attitude stated by you is very satisfactory and we thank
Dulles accordingly.

4. Regarding addition in Article 4 [3] of 'in so far as etc.' we
would be prepared to agree to insert after word 'desirable' the
words 'in order to carry out the terms of the present agreement
and the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations'. You will
appreciate point that under C class mandate Australia's
legislative power internally is equivalent to that exercisable by
Australia in respect of its own territories. It would be
interference of trust if legislative power were itself conditioned
by clause of Soviet draft particularly as High Court might even
regard clause as invalidating legislation internally.

5. As, however, Russia proposes to vote against text on other
grounds, we do not see any point in making unnecessary additions
unless such action carries with it the support of Russia for the
whole draft.

6. You should seek support from Middle East, European and Latin
American groups. We have repeatedly made concessions without any
tangible evidence of support in return.

7. Regarding cables on press reports [4] additional clause and our
initiative on trusteeship should convince majority.

8. Disturbing element is that we desired clause 8 to go through as
last resort because we think it quite unnecessary. In fact the
gauntlet will have to be run again and further demands made.

1 Document 287.

2 Conveyed in Document 270.

3 See Document 292.

4 Possibly a reference to cablegram UN924 of 6 December reporting
favourably on the Australian statement of 3 December and the
tabling of the new Article 8, but more likely a response to the
comment in paragraph 13 of Document 287.

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