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Historical documents

202 Summary by Forsyth

Extract, [NEW YORK], 6 August 1948

(Report of Drafting Committee amended from notes made during 38th Meeting of Trusteeship Council, 2nd August 1948.)
[matter omitted]

2. Administrative Union
(a) The Council, having devoted a prolonged and significant debate to the question of the proposed administrative union between the Trust Territory of New Guinea and the Australian Territory of Papua, takes the position that the establishment of the union is a highly important problem of serious consequence.

(b) The Council considers that, insofar as the problem - as to whether or not the proposed union is within the terms of the Trusteeship Agreement approved by the General Assembly - is partly juridical in nature, it might to that extent be resolved by recourse to the appropriate juridical body, the International Court of Justice.

(c) It is the Council's conviction that an administrative union must remain strictly administrative in its nature and its scope, and that its operation must not have the effect of creating any conditions which will obstruct the separate development of the Trust Territory, in the fields of political, economic, social, and educational advancement, as a distinct entity.

(d) The Council is not, however, entirely convinced that the proposed union between New Guinea and Papua may not go so far as to compromise the preservation of the separate identity of the Trust Territory.

(e) The Council considers also that the establishment of a union of the kind proposed imposes an embarrassing burden on the judgment of the Council, and that it may constitute a difficulty in the way of the discharge by the Council of its responsibilities under the Charter.

(f) The Council is firmly determined that the proposed union must not lead to a union of a closer permanent nature with still greater implications.

(g) The Council expresses concern lest the powers conferred on the Governor-General by Section 11 of the legislation, of defining provinces in the combined territories, may allow provinces to be so defined as to include portions of both territories, which might result eventually in obliterating the territorial boundaries and rendering difficult the supervision by the Council of the Trust Territory.

(h) The Council considers that a single tariff system for the two territories under Section 73 of the legislation should not affect the obligation of the Administering Authority to apply to the Trust Territory the provisions of Article 76 (d) of the Charter respecting equal treatment in social, economic and commercial matters for all members of the United Nations and their nationals.

(i) The Council accordingly recommends that the Administering Authority review the matter of administrative union in the light of the foregoing conclusions, and also in the light of the views expressed in the Council, and that it inform the Council of the results of its review.[1]

[1] An annotation on the document reads 'Adopted 2nd August: 8 for, 1 against (Soviet), 3 abstaining (Australia, Belgium and France).'

[AA : A3318, L48/3/3/1/5]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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