Hasluck to Evatt

Cablegram 56 LONDON, 26 October 1945, 11.24 a.m.


Following background to debate on Assembly Committee is forwarded for what it is worth- My impression is that Soviet is gradually realising importance of Assembly and is hoping to establish machinery which would enable them to exercise considerable control over its business. Hence my views that general committee which in many respects would resemble Executive Committee at San Francisco should be large enough to prevent any single power or group from gaining control of its membership and that functions should be limited. Therefore while supporting Soviet in eliminating agenda committee and nominations committee, I opposed attempts to change composition of general committee. Proposed membership of fifteen would give us reasonable chance of representation in it.

Debates have revealed that great power unanimity has gone and that Big Three are acting independently at the moment although France and China are still hoping for a revival of something akin to inner group of San Francisco. French seem disinclined to inaugurate United Nations Organisation until great power unanimity is restored.

Although Soviet delayed progress Executive Committee by stubborn debating this week, I do not think they were deliberately obstructive and fact that they have deposited ratification suggests that they agree to early inauguration of Organisation.

Therefore, I think their proposal to defer opening of Preparatory Commission is primarily intended to meet their own convenience in study of papers, formation of delegation and similar practical questions. Nevertheless, their tendency has always been to try to keep Preparatory Commission as short and formal as possible and restrict its reconsideration of Executive’s proposals and they may have in mind that a late opening means a hurried session.

Only remaining business of Executive is consideration of final form of recommendations regarding Headquarters and date of Preparatory Commission and we should conclude late on Saturday night.