Skip to main content

Historical documents

80 Note by Glasheen

, SYDNEY, 19 January 1948

1. General Functions of Special Committee
The Committee is the creation of the General Assembly and not of the Security Council. It is essentially a body of conciliation and arbitration and not a continuation of its fact-finding predecessors. It is not concerned primarily with the maintenance of international peace and security, but with the conciliating and arbitrating between the four Balkan countries in an endeavour to get them to establish normal diplomatic and friendly relations with each other. Members of the Committee are representative not so much of their Governments as of the General Assembly, the Committee being in a sense a trustee for the members of the United Nations not represented on it.

2. Policy Committee should Follow
The principal activity of the Committee should be, at this stage, to approach directly the three northern neighbours indicating willingness to send a special committee or team of representatives to each capital to ascertain points of difference between Governments and then endeavour to conciliate and mediate with a view to the assumption of normal relations. Every endeavour should be made to achieve this objective and Committee should press on no matter what rebuffs it might receive.

3. Observation Teams
These in their present form are possibly ultra vires the Assembly Resolution. There is no point however, at this stage, in moving to recall them. They may at a later stage be a useful bargaining point. For example, a promise to withdraw them may at the appropriate time be offered as a tactical consideration for some concession by the northern neighbours.

4. Question of Recognition
Recognition does not now appear likely in the near future.[1] In any event it is not seen how recognition will fundamentally alter the situation. There is no point in now discussing whether the Special Assembly would be necessary in that case.

5. Calling of Special Assembly
Calling of Special Assembly should be opposed as it would represent moral victory for the USSR. It should be specially opposed at present because as yet no genuine moves have been made by Committee to carry out positive functions assigned to it by Assembly.

6. Greek Government
Impress on Greek Government how difficult repressive internal policies make it for democratic countries like Australia to give it their unreserved support.

[1] A reference to the so-called Provisional Greek Democratic Government which was proclaimed on 24 December 1947 and headed by Markos Vaphiades.

[AA : A1838, 852/20/1, II]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
Back to top