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

Cablegram Austdel 91, PARIS, 19 October 1948, 11.20 p.m.


Fourth Committee 19th October began debate on report of Trusteeship Council.

2. Liu Chieh in presenting the report to the Committee spoke of the spirit of co-operation in the Council between the administering and non-administering authorities and warned that the Council was neither a political forum nor a juridical tribunal.

3. India in moderate statement spent some time on administrative union of Papua and New Guinea. Questioned whether the Union was desirable or not, to what extent consistent with the charter, to what extent the Council should supervise the union and to what extent would now, or in the future, destroy New Guinea's political identity. Stated that the union should not delay self-government and that the union was not a matter for administering authority alone. Welcomed assurances given by United Kingdom and Australia to the Council but they quote do not amount to much unquote. Urged the Council should make a special study of the whole question of administrative union. India would reserve opinion until final review by Council but would follow up this debate with special resolution regarding administrative union 'if necessary'.

4. Denmark shared the opinion that administering powers should proceed cautiously regarding administrative union and Trusteeship Council should be most watchful. While maintaining this principle however, the Council should postpone final opinion until obtaining complete picture (e.g. visit to East Africa).

5. As no further speakers chairman adjourned debate until 21st October.

6. We intend to make statement along the lines of Forsyth's speeches to the third session of Trusteeship Council and shall quote from speech of Minister for External Territories of 21st [Septem]ber 1948.[1] Appreciate earliest advice as to whether we may use, if necessary, information contained in paragraph 3 of your UNP5.

[1] For the latter speech see Document 203.

[AA : A518, 103/3/3]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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