CFM Files

United States Delegation Journal

USDel (PC) (Journal) 28

The Yugoslav resolution regarding the attachment of detailed maps to the treaty was accepted for insertion in the Commission’s records (see Section II, Summary of Proceedings, August 28, USDEL Journal/PC–2779). The modified Yugoslav amendment to Article 1 regarding possible discrepancies between the text and the maps was likewise adopted without objection (see Section II, Summaiy of Proceedings, [Page 307] August 28, USDEL Journal/PC–27). Mr. Jebb (U.K.) pointed out, however, that the textual description particularly in Article 2 required more detailed and careful drafting which the French Delegate promised to have done.

The Commission considered the Australian motion of yesterday which provided for the establishment of a special subcommittee to examine and report on Paragraph 2 Article 2 of the treaty (Mont Cenis Plateau). It read as follows:

“That the Commission set up a sub-commission of seven, composed of the representative of the four sponsoring Powers and three other states to examine the proposal on Article 2, Paragraph 2, and Annex 2 so far as it is relevant, and to report to the Commission the relevant facts and make any recommendation it thinks fit.”

The representatives of the Netherlands, Belgium and South Africa, supported the proposal while it was opposed by the representatives of Poland, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Yugoslavia, U.S.S.R. and Canada. Mr. Vyshinsky made a long speech in opposition, taking the line that the Council of Foreign Ministers and their experts had given long and careful study to this problem; that if the other Delegates had any questions the experts and the material were available. He said that the Soviet Union had little interest in Mont Cenis. The Soviet representative on the Council of Foreign Ministers had given long and careful thought to this particular rectification but that finally, out of a feeling of solidarity with France and because of the insistence of the United Kingdom and United States representatives, the U.S.S.R. had agreed and would therefore stand by its decision.

Mr. Hodgson (Australia) pointed out no statements had thus far been made by any of the sponsoring Powers giving the reasons for their decisions to transfer the Mont Cenis area to France. The Australians were unable to accept their judgment without their reasons. He felt that a subcommittee could more effectively question the experts on this question than the Commission as a whole and that as far as the Council of Foreign Ministers’ material was concerned it had not even been indexed. He denied a Yugoslav assertion that the Council of Foreign Ministers’ experts had visited Mont Cenis in the course of their studies of this question.

The representative of New Zealand on two occasions questioned the wisdom of the transfer of Mont Cenis to France and the validity of French claims to the area. In replying, M. Moutet (France) declared that the interest in and debate over Mont Cenis, which had already occurred, was out of all proportion to its importance. He referred to negotiations which were at present proceeding amicably between France and Italy and to the fact that there were only a few hundred [Page 308] people and acres involved. He said that Sig. Saragat, the Italian Delegate, had fought with him and his organization in France as an anti-Fascist refugee; that he was satisfied that the French and Italians could reach agreement and that the Commission should move quickly to liquidate points of difference which would clear the way for a lasting peace between Italy and France. He held that the documents circulated to the Delegates by France (C.P. IT/P. Doc. 1080) contained the reasons for this frontier rectification and concluded that New Zealand and Australia appeared to have an unwarranted interest in the Mont Cenis area. When put to the vote the Australian motion quoted above was lost by 13 votes to 6.81

The Chairman was unable to bring the substance of paragraph 2 Article 2 to a vote because of objections and observations from the representatives of New Zealand, China and Canada. Dr. Quo (China) said that the wording of the paragraph lacked precision and that clearer drafting was indispensable. The Canadian doubted the desirability of referring the drafting to the Legal and Drafting Commission as suggested by the representative of France. The meeting adjourned at 1:30 p.m.

  1. Not printed.
  2. Not printed.
  3. Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Greece, Netherlands, and the Union of South Africa voted for the amendment. New Zealand abstained (CFM Files: USDel Minutes).