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101 Australian Delegation, United Nations Special Committee on the Balkans, to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram 87, LONDON[1] , 14 September 1948


Our immediately preceding telegram.[2] Following is text of conclusions and recommendations.[3] Begins.


I. Events which have come to the knowledge of the Special Committee between 17th June and 10th September, 1948, have served to confirm the conclusions expressed in the Special Committee's Report.[4] (See report paragraph 186 with regard to paragraph 5 of resolution of General Assembly of 21st October, 1947).

II. Governments of Albania, Bulgaria and Yugoslavia have still refused to co-operate with the Special Committee. Furthermore the Special Committee finds that Governments, which were called upon by paragraph 4 of the General Assembly resolution 'to do nothing which could furnish aid and assistance' to guerrillas fighting in Greece, have not complied with the injunction. Greek guerrillas have continued to receive aid and assistance on a large scale from Albania, Bulgaria and Yugoslavia with the knowledge of Governments of those countries.

III. The Special Committee is fully convinced that guerrillas in frontier zones:

(1) have been largely dependent on external supply. Great quantities of arms, ammunition and other military stores have come across the border notably during times of heavy fighting. Strongly held positions of guerrillas have protected their vital supply lines from Bulgaria, Yugoslavia and in particular from Albania. In recent months there has been less evidence of receipt of supplies from Yugoslavia by guerrillas;

(2) have frequently moved at will in territory across frontier for tactical reasons and have thus been able to concentrate their forces without interference by Greek Army and to return to Greece when they wished;

(3) have frequently retired safely into territory of Albania, Bulgaria and Yugoslavia when Greek Army exerted great pressure.

IV. The Special Committee is convinced that continuation of such a situation constitutes an insurmountable obstacle to the establishment of 'good-neighbourly relations' between Greece and her northern neighbours as recommended in paragraph 5 of Assembly Resolution of 21st October, 1947. Still more it constitutes a threat to the political independence and territorial integrity of Greece and to peace in Balkans.

V. The Special Committee is satisfied that where it had evidence of frontier violations by Greek Army, orders from Greek higher military authorities were strictly against such violations. This type of violation is readily explained by conditions faced by Greek Forces. Frontier Guards of Albania, Bulgaria and Yugoslavia have fired into Greek Territory but there is no evidence to prove that they did so under orders of their higher military authorities: so long as Albania, Bulgaria and Yugoslavia do not prevent guerrillas from crossing their frontiers at will and so long as the Greek Government is obliged to conduct operations against guerrillas near the northern frontiers of Greece incidents are likely to occur. The Special committee is satisfied that, where frontier incidents not involving direct aid to Greek guerrillas occurred, they were result of a state of tension along the frontier and were not deliberately provoked.

VI. The Special Committee is of the opinion that the conduct of Albania, Bulgaria and Yugoslavia has been inconsistent with the purposes and principles of the Charter of United Nations.

The Special Committee in the absence of any co-operation from the Governments of Albania, Bulgaria and Yugoslavia in carrying out its mandate does not feel confident that any recommendations made by it would assure a speedy solution of existing difficulties. However, without prejudice to such other measures as the General Assembly may deem fit to adopt it makes the following general recommendations -
I. (1) that recommendations made in the report of 30th June, 1948, should stand;

(2) that the General Assembly issue a serious warning to Albania, Bulgaria and Yugoslavia that their continued aid to Greek guerrillas endangers peace in the Balkans;

(3) further that the General Assembly recommend to all members of the United Nations and all other states that they exercise care not to do anything which might assist in any way any armed group fighting against the Greek Government.

II. That the General Assembly approve the activities of the Special Committee to date and instruct it;

(1) to observe and report upon response of Albania, Bulgaria and Yugoslavia to the General Assembly's injunction not to furnish aid and assistance to Greek guerrillas in accordance with the General Assembly Resolution of 21st October, 1947, and any other resolution, which the General Assembly may adopt;

(2) to continue to utilise observation groups in such a manner and with such personnel and equipment as the Special Committee deems necessary for the fulfilment of its task;

(3) to be available to assist the Governments of Albania, Bulgaria, Greece and Yugoslavia in the implementation of recommendations of the General Assembly.

III. The Special Committee is also of the opinion that as a result of experience of the past two months it is at present impossible not to give effect to the proposal for reduction of expenditure made in paragraph 192 of the report. The Special Committee will itself make such changes in its organisation, structure and methods of work as it may deem necessary for the accomplishment of its tasks or in order to effect savings, when it considers that the situation warrants such action. Ends.[5]

[1] Dispatched from Athens on 13 September 1948 via British Embassy, Athens, and High Commissioner's Office, London.

[2] Cablegram 86, dispatched on 13 September 1948 in the same manner as the cablegram in note 1.

[3] That is, of the supplementary report (A/644) covering the period between 17 June and 10 September 1948.

[4] See Document 99.

[5] Before voting, the Australian representative consulted with Evatt and Hodgson. As a result Australia agreed with the factual conclusions in paragraphs I to III and V, but abstained from the political conclusions in paragraphs IV and VI on grounds that 'such judgements were more properly the function of [the Assembly]'.

[AA : A1838, 31/1/5/1, I]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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