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Historical documents

193 Fraser to Evatt

Cablegram 28[1], WELLINGTON, 16 February 1948



Thank you for the comments contained in your telegram No. 27 on the attitude which you propose to adopt in the event that the administrative union between New Guinea and Papua comes under discussion at the next Session of the Council. We are of course anxious that our own position in any such discussion shall not be such as to cause you embarrassment.

While we had not inferred from the discussion at the last Session that the Council necessarily regarded itself as possessing the right to 'direct an administering authority in regard to future administrative action' (paragraph 3 of your telegram) we agree in any event that no such right is conferred by the Charter. On the other hand we would not feel that the Council was going outside its province in considering either before or after its implementation whether a particular administrative union between a trust and a non-trust territory was in conformity with the provisions of the Charter and the relevant Trusteeship Agreement. We should be very reluctant to commit ourselves to the principle that the Council may not discuss any action of administering authority except ex post facto.

We feel also that in reaching a conclusion in a matter of this nature the Council would be justified in asking for information not only as to the general nature of the plan (your paragraph 4(c)) but also on matters of detail on the grounds that a conclusion is the more likely to be sound if it is based on full rather than on partial knowledge of the facts. It is our view that the supply of the fullest detailed information to the Trusteeship Council is the best and wisest course to follow.

Our own experience with Western Samoa has convinced us that particularly in the present composition of the Council the policy of full co-operation which (as indicated in your paragraph 5) you propose to follow can be productive of positive advantage. Indeed it may well help to establish the Council as the first of the principal organs of the United Nations to measure up to the high standards of responsibility which Australia and New Zealand envisaged for it at the San Francisco Conference.

I should like to know whether we are right in assuming that you agree with the point of view expressed above which I am convinced is the correct and wisest one?

[1] Sent via High Commissioner for New Zealand in Canberra.

[AA : A518, 103/4/1]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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