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190 McIntyre to Burton

Minute CANBERRA, 12 March 1948


It does not seem to me that the attached telegram meets the
position. [1]

2. It was announced in the press last week-end that the U.K.,
U.S., China, India, France and the Netherlands had recognised the
Siamese Government. This indicated that all these Governments had
formally acknowledged the Siamese Government's Note. Denmark,
Norway, Sweden and Switzerland were expected to do so, and may
have done so by now.

3. Our telegram suggests that the reason why we are not proposing
to grant recognition is that the Siamese Government has made no
mention in its Note of its intention to fulfil the conditions of
membership of the United Nations. If this is the only test, it is
open to the Siamese Government to give us an assurance along these
lines in the expectation that we will then recognise it.

4. There is nothing in the United Nations Charter which requires
the United Nations as a whole to take cognizance of changes of
government in a member State. Membership of the United Nations is
not membership of Governments but of States. The only way in which
the United Nations can question the membership of a State once
admitted to membership is by invoking Article 6, which provides
that a member which 'has persistently violated the principles' of
the Charter may be expelled by the Assembly on the recommendation
of the Security Council. Any move to expel, say, Siam would
clearly call for a submission of a formal resolution based on past
acts and not on mere distrust of future intentions. In other
words, the United Nations is not concerned with what Government is
in power in one of its member States so long as the State
continues to observe the principles of the Charter. There would
clearly be no support for a complaint that Siam has not observed
the Charter since she became a member of the United Nations.

5. It seems to me, therefore, that we have now made our position
more untenable than it was before. We might as well decide to
grant recognition now, after extracting from the Siamese a promise
to observe the principles of the United Nations Charter if we
consider this necessary, as wait until the Siamese themselves
offer this assurance and thus remove our only stated objection to

1 Document 189.

[AA:A1838/283, 451/3/1/1, i]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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