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134 Department of External Affairs to Jackson

Cablegram 33, CANBERRA, 28 January 1948, 11 a.m.


Your telegrams re Korea.

1. Our view remains that the resolution makes it clear that elections are to be conducted on a national scale and that the National Government resulting therefrom will assume authority for the government of both North and South Korea (paragraph 4(b)). In the event of it being impossible to carry out the programme of national action recommended by the Assembly, we agree with your suggestion that the Commission might fix constituencies for the whole of Korea, but the Commission is not empowered to adapt the proposals for implementation in the southern zone alone and any move to recommend such a course of action to the Interim Committee should be strongly opposed. In addition to the possible consequences suggested in our 725, to attempt to carry out the proposals in the Southern zone might endanger the chances of an early withdrawal of Soviet troops.

2. The Commission should, therefore, endeavour by all the means open to it to secure the co-operation of the responsible authorities in Northern Korea. In the event of a direct approach, such as the visit of the Temporary Chairman to the Russian zone, failing, it may be possible to obtain, as a basis of future agreements, written submission of the Soviet's proposals on the attainment of Korean independence. Care should be taken to ensure that approaches to the Soviet authorities are not deliberately designed to meet with refusal.

3. It would appear from the first resolution of the General Assembly that consultation with representatives of the Korean people would, of necessity, follow the programme for elections provided in the second resolution. Paragraph (5) of Resolution No.2 however, provides that the Commission shall take into account its observations and consultations in endeavouring to facilitate the fulfilment of the programme for the attainment of national independence. It may be open to the Commission, therefore, to obtain the view of representative groups if the proposals for the conduct of elections fail.

4. Press and radio reports indicate that the Commission has already made a number of decisions on which we have had no reports. Please report fully by telegram prior to our[1] developments.

[1] Possibly the word 'any' was intended here.

[AA : A1838, 3123/4/5, I]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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