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DCER : Volume #12 - 400.DEA/211-C :

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Volume #12 - 400.









High Commissioner in Great Britain
to Secretary of State for External Affairs



London, January 12th, 1946

ASDEL No. 9. Following from Wrong, Begins:
1. You have doubtless received through the press the results of the elections to the Security Council. Voting on the first ballot (with 50 valid ballots) gave Brazil 47, Mexico and Egypt 45, Poland 39, Netherlands 37, Canada 33, Australia 28, with the remaining votes scattered among 11 States, none receiving more than 6. This meant that 11 delegations voted for both Canada and Australia. We would have secured the required 34 votes if one delegate had not spoiled his ballot by signing it, since he had voted for Canada. Under the rules, a vote between the two leading candidates for the sixth seat then took place. Australia secured 27 votes and Canada 23. Since Australia lacked the required majority, a further vote was held which gave Australia 28 votes and Canada 23. We then retired from the contest after a graceful speech from Mr. St. Laurent.

2. The election of Canada was supported by the five permanent members of the Security Council, Canada and Brazil being the only countries to appear on the original slates of them all. Our defeat was due to the unwillingness of Australia to withdraw, their grounds being the necessity of achieving equitable geographical distribution of the elected seats (our prospective membership of the Atomic Commission also seems to have had some effect). The Prime Minister of New Zealand this morning, before the first ballot was taken, succeeded in making two speeches in support of the election of Australia; this probably helped to swing over some smaller Latin American States and the Arab group, both of whom are most anxious to base all elections on regional considerations in order to ensure their own representation.

3. It is probably difficult to understand the result without feeling the prevailing atmosphere in the Assembly. The election of Mexico on the first ballot was undoubtedly responsible for the preference given to Australia on the second ballot because of objection to the presence on the Security Council at the same time of three North American countries.

4. On a vote for the two-year term, Brazil and Australia were first elected and later Poland defeated Netherlands by lot after a tied vote. While there might be a remote possibility of our replacing Mexico at the next elections, it seems more likely that we shall have to await the end of the Australian term.

5. It was, indeed, clear from our discussions with other delegations that if we had not withdrawn, we should eventually have been defeated in further balloting. Given these circumstances, the effect of our withdrawal was undoubtedly favourable. It helped to secure our election to the Economic and Social Council with 46 votes. The balloting for terms on this Council will take place on Monday morning.

6. I shall telegraph separately; tomorrow, about the elections to the Economic and Social Council and the position concerning the choice of the Secretary-General. Ends.

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