The Department of State to the Embassy of Pakistan 1
Mindful of their own colonial origin and their successful struggle for independence, the people of the United States have always maintained an attitude of sympathetic understanding towards dependent peoples striving for their freedom. In consonance with this attitude, the United States Government favors the progressive development of all dependent peoples towards the goals of self-government and, where conditions are suitable, of independence. It is believed that these views are shared by the Government and the people of Pakistan.
The application of the principle enunciated above will obviously vary in accordance with the conditions prevailing in each territory, particularly the adequacy of resources for the social and economic development of the people as well as their degree of political maturity. The general principle that too great political or economic fragmentation is undesirable should also be kept in mind.
It is the policy of the United States to support firmly the provisions of the United Nations Charter dealing with questions of dependent peoples. This Government believes that the United Nations has made, and will continue to make, noteworthy contributions to the political, economic, social, and educational progress of peoples of dependent areas. The United States welcomes the freest exchange of points of view in the United Nations and believes that the administering and non-administering Members alike can benefit from frank discussion conducted in a helpful and scientific spirit. The development of sharp cleavages between administering and non-administering Members would limit the ability of the United Nations to contribute to the welfare of non-self-governing peoples as well as operate to the advantage of the Soviet Union and its satellites. The scientific approach has, fortunately, become more evident in recent meetings of United Nations organs and committees. The United States welcomes this encouraging trend.[Page 613]
As the Government of Pakistan has been informed, the United States initiated discussions on dependent area questions prior to the last session of the General Assembly with representatives of some of the administering powers. It believes that these conversations were fruitful and that they resulted in a greater realization, on the part of the Governments participating, of the growing interest of all Members of the United Nations in the welfare and advancement of the dependent peoples, a realization which was reflected in more positive cooperation by these Governments in United Nations bodies dealing with dependent area questions.
relationship of the general assembly (committee four) to the trusteeship council and the special committee on information transmitted under article 73(E) of the charter
The United States believes that it is important to differentiate clearly between the functions of Committee Four of the General Assembly on the one hand and the functions of the Trusteeship Council and of the Special Committee on Information Transmitted under Article 73(e) on the other. The United States believes that there should be a proper distribution of functions and that the Fourth Committee should generally be regarded as the organ of the United Nations which deals with developments in trust and other non-self-governing territories in their broader aspects.
In contrast to the Fourth Committee, the Trusteeship Council, though operating under the authority of the Assembly, is a body of “specially qualified persons” established by the Charter for the purpose of reviewing in detail and on a continuing basis, political, economic, social, and educational conditions in the territories placed under the international trusteeship system. The United States considers that, generally speaking, the Fourth Committee should function primarily as a reviewing body and not as a rule make detailed recommendations on specific questions involving individual trust territories. On the other hand, the General Assembly, as the organ representing the views of all Members of the United Nations, may usefully bring to the attention of the Trusteeship Council general problems which, in its view, are of such importance as to merit consideration by the Council in relation to conditions in the trust territories or the operation of the trusteeship system, setting forth at the same time to the Trusteeship Council, if circumstances warrant, its own general views on the subject. The Trusteeship Council in its deliberations should, of course, be mindful of the views of the General Assembly.
Similarly, the Special Committee on Information Transmitted under Article 73(e), although it is a temporary body with powers and functions which differentiate it from the Trusteeship Council, might best function as a body of specially qualified persons. As a result of [Page 614]its smaller membership and of the practice of including technical advisers in delegations, the Special Committee would seem better constituted than the Fourth Committee to give such detailed and expert consideration as is necessary to difficult problems of the non-self-governing territories. The United States believes that the studies and recommendations of the Special Committee have been of great value and assistance to the General Assembly.
The views of the Government of Pakistan as to the relationship of the General Assembly to the Trusteeship Council and to the Special Committee would be appreciated.
the functioning of the trusteeship council
The United States considers that the Trusteeship Council as an organ exercising supervisory functions in connection with the international trusteeship system is effectively fulfilling the functions assigned to it in the Charter, and that it has already made a significant contribution to the advancement of non-self-governing peoples. In connection with the administration of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands this Government will continue to give the most careful consideration to the observations and recommendations of the Council.
The United States believes, moreover, that the Trusteeship Council might be made an even more effective forum for a constructive interchange of ideas relating to the administration of the peoples under the international trusteeship system. The administering Members of the Council can manifestly benefit from such an exchange of ideas with all Members of the Trusteeship Council and can contribute on the basis of their particular experience in the administration of the trust territories and other territories for which they are responsible. The non-administering Members of the Council can contribute much of value to such Council discussions on the basis of the experience which they may have had in dealing with comparable economic and social problems in their own countries. The United States hopes that this useful aspect of the Council’s work will be further developed in the future.
It is recognized that apart from the Soviet Union, Members of the Trusteeship Council have not sought to use the Council for propaganda purposes. With the exception noted, both the administering and the non-administering Members of the Council have participated constructively in the work of the Council in its consideration of the complex problems arising in the administration of the trust territories. The United States is convinced that the maintenance of an atmosphere of cooperation in the Council is essential to the steady advancement toward the objectives of the trusteeship system; for only on the basis of such cooperation can the full potentialities of the Trusteeship Council to contribute to progress of the peoples of the trust territories be realized.[Page 615]
the functioning of the special committee on information transmitted under article 73 ( E ) of the charter
The attitude of the Government of the United States toward the Special Committee on Information Transmitted under Article 73(e) is based on its conviction that the United Nations should make a positive and constructive contribution to the welfare and development of non-self-governing territories, at the same time fully respecting the distinction clearly laid down in the Charter itself between the functions of the United Nations with respect to the trust territories and the other non-self-governing territories.
The original vote of the United States against the establishment of the Special Committee in 1946 was based not on a belief that the General Assembly could not legally establish such a body but on doubts as to whether a committee of political representatives was the best type of mechanism to consider the technical data transmitted under Article 73(e). In an effort to obtain an adequate test, the United States supported the continuation of the Special Committee on a year-to-year basis in 1947 and 1948, and in 1949 sponsored a proposal for the continuation of the Committee for a three-year period. This Government has not sought to confine the Committee to a purely procedural role but has, on the contrary, supported the right of the Committee to make recommendations in the economic, social, and educational fields, provided these did not relate to individual administering Members or to particular territories. The United States also co-sponsored with Mexico in 1949 a proposal that the Special Committee give particular consideration each year to one of the three fields within its terms of reference without neglecting the other two. The United States considers that the 1950 session of the Committee was a constructive one.
The Government of the United States hopes that the Government of Pakistan will share its view that considerable credit for the success of the 1950 session of the Special Committee should go to those administering Members who, in spite of their misgivings about the legality of the Special Committee and of the appropriateness of the functions assigned to it by the General Assembly, participated helpfully along with the non-administering Members in its work at that session. Since the effectiveness of the recommendations of the United Nations is directly related to the spirit with which they are applied in the territories by the administering authorities, the United States attaches the greatest importance to the willing cooperation of such Members in the work of the Special Committee and Committee Four.
The United States hopes that the harmonious atmosphere of the 1950 session of the Special Committee will continue during the 1951 session and believes that, barring unforeseen circumstances, it would not be desirable to modify the existing functions of the Special Committee during the present trial period. Valuable contributions were [Page 616]made by non-administering Members of the Committee to the Special Report on Education and the United States feels certain that they will make a similarly valuable contribution to the discussion of economic conditions and development in the non-self-governing territories to be undertaken in the forthcoming session. The United States on its part will cooperate to the best of its ability to achieve this objective.
1. South West Africa
As the Government of Pakistan is aware, the General Assembly, at its Fifth Session, established a committee of five to confer with the Union of South Africa concerning the procedural measures necessary for implementing the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice on the question of South West Africa. This Committee has held an exchange of views with representatives of the Union Government. While consultations are not yet completed, the Union’s views have been heard and a draft agreement embodying procedural measures considered necessary by the Committee for implementing the Court’s opinion has been submitted to the Union Representatives. The United States, as a sponsor of the resolution establishing the Committee, and as a member of the Committee, has exerted, and will continue to exert, every effort to work towards a satisfactory solution of this difficult problem, and considers that the Committee has taken a useful forward step.
The United States, in its participation in the work of the Committee, has been guided by the belief that means should be found for implementing the opinion of the Court, as well as by its recognition that an attempt should be made to find such means in cooperation with the Government of the Union of South Africa. The process undertaken by the Committee of exploring carefully with the Union Government various procedures for implementing the Court’s opinion seems at this stage to be the best means of protecting the interests of the inhabitants of South West Africa. While opinions must be somewhat tentative until the Committee has made its report, the views of the Government of Pakistan on this question would be welcomed.
2. Italian Participation in the Trusteeship Council
It will be recalled that the approval by the Fifth General Assembly of the Trusteeship Agreement for Somaliland under Italian administration required the Trusteeship Council to work out the necessary arrangements for the participation of Italy in the work of the Council. Special arrangements were necessitated by virtue of the fact that Italy is not yet a Member of the United Nations.
The Trusteeship Council at its Eighth Session gave attention to this question and, in the opinion of the United States, made provision for the participation of Italy in the Council’s work in the fullest degree [Page 617]compatible with the provisions of the United Nations Charter. Rules of procedure were adopted enabling the representative of Italy to be seated at all times during the sessions of the Council and providing for participation by Italy, without vote, in the deliberations of the Council relating to Somaliland and to general questions relating to the operation of the international trusteeship system. The right to vote was specifically excepted, since Articles 86 and 89 of the Charter of the United Nations make clear that membership in the Trusteeship Council is limited to Members of the United Nations and that the right to vote in the Council is accorded only to Members. Representatives of Italy participated effectively in the Ninth Session of the Council in accordance with the above-mentioned rules of procedure.
The Trusteeship Council, taking into consideration the strong desire of the Government of Italy to be empowered to vote in the Trusteeship Council, adopted a resolution by a vote of 9–1–2 requesting the General Assembly to include in the agenda of its Sixth Regular Session the question of “the full participation of Italy in the work of the Trusteeship Council”.
The United States considers that Italy could acquire the right to vote in the Trusteeship Council only through admission to membership in the United Nations or through special amendment to Article 86 of the Charter. The United States has supported and will continue to support the admission of Italy to membership in the United Nations. The Government of Pakistan is familiar with the consideration of this question in the United Nations. In the view of the United States, the adoption of an amendment to Article 86 of the Charter would be at least as difficult to achieve as the admission of Italy to membership, since an amendment would also require approval by all permanent Members of the Security Council. Moreover, it would appear to be far less satisfactory to Italy. The views of the Government of Pakistan on any aspect of this question would be welcomed.
3. General Assembly Consideration of Trusteeship Council Procedures
The Government of Pakistan will recall that consideration by the Fifth General Assembly of the procedures of the Trusteeship Council resulted in three resolutions: General Procedures of the Trusteeship Council, Organization and Methods of Functioning of Visiting Missions, and Examination of Petitions. Although the United States voted for these resolutions in the plenary session of the Assembly, this Government has some misgivings lest the feeling become widespread that the General Assembly should give the Trusteeship Council specific directives regarding the Council’s rules of procedure.
The United States recognizes that under Article 87 of the Charter the Trusteeship Council takes actions under the authority of the General Assembly. The General Assembly, therefore, has not only the right but the duty to consider the results attained by the Council in taking [Page 618]those actions. On the other hand, the provisions of Article 7 of the Charter clearly designate the Council as a principal organ of the United Nations, and Article 90 provides that the Council shall adopt its own rules of procedure.
Moreover, since the functions of the Trusteeship Council are of a special character, the United States believes that the Council, on the basis of its own experience, is the body best qualified to develop the rules of procedure necessary for the most effective accomplishment of its work.
As a Member of the Trusteeship Council, the United States is of course continually endeavoring to improve the procedures of the Trusteeship Council and believes that the Council should take fully into account any suggestions made in the Assembly which might improve the Council’s work. It is in this sense that the United States supported actions in the Trusteeship Council at its Ninth Session pursuant to the three above-mentioned General Assembly resolutions on procedures. While the Council did not complete its review of its procedures at that session, the United States considers that several improvements were made, and it will continue to urge such further improvements as in its view appear to be necessary in the light of the Council’s experience. The Government of the United States would be glad to have the views of the Government of Pakistan on this question.
4. The Transmission of Political Information Under Article 73(e)
The United States is of the opinion that the specific language of Article 73(e) was intended to exclude any obligation on the part of administering Members to transmit political information on non-self-governing territories. Hence, the United States has voted against resolutions stating or implying that the transmission of such information is required. As the Government of Pakistan is aware, however, the United States believes that the transmission of political information is desirable and has from the beginning voluntarily transmitted such information under the appropriate rubric of the Standard Form. Furthermore, the United States has supported resolutions of the General Assembly inviting administering Members to transmit political information voluntarily. It believes that this is a more appropriate and constructive approach to the problem than an attempt to require the submission of such information.
5. The Question of “The Factors Which Should Be Taken Into Account In Deciding Whether a Territory Is Or Is Not a Territory Whose Peoples Have Not Yet Achieved a Full Measure of Self-Government”
The United States considers that this question, which the General Assembly assigned to the Special Committee for study and which will be on the agenda of the 1951 session, presents great difficulties. The [Page 619]problem is manifestly complex not only because of the bewildering variety of political relations between territories and their respective administering Members but also because of the rapidity with which these relationships are evolving. However, the United States believes that a consideration of this question is within the competence of the General Assembly and of the Special Committee and wishes to participate as helpfully as possible in the discussion.
6. The Ewe and Togoland Unification Questions
As the Government of Pakistan is aware, the General Assembly by its resolution of December 2, 1950, on the Ewe problem, requested the Trusteeship Council to devote a special chapter or sub-chapter of its next annual report to setting forth all steps undertaken in connection with the Ewe question. It is not proposed to outline these steps in this memorandum; however, occasion is taken to point out the continuing concern of the United States that solutions to the complex problems raised by the Ewe petitions be found. In the view of the United States it is not possible at this stage to arrive at a single solution which would have the adherence of all major groups in the two Togolands. It is largely for this reason that the United States, in the Ninth Session of the Trusteeship Council, took the position that a useful step forward could be accomplished by the establishment of a Joint Council composed of representatives of the two territories to advise the two administering authorities on matters of common concern.
It is now the view of the United States that every effort should be made to set up the new Joint Council in a manner which will obtain the participation of all major groups in the two territories and that the new body should be given a fair and reasonable opportunity to prove its effectiveness as a means whereby the inhabitants of both Togolands can influence developments in which they have a common concern. If the foregoing conditions are fulfilled, it should be possible, as contemplated in the resolution adopted by the Trusteeship Council on July 24, 1951, for the 1952 United Nations Visiting Mission to West Africa to form an evaluation of its accomplishments. Slow though such a process may be, it is the most feasible one, in the opinion of the United States, which can be undertaken at present in order to avoid the possibility of doing serious harm to the interests of important groups in the territories. The United States would be very much interested in the views of the Government of Pakistan on this question.
The United States Government will appreciate any further views on the questions discussed in this memorandum which the Government of Pakistan may wish to express, as well as its views on other questions in the field of non-self-governing territories which are likely to come before the next session of the General Assembly.
- Handed to the Pakistan Minister, Mr. Osman Baig, by the Director of the Office of Dependent Area Affairs (Gerig), on August 29.↩
As noted in the editorial note, p. 610, this was one of 15 or so memoranda handed to as many foreign diplomatic representatives in Washington mainly in September. As it is printed as a model, there is accordingly no special significance attached to the selection of Pakistan here as the recipient government.
Copies of the memorandum, together with the list of topics for consultation (supra) and the record of the conversation that took place (none printed), were subsequently transmitted by the Department under cover of an instruction to the U.S. diplomatic mission in the country concerned for appropriate discussion with the local Foreign Ministry. This correspondence is located in the central indexed files of the Department of State, files 350 and 700.021.↩