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

Cablegram Austdel 109, PARIS, 24 October 1948, 11.15 p.m.

On 22nd October Committee One unanimously adopted a resolution appealing to the Great Powers to renew their efforts to compose their differences and establish a lasting peace. It had been amended slightly by a sub-committee but is substantially the same as the original Mexican draft resolution. The principal change is the fourth paragraph which now reads -
'Recommends the aforementioned Powers to associate with them, in the performance of such a noble task, the States which subscribed and adhered to the Washington Declaration of 1st January, 1942.'
2. In Committee the debate on the sub-committee's report was of high standard and cordial spirit. Most of the debate centred around an Australian suggestion (not moved as a formal amendment) to add to the third substantive paragraph on the conclusion of the Peace Settlements the words 'in which task they should take into consultation all those States which made a substantial contribution as active belligerents to the winning of victory'.

3. Our principal concern in making this suggestion was to make it clear that the resolution did not mean that Australia might be placed on the same footing as non-belligerents in the making of Treaties. This point was made by other countries also, including United Kingdom, New Zealand, Canada, South Africa and the Philippines. Egypt, though supporting the Australian proposal in principle thought the phrase 'active belligerents' was too narrow and the Egyptian outlined his country's contribution in providing facilities to the Allied Forces. Denmark was the only country that was critical, believing that our proposal overlooked countries that were occupied or suffered without being active belligerents. Some Latin Americans appeared to be critical but this did not take an open form. Since the general desire of the committee was that our proposal should not be pushed to a vote, involving delay and jeopardising the unanimous vote, we did not move a formal proposal. We had secured our objective or protecting our position in the Peace Settlements.

[AA : A1838, 80/1/3, I]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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