Volume #23 - 691.|
INDOCHINE : COMMISSIONS INTERNATIONALES DE SURVEILLANCE ET DE CONTRÔLE
Le secrétaire d'État aux Affaires extérieures|
au commissaire de la Commission internationale de surveillance pour le Cambodge
le 6 janvier 1956|
Reference: Your telegram No. 254 of December 31.60
Repeat New Delhi No. Y-12.
ELIMINATION OF FIXED TEAM SITES
We consider that the desirable objective of consolidation of teams in Phnom Penh can be best argued on practical rather than legal grounds.
2. The practical arguments in addition to those set out in your resolution and statement, seem to us to be chiefly these:
(a) The greater part of the work of the Cambodia Commission has been completed. Remaining duties of fixed teams in checking entry of military personnel and materiel and making investigations can be satisfactorily conducted by a consolidated team in Phnom Penh.
(b) It is undesirable in terms of broad precedents for international supervision of armistices for Commissions to remain longer or in greater strength than minimum required for discharge of their essential functions. Overstaying may give rise to suspicions of Commission and also of disinterestedness of governments concerned which would reflect adversely on future discussions of use of International Commissions for Supervision and Control of armistice arrangements, etc. A broad argument like this with a hint at Polish subversive activity and Sihanouk's November letter to Wolniak seems to us to be more appropriate than pressing too hard on narrow grounds of Polish transmitter at Kratie which we would have difficulty in proving and which might be used with too much force by Cambodians if it came to their ears.
(c) Decision of Vietnam Commission to relocate fixed team from Muong Sen at Con Cuong on grounds that functions can be adequately performed at latter point where accommodation and facilities more satisfactory has established a useful precedent for consolidation.
(d) Commission's authority and prestige in the discharge of its remaining functions will remain high with Cambodian government and people only if it is evident that Commission is realistically cutting its operations and size in accordance with these limited remaining functions. Unfortunate tension would be created if Cambodian government felt compelled to request Commission to wind up its operations more quickly than it is now doing.
(e) Your proposed resolution calls for no reduction in activities. Adequate provision is made through reference to transport and communications for consolidated team at Phnom Penh to perform remaining functions of fixed teams.
3. Our comments on the legal arguments that may be adduced to support the practical considerations outlined above follow:
(a) The distinction between reduction of establishment and reduction of activities (over which Poles may claim a veto under Article 25) has some validity. We think it quite in keeping with the concept of the three armistice agreements to anticipate a progressive reduction in establishments as the number, nature and importance of remaining functions decreases. This is consistent with the publicly stated view of the Minister that Canada will retain representation on the Commissions in Indochina only so long as there is a constructive job to be done.
(b) We agree with paragraph 8 of your 238 of December 9 that an argument might be made under Article 12(2) that since points of location of the fixed teams may be altered by agreement between the Government of Cambodia and the International Commission such changes do not require the unanimity mentioned in paragraphs 20 (2), 21 or 25. Hence if majority agreed to consolidation of teams in Phnom Penh and Cambodian government agreed other member could not properly challenge the validity of this agreement.
(c) The precedents mentioned in paragraph 2 and 3 of your 250 of December 23 whereby changes in locations of fixed teams in Laos and Vietnam were made without consulting other Commissions might be cited to support argument that relocation or consolidation of team sites does not fall under Article 25 relating to reduction in activities in which such consultation appears mandatory.
4. We agree to the plan in paragraph 6 of your 254 that you might accept progressive reduction as a practical provisional compromise. Would it not be better to have Indian introduce amendment to your resolution rather than introduce amendment yourself?
5. We wonder whether discussing proposed resolution with Cambodians at this stage might not create an embarrassing pressure on the Commission. On the other hand we see value in our getting credit with the Cambodians for this initiative and in ensuring that they understand broad purposes of resolution and considerations involved in its discussion in the Commission. This would appear the more desirable if there has been or may be some leak about your resolution. Informing Indians that you think that the resolution should be discussed with the Cambodians possibly with reference to need for understanding and cooperation in transfer of functions of fixed teams might be a useful way of putting pressure on Indians. We think that you are probably in best place to weigh these considerations and determine tactics accordingly.
6. In regard to voting we accept the tactics you propose in paragraph 9 of your telegram 254.
7. Delhi: Please discuss with Desai if possible the resolution
and statement contained in Phnom Penh telegrams 230 and 231 of
December 7 repeated to you and considerations outlined in
paragraph 2 in particular of this telegram. Please emphasize our
desire to see fixed teams consolidated in Phnom Penh. Please
ascertain how far Indians are prepared to go now and later.