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

Cablegram UN393 NEW YORK, 29 August 1946, 12.27 a.m.


Security 148.

1. The Security Council today considered the report of the
Committee on membership. At the outset, the Polish Chairman stated
that Mongolia had presented reply to Committee's questionnaire and
Siam had asked that consideration of its application be adjourned
until settlement of the dispute with France had been effected.

2. Opening the general discussion on the Committee's report, the
United States read a prepared statement on the universality of
membership as a guiding principle and argued that unless
favourable action on all applications was taken now, the
Organisation would have to work for another year with a less
representative membership than is necessary. Therefore the Council
shall take broad and far sighted action to recommend the admission
of all present applications. He moved a resolution accordingly.

3. The Secretary-General intervened with a statement on the
historical development of the idea of universality of membership
and declared that the Organisation required active collaboration
of all peace-loving states. As Secretary-General he supported
admission of all applicants.

4. Brazil, Mexico and Egypt also supported the United States
proposal as an application of the doctrine of universality.

5. The Soviet Union, briefly, but forcefully, opposed the proposal
declaring that the Council must consider each application

5. [1] Australia, as instructed, made a statement against
admission en bloc. We made it clear that our remarks concerned the
methods proposed and not the merits of any applicant. While
universality of membership was desirable and we looked forward to
the day when all peace-loving nations would work within the United
Nations, our understanding of universality was not that any and
every applicant must be admitted. The doctrine had to be applied
in the sense of the Charter which required the fulfilment of
precise conditions before membership was granted. The Security
Council had a responsibility to examine applications and although
it was our view that Security Council had prematurely assumed
jurisdiction, we nevertheless thought that if it undertook such
examination it should complete it thoroughly. Examination had not
been completed by the Membership Committee. The Committee's report
revealed that strong objections had been stated and grave doubts
had been raised regarding certain applicants. Furthermore
throughout the Committee's work it was anticipated that the
eventual political decision would be made by the Council and
political questions which Committee of Experts could not resolve
had been left on one side. Further, two Members of the United
Nations, Greece and Yugoslavia had applied to be heard by the
Council regarding one of the applications and possibly other
Members might wish to be heard and Council should not deny them
their right of participation by dealing with applications en bloc.

In short, a day or two ago there were doubts regarding some of the
applicants and there was an anticipation that all applications
would be further examined by the Council. Now apparently the
doubts have been removed and some Members wish to dispense with
further examination. How had this come about? Without imputing
motives of colleagues it seemed that the only possible reasons
that could be urged in favour of proposal were that it provided an
easy way out of difficulties and secondly that it might possibly
remove the risk of one permanent member vetoing the candidate of
another because his own candidate had previously been rejected.

Neither of these reasons applied to the Australian Delegation and
in fact we believed any attempt to avoid difficulty by taking easy
path would lead to greater difficulties in the future and would be
against the interests of the United Nations. The Security Council
had a solemn responsibility to the whole Organisation in regard to
the admission of new members. We then referred to the primary
responsibility of the General Assembly and the powers of the
General Assembly in regard to admission and suggested that the
General Assembly would be badly served by receiving all the
applications in one lot whereas it was the Assembly's right and
expectation to examine each one of them carefully and reach its
own judgment on them.

6. China supported United States proposal.

7. The United Kingdom simply said that while in favour of
universality, the conditions of the Charter must be observed and
that it still had doubts whether two countries satisfied those
conditions. It could not support the United States' proposal but
in view of the course of the debate (i.e. certainty of Russian
veto) there was no need to pronounce.

8. Cadogan informed us privately before the Meeting that he was
instructed to oppose admission en bloc and that United Kingdom
maintained its objection to Albania and Outer Mongolia but it was
doubtful whether he would take the responsibility of vetoing the
United States proposal, the British view being that the veto
should not be exercised against a majority except in case of major
importance. Cadogan was therefore pleased that Gromyko, saved him
the necessity of applying the veto and he also appreciated our

9. After the United States, the Netherlands and Egypt had said
that if United States proposal was not carried they would reserve
the right to reconsider their position on each Country taken
separately, the United States on the Soviet suggestion, withdrew
its resolution.

10. Before the general discussion closed, Australia made a
statement of its attitude along lines of our reservation to the
Committee's report and also as instructed on our dissatisfaction
with the procedures and the form of application along the lines of
Paragraph 8 of telegram UN.366. [2]

11. Consequent upon the withdrawal of the United States proposal
there was some skirmishing by its supporters to avoid separate
consideration of applicants. Proposal by France to admit the three
applicants who were known to have been supported and to defer the
other five was supported by Egypt but objected to by Soviet and
was withdrawn. United States then stated plainly that if the case
of Albania and Outer Mongolia were brought to a vote it would vote
against them and attempted to move that the Council should not
take action at this time in the case of those two applicants.

Soviet also opposed this and Gromyko dismissed effectively remarks
of Johnson who was obviously ill at ease because after having
failed in a move for mass approval now had to attempt to bring
about group rejection.

12. After brief argument regarding order of discussion it was
decided to take up the case of Albania. Greek and Yugoslav
Representatives were invited to participate. Soviet made a long
statement mainly about Albania's participation in the war against
the Axis.

13. The United States again moved that the Council should not take
action in the case of Albania and Outer Mongolia at the present
time saying that he hoped for the event [3] of these countries and
wanted to avoid the painful necessity of casting a negative vote
against them.

14. United Kingdom indicated that it would support the United

15. Chairman suggested that discussion should continue on
Ukrainian [4] application and United States proposal could be
submitted when the time came to take a vote. Representative of
Greece then made an extremely long statement which with
translation lasted over an hour and a half and after nearly eight
hours in morning and afternoon sessions, Council adjourned till
tomorrow morning.

1 A sign here indicates that the paragraph numbering is 'as

2 See Document 73, note 3.

3 A sign here indicates 'word omitted'; the phrase presumably
should read 'eventual admission of'.

4 'Ukrainian' presumably should read 'Albanian'.

[AA:A1838 T189, 854/10/14, i]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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