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Historical documents

32 Evatt to Makin

Cablegram 1005 WASHINGTON, 20 July 1946, 12.52 a.m.


1. Your No. UNY150 [1], it is not possible for me to express
concluded view on proposed statement on Trusteeship. I would
gather from its tone the document is being drafted by Bailey and
Eggleston. I have already sent telegram [2] clearly indicating
that a more simple and business-like approach to the question of
the trusteeship agreement should be made than the far too
elaborate draft they were proposing to recommend. Putting the
matter quite frankly, what should, in my opinion, be primarily
emphasised is first that Australia will have complete and
exclusive power in controlling administration and Government [ask
what] [3] territory continues to be an integral part of Australia
itself and second that the only limitation upon this control will
be the obligation to carry out the duties imposed by the Charter.

It is quite a mistake to say, as your paragraph (B)(11) states,
that Australia cannot use her position to obtain any benefits or
privileges not open to other members of the United Nations. In my
opinion, as one of the draftsmen most concerned with this part of
the Charter, this assertion is by no means correct. The truth is
that in order to carry out the general duty of protecting the
welfare and advancement of the native inhabitants, Australia can
in her discretion and must, in part at least, act with the
inevitable result that other members of the United Nations will
not have the same rights as Australia's in the area. The doctrine
of the open door was never applicable to the 'C' class mandates
and I took very good care at San Francisco to see that it was not
included as a specific duty upon the trustee. For these reasons
what you call the second consideration stated in paragraph (B)(11)
should assert the general duty to promote the welfare and
advancement of the inhabitants in accordance with the
administrative powers and discretions of the trustee.

2. All the above is quite clear. Bailey in particular knows
thoroughly my views on the matter and my repeated public
statements on the general principles which I think might be
quoted. Above all, it must be recognised that very delicate
considerations are present and when broad statements now made are
apt to be misleading. The problems of the United Kingdom and New
Zealand are not quite the same as ours, dealing as we are with the
Melanesian population. Above all I wish to guard against the
assumption that our jurisdiction might be in the slightest degree
lessened from that exercised under the Mandate. On the contrary,
our jurisdiction in certain respects extended and strengthened.

3. With regard to paragraph 2 it would be quite wrong to designate
a strategic area in the trusteeship agreement or to suggest that
we might do so at the present time. Our proposed arrangement with
the United States will probably cover the use of a certain portion
of the Admiralty Islands and to do anything indicating that this
question directly or indirectly may be thrown into the Security
Council is quite embarrassing at present.

4. With regard to immigration, I do not think it is necessary to
develop the point at any length, however there must be no doubt
whatever that under the powers of Australia no immigration
whatever will be permitted which might in any way interfere with
the native welfare.

5. With regard to states directly concerned, I have no objection
to France being consulted informally without prejudice to the
question whether she is or is not technically a state directly

6. I quite agree that some statement has got to be made to

However the points should be limited to those few matters covered
by my own draft. [4]

7. Frankly I feel that both Bailey and Eggleston are pushing the
matter of imposing duties upon Australia a good deal further than
I would go and, as I have already indicated, further than the
Charter suggests or requires. I am determined that if possible the
trusteeship system should succeed. At the same time the authority
of Australia in the territory under the trusteeship agreement is a
matter of deep public concern and everything should be done to
make this perfectly plain including the fact that our authority in
relation to fortification and defence will be extended as a result
of converting the mandate into a trusteeship. It should also be
stressed that if the terms we desire to have included are not
agreed to then the existing state of affairs continues and our
jurisdiction and practical sovereignty will remain indefinitely. I
would commend to you a careful review of all my telegrams and
consultation with Burton and perhaps Forsyth too, if he is
physically fit again.

1 Document 28.

2 Document 26.

3 Presumably words in square brackets should read 'as that'.

4 To meet Evatt's wishes, the statement to Parliament was amended
to refer to Australia's 'complete and exclusive power in
controlling the administration of New Guinea' subject only to
duties imposed by the U.N. Charter.

[AA:A4311, BOX 481]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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