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United States Position in Individual Cases Considered
by the Council
There is set forth below in summary form the position taken by the United States in the several cases considered by the Security Council during the past year.
1. THE IRANIAN CASE
In the first case brought to the Council's attention on January 19, 1946, Iran alleged interference by the Soviet Union in its internal affairs. The United States position, with which the Council agreed, was that the Council should take no action other than to encourage the continuance of the negotiations in progress between the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and Iran, but should evidence its continued interest in the case by retaining the matter on its agenda.
In March 1946 the Iranian Government again brought to the Council's attention the question of Soviet interference in the internal affairs of Iran and further alleged that the Soviet Government was maintaining troops in Iran beyond the period stipúlated in the Tripartite Treaty of 1942.
Although the merits of this complaint were not discussed, our Representative on several occasions made clear the United States position. In the first place Secretary of State Byrnes, who served as United States Representative during part of the discussion, took the position that the matter was properly on the Council's agenda. On the Soviet proposal that the Council should postpone its consideration of the case, he pointed out that the Council could not, under its responsibilities, decide on a postponement until the representative of the country bringing the matter to the attention of the Council had been heard upon that issue. When the Soviet proposal was rejected, the Representative of the Soviet Union stated that he was unable to participate at that time in the Council's discussions of the Iranian question. He accordingly did not attend the next three meetings of the Council, resuming participation in the Council's discussions on April 15.
After the Council had received information from the Soviet Government that the withdrawal of its troops was in process, it adopted a suggestion of Mr. Byrnes that the Secretary-General of the United Nations should obtain from both the Soviet and Iranian Governments a report as to the status of the negotiations between them and a report
as to whether the withdrawal of troops was conditional upon the conclusion of other agreements between the two Governments.
The Council also adopted a resolution submitted by Mr. Byrnes which, after taking note of the replies received from the two Governments and of the Soviet assurances that withdrawal of troops had already commenced and would proceed as rapidly as possible, deferred further proceedings in the Council until a later date when the Council should receive a further report.
During the course of the Council discussions the Iranian Government informed the Council that it withdrew its complaint. Our Representative expressed the view that it was clearly within the power and authority of the Security Council to continue a case on its agenda even though the complaining Government had requested its withdrawal. Subsequently the Government of Iran reported to the Council that incomplete reports indicated Soviet troops had completed the evacuation of northern Iran on May 6, 1946. In further discussion of the case, the United States Representative stated that it would be most unfortunate for the Council to drop the Iranian question from the list of matters of which it was seized. He pointed out that the United States had followed the developments in Iran with great concern and had been giving consideration to requesting upon its own initiative an investigation by the Council in order to assist it to determine whether the continuance of the situation was likely to endanger international peace and security. We did not ask it at this time, however.
The United States view that it was necessary to keep the case before the Council was shared by the necessary majority of the Council, and the case was retained on the list of matters of which the Council is seized.
On December 5, 1946 the Iranian Government advised the President of the Security Council that due to the consequences of interference in the internal affairs of Iran the Central Government had not yet been able to reestablish its authority in the province of Azerbaijan. The report stated that, in order to keep the Security Council informed of the further consequences of the interference previously complained of, the Iranian Government desired to advise the Council of its decision to send military forces to all provinces to assure that the pro cedures for the election of the Majlis currently to be held be duly followed.
In furtherance of that decision the forces of the Shah entered Azerbaijan and after only minor difficulty the Central Government reasserted its authority in that province.
The Council, which has taken no further action in this matter, remains seized of the case.
2. THE INDONESIAN CASE
On January 21, 1946 the Ukrainian S.S.R. brought to the attention of the Security Council the situation in Indonesia, alleging the use of British, and even some Japanese, troops against the Indonesian population, and calling on the Council to carry out an on-the-spot investigation of the situation.
In voting with a majority of the Security Council against an investigation, the United States Representative expressed the view that no constructive purpose would be served by an investigation in Indonesia and indeed it might prejudice or retard the negotiations then in progress between the Dutch authorities and the Indonesian Nationalists.
The United States position was that, while it did not wish to see the vitally important function of investigation by the Security Council limited or diminished, it believed that there were objective criteria, not met in the case before it, which should be applied by the Security Council before a decision was made to investigate. These criteria were in the United States view: that investigation is warranted only if there is reason to believe from all the circumstances that the continuance of the situation is likely to endanger international peace; and that investigation should have a constructive purpose and should look forward and not backward. After the failure of the proposal for an investigation to carry, the Security Council took no further action on the case.
The Netherlands Government and the Indonesian leaders. continued throughout the year discussions which began in 1945 and which led ultimately to the initialing of an agreement looking toward the establishment of a United States of Indonesia within the framework of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
3. THE GREEK CASES
CASE BROUGHT BY THE U. S. S. R.
The first Greek case was brought to the Security Council's attention on January 21, 1946 by a letter from the chairman of the Soviet Delegation to the General Assembly, in which it was charged that the presence of British troops in Greece constituted interference with that country's internal affairs and contributed to tension fraught with grave consequences to the maintenance of international peace.
The United States Representative stated that he did not believe that the presence of British troops in Greece could be regarded as constituting a situation likely to endanger international peace and security within the meaning of the Charter; accordingly the United States felt that without such a finding the Security Council was with
out Charter authority to recommend procedures or methods of adjustment. The Council finally accepted a proposal, originally put forward by the United States Representative, that its president should read a statement affirming that the Council had taken note of the statements made during the discussion and that the matter should be considered closed.
CASE BROUGHT BY THE UKRAINIAN S.S.R. On August 24, 1946 the Ukrainian S.S.R. complained of internal conditions in Greece and incidents along the Greek-Albanian frontier, allegedly provoked by Greek armed forces. After full discussion in the Council the United States Representative proposed that the Security Council establish a commission to investigate the facts relating to border incidents along the whole northern frontier of Greece, with authority to call upon Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, and Yugoslavia for information,
This resolution received eight affirmative votes but failed of adoption because of the negative vote of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Accordingly, the Council took no action at the time.
CASE BROUGHT BY THE GREEK GOVERNMENT
On December 3, 1946 the Security Council's attention was again called to the situation in Greece. In this case it was the Greek Government which brought the complaint, contending that her northern neighbors were lending support to the violent guerilla warfare being waged in northern Greece, and requesting the Council to conduct an on-the-spot investigation. After Greece as well as Albania, Bulgaria, and Yugoslavia had had an opportunity to make statements before the Security Council, the United States Representative proposed the establishment of a commission of investigation to ascertain the facts relating to the alleged border violations along the Greek frontier. The Security Council on December 19 unanimously approved the United States proposal with some amendments. Under this resolution as adopted, the commission, consisting of representatives of all members of the Council, has authority to conduct its investigation in northern Greece, and in such places in other parts of Greece, in Albania, Bulgaria, and Yugoslavia as the commission considers should be included, in order to elucidate the causes and nature of the border violations and disturbances.
In addition the resolution invites the commission to make proposals designed to avert a repetition of border violations and disturbances in these areas. Mr. Mark F. Etheridge has been designated as the United States Representative on the commission.
4. The SYRIA AND LEBANON CASE
By letter dated February 4, 1946 the Lebanese and Syrian Delegations to the General Assembly complained of the continued presence of British and French forces in their countries after the close of hostilities and contrary to the Charter. The United States Representative stated that it was the general policy of this Government to encourage the rapid withdrawal of foreign troops from the territory of any Member of the United Nations occupied during the war, if the Government of that Member state desired their departure. He pointed to article 33 of the Charter which provided that the parties should first seek a solution by peaceful means of their own choice and expressed the view that the possibilities of finding a peaceful solution to the dispute had not been exhausted and that direct negotiations should be undertaken.
In accordance with this position the United States Representative proposed a resolution, expressing confidence that the troops would be withdrawn as soon as practicable and negotiations to that end undertaken without delay.
This resolution, although supported by seven members of the Security Council, failed because of the negative vote of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. However, both France and the United Kingdom declared they would carry out the sense of the resolution; Syria and Lebanon as well as France and the United Kingdom later reported the satisfactory conclusion of the negotiations to the Security Council. Furthermore, in May 1946 both the Syrian and Lebanese Governments reported to the Council that the troops had been withdrawn or satisfactory agreements reached for their early withdrawal.
5. THE SPANISH CASE
On April 10, 1946 the Representative of Poland in a complaint to the Council alleged that the activities of the Franco regime endangered international peace and requested the Security Council to call upon Members of the United Nations to sever relations with the Franco Government.
The United States Representative expressed his Government's willingness to consider any action which in its opinion would further the elimination of the Franco regime and the restoration of a democratic regime without civil war, and voted in favor of the establishment of a subcommittee to conduct further inquiries. The United States Government provided the subcommittee with a substantial amount of material.
The subcommittee found that the situation in Spain was one the continuance of which was likely to endanger the maintenance of inter