42 Department of External Affairs to Noel-Baker
Cablegram 140, CANBERRA, 18 May 1948
We have carefully considered your telegram and fully understand your point of view.
2. As you know, Australian foreign policy is based on support for United Nations and avoidance of political decisions purely on grounds of strategy, for we are convinced by experience that strategy is best served by policy based on principle. We have always believed, as we have made it clear to you, that strategic objectives in the Middle East might have been best secured by following through the Assembly recommendation by exerting all possible pressure on the Arab countries to accept it. It would seem, however, that Arab countries have always been certain that opposition by them to the point of force would not meet with any serious reaction from the Western powers. Even now they seem to be sure of their position. It was because we feared this was the position and because we feared open warfare that we sent our previous telegrams urging the United Kingdom Government to use their very strong bargaining power and moral influence on the Arab countries during treaty negotiations to accept the United Nations recommendation.
3. In the present circumstances it is most important that we should act together and we suggest that we take the common line of declaring ourselves willing to consider recognition of states who become members of the United Nations, and further that in the case we are willing to support the new Government's request for membership in view of the United Nations Assembly recommendation and, on approval by United Nations, to accord recognition. This would apply not only to the new state of Israel but to any new state.
[A : A1838, 191/1/4, I]