Skip to main content

Historical documents

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

Cablegram UN1072 NEW YORK, 30 December 1946, 6.25 p.m.

Atomic 63.

1. The Commission [1] to-day approved the report [2] by 10 votes
with 2 abstentions (Soviet and Poland).

2. Gromyko opened the meeting with a statement declaring that the
report was inconsistent with the Charter and with the General
Assembly resolution of 14th December. [3] His main objections

(a) The report did not specifically place the atomic control
system within the Security Council system.

(b) The proposals in the report regarding the veto were tantamount
to a revision of the Charter [4], and
(c) A decision on the prohibition of atomic weapons should be the
first step. Gromyko also proposed that the Commission should not
consider the draft report but should consider the United States
proposals of December 5th item by item.

3. After Baruch had moved adoption of the report Australia
suggested that the Soviet was specifically proposing to abandon
the last fortnight's intensive work by the Commission and start
all over again and by implication was also abandoning the past six
months work and returning to the position at the end of June. We
reconciled Dr. Evatt's analysis of the problems on concluding
chairmanship and showed that points now raised by the Soviet were
precisely those which Dr. Evatt isolated for attention. During the
past six months the Commission had worked to resolve these
problems and had reached substantial agreement but now the Soviet
wished to return to the starting point. It was hard to understand
this dilatory approach. Australia saw no conflict between the
present report and the Charter and Assembly resolutions and would
support its adoption.

4. In turn Brazil, Canada, Egypt, United Kingdom, France, China
and Netherlands expressed willingness to accept the report as
drafted. Poland attempted to stall and raised various suggestions
regarding the methods by which unanimous agreement might be
reached. Australia suggested that the two members who opposed the
report might be prepared to abstain from voting against adoption
and indicate those particular passages to which they objected.

After luncheon adjournment United States pressed for vote.

1 That is, the Atomic Energy Commission.

2 The Atomic Energy Commission had decided on 13 November to
submit a report on its work to the Security Council before 31
December. The report recommended 'the creation of a strong and
comprehensive international system of control and inspection by a
treaty or convention in which all Members of the United Nations
would participate on fair and equitable terms'.

3 Resolution 41(I). See Documents 313, 314 and 321.

4 The report had recommended that the treaty referred to in note 2
should provide that the veto power of permanent members of the
Security Council should not apply to the work of the proposed
international authority.

[AA:A1838 T184, 720/1, i]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
Back to top