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46 Australian Delegation, United Nations, to Evatt

Cablegram United Nations 319 NEW YORK, 31 July 1946, 7.12 p.m.

Security 118.

1. The first meeting of the membership committee was held today.

[1] It was agreed that Chairmanship should rotate in the same
order as the Security Council. Thus the Netherlands representative
presides until 17th, when the Polish representative takes office.

2. The acting Secretary-General reported that formal applications
for membership had been received in the following order. Albania,
Mongolia (document S95) Afghanistan (document [S]98) Transjordan
(document S101). Secretary-General had inquired whether Siamese
letter of the 20th of May (document S73) should be regarded as a
formal application and Siamese representative in New York had
asked for postponement of submission of this letter to membership
committee, until he received further instructions from Bangkok
(document S114).

3. At the commencement of the committee's work, the Australian
representative made it clear that Australia still believes the
procedure adopted by the Security Council regarding admission of
members was incorrect [2], and although we would assist in
advancing the committee's work, our participation was not to be
regarded as limiting our right to reopen the question of procedure
if we should see fit. Australia would not regard the fact that an
application had or had not been considered by the membership
committee as excluding the application from consideration by the
General Assembly.

4. The Chairman then called for general discussion on the work of
the committee. The Australian representative gained general
acceptance of his proposition that the committee's function was to
make an objective examination of the facts in each case. In order
to assist the Security Council to determine whether the
application met the three requirements of the Charter, namely:

(a) Peace loving State
(b) Readiness to accept obligations
(c) Able and willing to carry out obligations.

Under (a) relevant facts would be not only the professions of the
applicant, but also its actions during recent years. Under (b) the
chief evidence would be the declaration made by the applicant
State. Under (c) the committee had a difficult responsibility to
determine such questions as whether or not the regime of the
applicant State was in its origin and structure such as to give a
reasonable certainty that it did and would continue to represent
the peoples for whom it claimed to speak and that it had a
reasonable expectation of stability.

5. Some difficulty was encountered when the Soviet representative
proposed that applications should be taken in chronological order
and that the committee should make a recommendation on each one
before passing [to] the examination of the next on the list. The
stubborness with which the Soviet held this proposal tended to
confirm superstition [3] of other representatives that Soviet
intends to force acceptance of Albania and Mongolia under the
threat that they will block later applications, if their wish is
not granted. The majority of the committee expressed the view that
while the facts relating to each State might be examined in the
order of application, no final report on any single State could be
made until all cases had been considered, and the committee had
gained experience regarding the way in which the criteria laid
down in the Charter could be applied. After protracted discussion
the committee simply decided to commence work by examining the
facts relating to Albania.

6. There was further long discussion when France asked whether
States not members of the Security Council, might be allowed to
assist the committee. The majority of the committee, while
recognising that the question of admitting a non-member to
participation in the sense of Article 31, was a matter for the
Security Council alone, considered it within the competence of the
committee to receive information from non members, or if occasion
arose, to request information from non members regarding any of
the applications. The Soviet representative resisted this view and
also refused to accept the suggestion that the matter might be
referred to the Security Council to determine precise powers of
the committee to receive information from non members. This issue
was unresolved when the committee adjourned. All representatives
clearly have in mind the submission likely to be made by Greece
regarding Albania. [4] The Australian representative argued that
the Security Council had given definite functions to the committee
and it must be assumed that committee was vested with powers
adequate to the performance of its functions.

7. The committee adjourned to Thursday afternoon.

1 i.e. the membership committee of the U.N. Security Council.

2 See Document 18.

3 Presumably 'superstition' should read 'suspicion' or

4 On 13 February 1946 the Security Council had agreed to receive a
letter from the Greek Minister for Foreign Affairs stating that
admission of Albania to the United Nations especially affected the
interests of Greece and asking that the Security Council invite
Greece to participate in its discussions on this matter.

Consideration of the letter was deferred but the item was retained
on the agenda.

[AA:A3195, 1946, 1.19308/9]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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