Volume #13 - 414.|
LES NATIONS UNIES
CONSEIL DE TUTELLE
Le secrétaire d'État aux Affaires extérieures|
au haut-commissaire par intérim au Royaume-Uni
le 23 août 1947|
In your dispatch No. A 695 of August 15, 1947† you referred to India's hope of being elected to one of the vacant scats on the Trusteeship Council and suggested that the United Kingdom Government might be interested to know what candidates the Canadian delegation is likely to support at the Second Session of the United Nations Assembly.
2. The Canadian delegation is not likely to take a lead in the discussion on this subject, since, as you know, Canada is inclined to let the chief responsibility for implementing Chapters XII and XIII of the Charter rest on the Members who are more directly concerned. The situation has been reviewed, however, in a departmental memorandum of August 23, two copies of which I am transmitting to you herewith. I should be grateful if you would find out informally how United Kingdom officials regard the suggestions it contains, making it clear, however, that these suggestions are only tentative and subject to revision. I should appreciate having your own comments on the memorandum also.
3. A copy of this despatch is being sent to the Canadian Embassy in Washington.
[Ottawa], August 23, 1947
ELECTIONS TO THE TRUSTEESHIP COUNCIL
On April 2, 1947 the Security Council approved unanimously a draft trusteeship agreement for the Pacific islands formerly under Japanese mandate, with certain amendments in which the United States acquiesced. The Security Council rather than the Assembly dealt with the matter because the trust territory was designated a strategic area. The trusteeship agreement was approved by the President of the United States, after due constitutional process, on July 18th. On this date the United States therefore passed from the status of a "non-administering" to that of an "administering authority" within the trusteeship system. The Trusteeship Council is consequently composed at the moment of six administering authorities (the United Kingdom, United States, France, Belgium, Australia and New Zealand) and four states which do not administer trust territories (the U.S.S.R., China, Iraq, and Mexico. The U.S.S.R., however, has been an absentee member, since it maintains that the procedure by which the trusteeship agreements were brought into effect violated certain provisions of the Charter, the agreements themselves being therefore invalid.)
2. Under the terms of the Charter the number of "non-administering" members of the Trusteeship Council must equal the number of those who administer trust territories, whether the latter are strategic or non-strategic areas. It will therefore be necessary at the Second Session of the Assembly to elect two additional "non-administering" members.
3. During the 27 meetings the Trusteeship Council held between March 26 and April 28, 1947 there was only one occasion on which non-administering members voted against administering members. This was on a question of procedure which all regarded as being relatively unimportant. In selecting two new members of the Council, therefore, it would be unrealistic to assume that the mere numerical balancing of administering and non-administering members is all that will be needed. Geographical location must be considered, but of even greater importance is an ability to contribute in a businesslike manner to the debates of the Trusteeship Council. One needs only to read a few hundred pages of the reports of the Permanent Mandates Commission to understand how unfortunate an effect can be produced in discussions of the affairs of dependent territories by the contributions of even a single member whose approach is emotional rather than practical.
4. In considering the geographical distribution of seats in the Trusteeship Council one is struck by the fact that Africa is not represented on that body, although six out of nine trust territories are African. Egypt, Ethiopia, Liberia and South Africa all have something more than a theoretical interest in what goes on in the African trust territories. Of these, however, only Egypt would be likely to receive any considerable number of votes for a position on the Council, since South Africa has failed to cooperate with the United Nations fully with regard to South West Africa and since neither Ethiopia nor Liberia is yet advanced enough to make a substantial contribution to the debates of the Council.
5. The three remaining trust territories are in the Pacific area, for which Australia and New Zealand speak in the Trusteeship Council as states familiar with local conditions. In many ways, however, the relation of Australia and New Zealand to the islands of the Pacific resembles that of European powers to the colonies and trust territories of Africa. They represent a more advanced civilization and are .populated by newcomers to the Pacific area. Of present members of the United Nations only the Philippine Republic can claim to be authentically a native Pacific state, although the Indonesian Republic may eventually join it. China, which has a seat on the Trusteeship Council, and Siam, which has not, are more distant although comprehending observers of what goes on in the islands of the Pacific, taking much the same sort of interest in this area as Iran does in the Arab world, or Brazil in the Caribbean. With the United States, China, Australia and New Zealand all represented on the Council, however, there is not likely to be much pressure for the election of Siam or the Philippines. Any move to elect the latter would be unfortunate in view of the highly emotional approach to the subject of dependent territories which has characterized Philippine delegations.
6. The large regional groupings not represented in the Trusteeship Council at all are Africa, Northern Europe, Central and Southeastern Europe and South America. The Middle East is adequately represented. So is the British Commonwealth, although if an opportunity arose to elect another Asiatic state in addition to China and Iraq, the Canadian delegation might consider the possibility of voting for Pakistan, in view of the interest it has in Muslem minorities in Africa and the Pacific. Pakistan is suggested rather than India because Pakistan merits responsibility, but is not likely to be elected to either the Security Council or the Economic and Social Council, while India may regard it as being more important to stand for election to the Security Council or re-election to the Economic and Social Council than to seek a place in the Trusteeship Council.
7. A table attached to this memorandum shows the present distribution of responsibility for the work of the principal organs of the United Nations other than the Assembly and the Secretariat. Of the countries of Northern Europe which are at present without responsibility for the work of any of the four organs listed, either Denmark or Sweden might be expected to serve acceptably on the Trusteeship Council. If it should be decided, however, that a Central, Eastern or Southeastern European state should be elected on principle, Czechoslovakia might find it less embarrassing than the Ukraine to accept election, although the former is already serving on the Economic and Social Council. It is true that Czechoslovakia voted last December for the Soviet motion to reject the eight trusteeship agreements submitted to the Assembly; nevertheless Czechoslovakia was the only state among the close friends of the Soviet Union which later on abstained instead of casting a series of negative votes when the agreements were submitted individually for the Assembly's approval.
8. If there is no pressure to elect a second Latin American republic to the Trusteeship Council, the Canadian delegation is likely to have to choose only among the following, for reasons already indicated: Egypt, the Philippine Republic, Pakistan (and perhaps India), Denmark, Sweden and Czechoslovakia. If other names are not put forward before the Assembly convenes, the Canadian delegation might consider the possibility of supporting a combination of Denmark (or Sweden) and Pakistan (or Czechoslovakia). Either India or Egypt might be considered as alternatives for Pakistan or Czechoslovakia, but the first combination suggested above is likely to be preferred.72
72Les Philippines, Costa Rica, la Norvcge et le Siam étaient candidats aux postes vacants au Conseil de tutelle de membres «non chargés d'administrer» des territoires sous tutelle. Les deux premiers furent élus le 13 novembre.