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

Cablegram UN155, NEW YORK, 20 February 1948, 12.31 a.m.


Korea Interim Committee. Our 153.

1. Before Committee adjourned Jessup[1] intervened to state that, although agreeable to adjournment United States was convinced that commission should 'proceed to implement assembly resolution', and would explain reasons on Tuesday.

2. We understand from Pearson[2], that United States have made strong representations to Canada urging support for immediate elections on ground that failure to secure endorsement of this policy by Interim Committee would be severe blow to United States diplomacy viz-a-viz U.S.S.R. Pearson said Mackenzie King[3] was determined that Canada should not participate in any action by Commission in Southern Korea alone. He had informed Jessup that while Canada did not wish to embarrass United States there was no prospect of modification in Canadian attitude. He added that if Committee decided to interpret Assembly resolution as permitting elections in South only Canadian representative on Commission would probably be recalled for consultation and not replaced. We believe however, that as a result of United States pressure Canada may not actively oppose United States proposals in Committee and may merely supplement vote against with an explanation of Canadian post.

3. We informed Pearson of our own position in the hope that he would be encouraged to take more outspoken line. We have also passed substance of your UNY 99[4] to New Zealand and United Kingdom (our UN 139) but it seems likely that if we are to prevent United States policy prevailing it may be necessary for us to take initiative fairly early in debate. We would therefore be glad if you could give consideration to the following points.

(a) Whether there would be any value in Commission exploring possibility of conference of leaders from North and South Korea. We feel there is little likelihood that such conference could be arranged but there seems no objection to it in principle.

(b) Whether we should oppose election in South Korea of representative with whom the Commission (and later the Assembly) could consult. It seems likely that this proposal will have wide support, and it may be argued that Assembly resolution 1 envisages such election. We feel however, that an election of representatives merely for consultative purposes would merely lead to confusion and would obscure real issue which is failure of United States and U.S.S.R. to agree on implementation of Moscow declaration and recommendations of Assembly.[5]

[1] Philip C. Jessup, United States deputy representative on Interim Committee.

[2] Lester Pearson, Canadian Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs.

[3] W.L. Mackenzie King, Prime Minister of Canada.

[4] Document 137.

[5] External Affairs replied agreeing with both suggestions.

[AA : A1838, 852/20/4, II]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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