Volume #13 - 362.|
LES NATIONS UNIES
DEUXIÈME SESSION DE L'ASSEMBLIE GÉNÉRALE
Déclaration pour la gouverne de la délégation à la Deuxième session de l'Assemblée générale des Nations Unies Approuvée par le Cabinet le 11 septembre 1947|
le 11 septembre 1947|
1. General Principles
The government is fully aware of the grave responsibilities which the delegation will carry and of the important decisions which must he taken during this session of the Assembly. The government is aware, also, that there is a possibility that issues will emerge during the discussions in New York which may destroy the United Nations in the form in which it was conceived and established. Such a deplorable eventuality might arise in one of two ways. Some member state may endeavour to force the Assembly to reach a decision concerning some major question of policy, such as the use of the veto, in such a way as to cause one or more states to withdraw from the United Nations. Alternatively, some members may impede the proceedings of the Assembly to such a point that little will be accomplished, with the result that the United Nations will be discredited, both in the eyes of member governments and the public at large and will collapse through disrepute rather than disruption.
It is the view of the Canadian Government that the time has not yet been reached when any of the issues dividing Members of the United Nations should be pressed to a conclusion which would destroy the organization as it is at present constituted. .
Nevertheless, the realities of the situation should be faced, and the Canadian delegation should not hesÉtate to state, on appropriate occasions, that the inevitable final result of either development, mentioned in the above paragraph, will be the end of the United Nations as a universal international body.
It should be the policy of the Canadian delegation to contribute as much as possible to the constructive work of the Assembly and to assist in offsetting the influence of delegations which seek to stand in the way of its business. It should also endeavour to avoid the premature development of any issue to the point where it is likely to destroy the United Nations or to drive any of its members to withdraw immediately. This is not to say that the delegation should refrain from expressing, clearly and vigorously, its criticism of weaknesses either in the organization of the United Nations or the conduct of its members. It would, nevertheless, be unfortunate if amendments to the Charter or alterations in procedure, however desirable they may be, were obtained at this time only at the expense of defeating the larger purpose of building a universal organization. The time may be approaching when changes may have to be made to the Charter, against the wishes or even against the threat of withdrawal of, say, the U.S.S.R. But that time, it is suggested, has not yet been reached. In short, at this assembly the emphasis should be on warning what may happen rather than on forcing issues to the point where things will happen.
Against the background of these general principles the attitude of the government to certain of the more important items on the Assembly's agenda is as follows:
2. Elections to Offices of the Assembly
The delegation should be guided by the general consideration that ability is an overriding qualification in the selection of any officer of the Assembly, and should use its influence to secure the election of skillful and impartial candidates.
3. Treatment of Indians in South Africa
The complaint of the Indian government concerning the treatment of Indians in South Africa will again he a subject of discussion at the General Assembly. On this occasion, the debate will originate with the resolution in regard to this problem carried by the Assembly in December last. It was the Canadian view that the complaint made by the Indian government embodied questions of both fact and law which should not have been decided without proper investigation, and the Canadian delegation therefore supported a resolution which would have referred the dispute to the International Court. This view did not prevail, and the resolution which was finally carried assumed the validity of the Indian case and called upon the two governments to remedy the situation. In the period which has intervened since this motion was carried, the Indian and South African governments have failed to carry out the injunction of the Assembly, and at the forthcoming session, each may present arguments accusing the other of bad faith and obstinacy.
The position of the South African government in regard to the Indian complaint will be even more difficult now than a year ago, for the South African government is placed between a parliament at home which is clearly unwilling to support any measure of compromise, and an Assembly where the Indians can command a majority of votes on the subject, even though the merits of the case have not been impartially investigated. At the forthcoming session, therefore, the delegation should support any effort that is made to bring agreement between the two governments prior to action by the Assembly. If this proves impossible, the delegation should then endeavour to prevent the adoption of a resolution so worded that it will leave the South African government no alternative other than to withdraw from the United Nations. The proposal made previously that the matter be referred to the International Court is still valid and the delegation may wish to support this proposal if it is advanced again by some other delegation. It will, however, be difficult to secure the adoption now of a plan which has already been rejected, and it would be preferable if action could be taken, either in the Assembly or by the two states concerned, that would remove the subject finally from the agenda. The present deplorable situation in India may make the delegation from that country less intransigent on this issue than it otherwise would bc.
4. The Palestine Question
The report of the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine will also require the careful attention of your delegation. The government has not yet had the opportunity to examine this report, nor to ascertain the views of other governments most directly concerned. It will probably be necessary, therefore, for the delegation to seek instructions on this subject as the discussions develop at the General Assembly. The delegation need not feel committed, in these discussions, to the recommendation made in either the majority or minority reports of the Special Committee on Palestine, in spite of the fact that the former is signed by the Canadian member of the Committee, since it was clearly understood that Mr. Justice Rand would not be instructed or advised by the Canadian government as to the policies he should advocate on the Committee 22 The delegation should, of course, give support to any proposals which appear to it likely to bring about a solution to the Palestine problem, provided that there is reasonable evidence that they can be put into effect. It is obvious, however, that nothing will be gained by the adoption of recommendations, no matter how great their merit, which are resisted by either Jews or Arabs, unless provision is made to overcome this opposition.
5. The Veto
The Canadian government has never been reconciled to the veto provisions of the Charter of the United Nations and its dislike of these provisions has been increased by the manner in which the veto has been used by the permanent members of the Security Council. The delegation should, therefore, lose no opportunity to make known its dislike, both of the veto provisions themselves and, even more, of the manner in which they have been used. It should also give its support to any proposal, which has a reasonable chance of adoption, aimed at qualifying by regulations the use of the veto power or eliminating it by the amendment of the Charter which would materially alter the voting privileges of the Great Powers. Neither is it likely at this stage that any alteration in the procedure of the Security Council will materially affect the unsatisfactory situation which has developed. Demands for the modification of the veto power should not, therefore, be made in terms which can do nothing but discredit further the Security Council if they fail to be adopted.
22L'annotation suivante a été dactylographiée sur noire copie du document : The following was typed on this copy of the document: (The Cabinet felt, however, that the delegation would undoubtedly have in mind the fact that a distinguished member of the Supreme Court of Canada had arrived at certain conelusions after careful consideration of the issues involved.)