Volume #17 - 199.|
SIXTH SESSION OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY IN PARIS, FIRST PART, NOVEMBER 6-DECEMBER 21, 1951
INSTRUCTIONS TO THE CANADIAN DELEGATION
Under-Secretary of State for External Affairs|
to Heads of Posts Abroad
CIRCULAR DOCUMENT NO. A. 79/51|
October 31st, 1951|
PAPERS FOR THE GUIDANCE OF THE CANADIAN DELEGATION TO THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY|
I attach copies of three papers which were prepared for the guidance of the Canadian Delegation to the Sixth Session of the General Assembly in Paris and which were approved by Cabinet on October 23, 1951.
The papers are:
(1) General Instructions for the Guidance of the Canadian Delegation.
(2) Asian Question before the General Assembly.
(3) Draft International Covenant on Human Rights.
S. MORLEY SCOTT
[PIÈCE JOINTE 1/ENCLOSURE 1]
Déclaration générale pour la gouverne de la délégation canadienne
General Statement for the Guidance of the Canadian Delegation
SECRET [Ottawa], October 17, 1951
1. While the various organs of the United Nations should be used to the maximum extent possible for strengthening the unity of the Free World, no support should be given to action in the United Nations which would force the withdrawal from the organization of the Soviet Union or which would give the U.S.S.R. a convincing pretext for such a withdrawal. The United Nations still provides opportunities for contact between the Cominform World and the Free World, and the withdrawal of the Soviet Union would only lead to breaking off this contact without in any way altering the present balance of power in the world. Moreover, if the Western democracies act in a manner which forces the U.S.S.R. to leave the organization, this might well be followed by the withdrawal of such "neutralist" states as India and Indonesia, with the consequent decline in United Nations' prestige in Asian territories where its influence is of great importance to the West.
POLITICAL AND SECURITY QUESTIONS
Collective Measures Committee
2. The Collective Measures Committee, which was established by the "Uniting for Peace" Resolution adopted by the Assembly on November 3, 1950, has included in its report a number of recommendations and guiding principles for military, economic and political sanctions which might be taken by the United Nations against a future aggressor.
3. In view of its composition and its cumbersome mechanism, the United Nations is clearly not the appropriate body to direct actual military operations in a major war. Yet the United Nations could not remain purely passive if such a war broke out and still retain any real moral authority. In the event of a general war, the United Nations should be used by the Western Powers as an agency for securing the maximum support from states not directly and initially participating in military operations. It follows from this that the role of the United Nations in a major war should be at least as active as has been its participation in the Korean crisis. In the debates at the Assembly on the report of the Collective Measures Committee the Delegation should be guided by these principles.
Disarmament and Atomic Energy
4. The Western Powers are publicly committed to accepting unconditionally a plan for the international control of atomic energy which was approved by a large majority of the Members of the United Nations some time ago, provided that the Soviet Union also accepts this plan. The democracies are also committed to the unanimous resolution of the General Assembly of December, 1946, in which the Assembly recognized the necessity of an early general regulation and the reduction of armaments and armed forces. In view, however, of the present overwhelming superiority of the Soviet Union in conventional armaments and, in particular, in numbers of trained troops, the real position of the democracies is not quite so straightforward.
5. Debate on these questions at the Assembly will probably centre around the report of the Committee of Twelve, which recommended that a single commission should be established to take over the functions of the present Atomic Energy Commission and the Commission for Conventional Armaments. While it is unlikely that the establishment of a single commission will have the effect of modifying the declared policies of either the United States or the Soviet Union, the Delegation should support its establishment since it would at least provide the opportunity for a fresh start. The Delegation should guard against any precipitate rejection of proposals in this field which may be advanced by the Cominform states, particularly since such rejection out of hand would offend such influential states as India and Yugoslavia.
Treatment of Indians
6. The Assembly will also discuss again the perennial question of the treatment of people of Indian origin in the Union of South Africa. Primarily because of the South African Government's refusal to agree to any United Nations intervention in this matter, negotiations for a round-table conference between India, Pakistan and South Africa have now broken down. It seems evident that the present impasse will continue, and a fruitless and acrimonious debate take place at each Assembly, unless and until an advisory opinion is obtained from the International Court of Justice regarding the competence of the United Nations to intervene in this question. As long ago as November 25, 1946, the Canadian Delegation supported the view that an opinion on this matter should be obtained from the Court. To date, however, India has objected to this, on the grounds that the question is essentially political, not legal. The Delegation might do anything it could to persuade the Indians to modify their opposition to a reference to the Court, pointing out that, without such a reference, there is little chance of the present deadlock being broken.
7. The Delegation should support Pakistan and Chile for the seats now occupied, by India and Ecuador. The arguments against electing a Cominform state to replace Yugoslavia are not convincing, but the Delegation should not support the Cominform candidate (probably Czechoslovakia) if both the United States and the United Kingdom oppose its election. In the latter event the Delegation should vote for Ethiopia, rather than for Greece, which is also a candidate, as the election of Greece would give the Council too strong a NATO complexion.
Economic and Social Council
8. The Delegation should support the re-election of China, France and Belgium (on the understanding that the Netherlands is not a candidate). For the seats now filled by Chile and Peru the Canadian Delegation should support the two states which are the choices of the Latin American bloc, with the exception that the Delegation should not support Argentina in view of the repressive actions taken against freedom of the press by its present regime. For the sixth seat the Delegation should support India for re-election, even though Australia is also a candidate since India has exercised a moderating influence on some of the other under-developed states and Canada is supporting Pakistan for the Security Council.
International Court of Justice
9. The Delegation should vote for the re-election of Judges Green H. Hackworth of the United States, Charles de Visscher of Belgium and Helge Klaestad of Norway. The Soviet candidate to replace the retiring Judge Krylov will probably be Professor Golumsky and the Delegation should support his election. The Delegation should also support the election of Sir Benegal Rau of India in place of the retiring Mexican incumbent (Judge Alfaro). Apart from Sir Benegal's own personal abilities, his election to the Court would have the desirable effect of increasing the representation of Asia and of common law systems. In the by-election occasioned by the death last May of the Brazilian member of the Court, Judge Azevedo, the Canadian Delegation should support, for the remainder of this term, the election of the Brazilian candidate, Dr. Levy Carneiro.
ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL QUESTIONS
10. The main economic item on the agenda of the Assembly concerns the various aspects of the economic development of under-developed countries, in particular the methods of financing such development, the provision of technical assistance and the promotion of land reforms. The Delegation might express agreement with the principles formulated by the thirteenth session of the Economic and Social Council on these subjects. It should, however, oppose proposals which Chile is expected to make for the creation at this time of new international machinery or of a special international fund for the purpose of making outright grants to underdeveloped countries to finance their development programmes. The Delegation should commend the United Nations and the Specialized Agencies for the progress made and the results so far achieved in their various programmes of technical assistance. The Delegation should also emphasize that the principle of self-help is basic to the successful operation of all United Nations programmes for assistance to under-developed countries.
11. The twelve-month rehabilitation programme proposed by the Agent-General for the United Nations Korean Reconstruction Agency (UNKRA) has received general approval from UNKRA's Advisory Committee, on which Canada is represented. It seems unlikely, however, that the Agency can proceed much beyond the planning and procurement stage so long as hostilities continue in Korea. The Government is particularly concerned over the failure of member nations to honour their pledges to UNKRA's Contributions Fund. Though $205,000,000 (U.S.) has been pledged, less than $8,000,000 (U.S.) has so far been received in cash. The Delegation should therefore press hard for the honouring of all outstanding pledges.
12. This perennial problem is probably the most important item in the field of trusteeship and non-self-governing territories on the Assembly's agenda. On this subject the Committee of Five, established by a resolution of the Assembly last December, has formulated a number of compromise proposals designed to implement the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice and yet to take into account the arguments made by the representatives of the Union of South Africa. The South African Government has now rejected the proposals of the Committee of Five and the latter will be submitting a report of failure to the General Assembly. There is little doubt that the proposals developed by the Committee of Five were very moderate, particularly in that they tried to overcome South Africa's objections by suggesting a plan which adhered very closely to the procedures of the League of Nations. South Africa's rejection of these proposals will make it difficult for countries like Canada not to take a stand against her. By refusing to agree to the findings of the Court or to perform the obligations which the Court found still to exist, the South African Government has acted in a way which will undoubtedly provoke a hostile reaction in the General Assembly. Nevertheless, the Delegation should not support condemnatory resolutions phrased in intemperate language because the adoption of such resolutions would make the South African Government even more intransigent. The Delegation might support a resolution regretting the South African Government's unwillingness to comply with the International Court's advisory opinion and its unwillingness to submit a report on the administration of the territory. Such a position is in accordance with the previous Canadian support for the advisory opinion of the Court.
Participation of Italy in the Trusteeship Council
13. At present, under the rules of procedure of the Trusteeship Council, Italy has the right to participate without vote in the Council when the latter discusses the reports on Italian Somaliland, for which Italy is the administering authority. As Italy is not a Member of the United Nations it seems clear that Italy has already received the maximum consideration which is possible at the present time. The Delegation should therefore take the position that, while we would like to see Italy a Member of the United Nations, we believe that until it has obtained such membership it cannot have a vote in the Trusteeship Council, without violating the provisions of the Charter (in particular, Article 86).
ADMINISTRATIVE AND BUDGETARY QUESTIONS
14. The Secretary-General has submitted budget estimates for the year 1952 totalling $46,568,300. The Advisory Committee on administrative and budgetary questions has recommended reductions in these estimates amounting to $2,035,400. The Delegation should, as in previous years, support proposals, including those of the Advisory Committee, designed to ensure the efficient and economical administration of the United Nations without impairing essential services. It should also encourage efforts to achieve greater co-ordination and the elimination of overlapping and duplication between the United Nations and the Specialized Agencies.
Scale of Contributions
15. In direct response to objections raised by Canada and other countries at the Fifth Session of the General Assembly, the Contributions Committee has recommended a substantial increase (totalling 3.72%) in the contributions of the Cominform states, in order to reflect more closely their true capacity to pay. However, a further reduction in the United States contribution (from 38.92 to 36.90 percent) in partial implementation of the principle of a 33 1/3 percent ceiling accepted by the Assembly in 1948, together with a significant improvement in Canada's economic position, has resulted in a recommendation for a small increase of .05% (from 3.30 to 3.35 percent) in Canada's contribution for 1952. The Delegation may support the Committee's recommendations provided that the Canadian increase does not exceed .05% and that the principle of a per capita ceiling is maintained. It should emphasize that reductions in the contribution of the United States toward the 33 1/3 percent ceiling should be accompanied by compensating increases in its contributions to other United Nations agencies where it pays less than this ceiling. The Delegation should also insist that further progress toward the elimination of the maladjustments still remaining in the scale, particularly in the contribution of the U.S.S.R., should be made during the next year.
[PIÈCE JOINTE 2/ENCLOSURE 2]
Questions relatives à l'Asie étudiées lors de la sixième session de l'Assemblée
Asian Questions Before the Sixth Session of the General Assembly
SECRET [Ottawa], October 18, 1951
During the past year the gap between the North Atlantic Treaty powers and the countries of Asia has widened. China has adopted an attitude of hostility toward the western world which will take many years of patience and goodwill to break down. Its alignment with the Soviet Union is more definite, the identification of their interests is firmer, and the potential differences between them have receded for the time being into the background. Some of the minor countries of Asia have been irritated by the favour shown to Japan in an effort to gain the support of that country for the west. A large and growing area of misunderstanding and distrust has arisen between Asian countries led by India and some members of the United Nations led by the United States, over relations with China and the course to be followed in trying to bring the Korean war to an end.
2. If the differences between the west and the Asian states led by India should become more pronounced, the result could be extremely serious, especially in its effects on Western attempts to restrain the expansionism of the Soviet Union. Canadian effort at the Sixth Session of the General Assembly should therefore be directed toward helping to eliminate misunderstanding and, where possible, to bridge the gaps between the policies of the United States government and those of the Asian governments. This will be no easy task in view of the inflexibility of United States policy as a result of the difficulties created for the Administration by the dismissal of General MacArthur and the Republican attack on the Administration's Far Eastern policies, and as a result of the tendency in the United States to place opposition to Communism above all other considerations.
3. Chinese representation and the position of Formosa are almost certain to come before the Assembly in some form while the situation in Korea and Chinese Nationalist charges of Soviet intervention in Chinese affairs are already on the agenda.
4. A change in Chinese representation in the Assembly is most improbable during the Sixth Session. The United States, United Kingdom and Canadian governments are on record as opposing admission of the Central People's Government to the United Nations, the former apparently without limit and the latter two until China shall have ceased to aid aggression in Korea. It is unlikely that any motion for a change in representation would receive substantial support. The Canadian delegation would be consistent if it voted against a change of representation. Any statement against changing Chinese representation should, to be realistic, avoid any suggestion that the change is opposed from any admiration for the Nationalist Government or from any conviction that it represents the Chinese people. It should be related solely to China's intervention in Korea. An opportunity may arise to defer a decision on Chinese representation on procedural grounds: a proposal in such terms would avoid the substantive question of which government should represent China, and would be preferable from the Canadian point of view. The United Kingdom would support such a procedural resolution, and probably the United States would also. The special committee set up by the Fifth Session to study Chinese representation has proved abortive; it would probably, therefore, be as well to avoid supporting any extension of its life.
5. The Cairo Declaration by the representatives of the United States, the United Kingdom and China in 1943 promised the restoration of Formosa to the Chinese state. This promise was confirmed in the Potsdam Proclamation by the United States, the United Kingdom and China, subsequently adhered to by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in 1945. The Japanese Instrument of Surrender, also signed in 1945, was based on the Potsdam Proclamation and provided that the terms of the Proclamation should be carried out. Canada signed the Instrument of Surrender. De facto administration of Formosa by the Chinese Nationalist Government has been acquiesced in by the Canadian government through the acceptance of a note from the Nationalist Government in 1946 stating that Formosa was restored to Chinese sovereignty and that Formosans had regained their Chinese citizenship; through agreement that the commercial modus vivendi with China should cover Formosa; and through various administrative actions. While it is true that circumstances have now changed in that China is ruled by a government which we do not like, it is open to doubt whether it is wise to repudiate a wartime agreement.
6. The Canadian delegation should try to prevent the question of the disposition of Formosa from being raised as a substantive question and should endeavour to have the question left open until after a cease-fire has been arranged in Korea. Any debate on the substantive question is bound to widen the rift between the orient and the occident, and to force the United States to take an increasingly firm position from which it will have difficulty in retreating when the time comes.
7. The situation in Korea is so unpredictable that only general instructions can be given before the Assembly meets. In the absence of an agreed truce, it would be advisable, if possible, to maintain the present machinery of an additional measures committee of the General Assembly, where recommendations can be formulated. This procedure has advantages over consideration of additional measures in the first instance by the Political Committee. Our aim in the Additional Measures Committee might well be to try to avoid the imposition of additional military, diplomatic or economic sanctions until present measures have had better opportunity to demonstrate their worth. In this way it will be possible to avoid an undue risk of driving China more firmly into the arms of the Soviet Union.
8. If an armistice is concluded it is to be expected that the United Nations Commander will submit a report to that effect to the United Nations. If the report is made to the General Assembly, the problem arises who is to be responsible for the next obvious step, political negotiations aimed at a larger settlement. As negotiators for the United Nations, the group of countries which together are supplying the forces in Korea would probably be adequate provided India (which provides an ambulance unit but no fighting troops) is included. Their aim should be to achieve a general settlement in the Far East even though this would be difficult in view of the attitude of the United States towards the seating of Communist China in the United Nations and the disposition of Formosa. It is unlikely that any body set up by the General Assembly at this session would be able to approach the problem of a general settlement in the Far East during the lifetime of the Sixth Session of the Assembly.
Nationalist Chinese Charges Against the Soviet Union
9. It is difficult to deal realistically with the charges laid by the Nationalist government because even the countries which maintain relations with the Nationalists recognize that in fact they are not the effective government of China. The most desirable line to pursue at the Sixth Session of the General Assembly would therefore be one leading to the adoption of a course which would allow the charges to be left in abeyance. One solution would be to support any move which would continue this problem in the Interim Committee rather than in the General Assembly proper, along the lines of the resolution passed on December 1, 1950.
[PIÈCE JOINTE 3/ENCLOSURE 3]
Pacte international provisoire sur les droits de l'homme
Draft International Covenant on Human Rights
CONFIDENTIAL [Ottawa], October 12, 1951
The General Assembly of the United Nations, at its Sixth Session opening on November 6th, will "reconsider" the decision taken last year in Resolution 421(V)E to include in one covenant articles on economic, social and cultural fights, together with articles on civil and political rights. This is in consequence of a recommendation made to it by the Thirteenth Session of the Economic and Social Council, which concluded its meetings on September 21st.
2. It has been the consistent Canadian view that the Commission on Human Rights should first concentrate on drafting a covenant restricted to the traditional civil and political liberties. This view has been expressed, or is at least implicit, in Cabinet Memoranda of March 14th and July 30th, 1951, has been communicated to the Secretary General of the United Nations, and was the basis of instruction given to the Canadian Delegation to the Thirteenth Session of the Economic and Social Council.
3. At the Sixth Session of the General Assembly, therefore, the formulation of economic, social and cultural rights, either as a part of the "first" covenant or as a separate covenant, will be an item on the Agenda.
4. A study of the articles relating to economic, social and cultural rights, as drafted by the latest (Seventh) Session of the Commission on Human Rights, shows that the best covenant that could be hoped for would comprise no more than a series of commendable objectives, provisions for the implementation of which would amount merely to a reporting procedure. These objectives are already adequately covered, at least for the time being, in the present Universal Declaration on Human Rights. The reporting procedure envisaged in the present draft covenant would appear to be unnecessary in the light of the arrangements already established for annual reports from member states on developments in the field of human rights submitted for inclusion in the United Nations Year Book on Human Rights.
5. It is recommended that the following instructions regarding the formulation of economic, social and cultural rights be given to the Canadian Delegation to the Sixth Session of the General Assembly:
(a) The Delegation should maintain the position that it is impractical to combine economic, social and cultural with civil and political rights in a single covenant;
(b) Should it be proposed to formulate a separate covenant on economic, social and cultural rights, the Delegation should oppose the proposal for the reasons set forth above and especially on the ground that the precise formulation of such rights in an international legally binding instrument is impracticable, and that legal remedies for the violation of such rights would be unworkable.