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6. Other SUBJECTS OF SPECIAL UNITED STATES
INTEREST Among the supplementary items introduced on the agenda of the third session of the Council after its start were two in which the United States had a particular interest.
The United States Representative proposed that the Council call a conference in 1947 looking toward an exchange of information and techniques regarding the conservation of natural resources, including exhaustible resources, renewable resources, and energy resources. This proposal was supported by a letter from the President of the United States urging on the Economic and Social Council the need for reviewing the status of world resources as a result of the war. In as much as some delegations preferred to consider the proposal at a later date, further discussion of it was postponed to the fourth session of the Council.
The British Delegation introduced a proposal, which was adopted, that the Secretary-General of the United Nations convene at an early date a meeting of experts to prepare for a world conference on passports and frontier formalities. The British proposal, which the United States warmly supported, furthermore called on the Transport and Communications Commission to study the whole subject of barriers to international travel.
V. Trusteeship System and Non-Self-Governing
HE MEMBERS of the United Nations agreed at San Francisco upon
provisions designed to guarantee the political, economic, social, and educational advancement of the many millions of people in nonself-governing territories. These provisions, set forth in chapters XI, XII, and XIII of the Charter of the United Nations, contain a declaration of principles and obligations accepted by Members which have or assume responsibilities for the administration of territories whose peoples have not yet attained a full measure of self-government. They also establish an international trusteeship system for the administration of territories placed thereunder by subsequent individual trusteeship agreements. The United States, through participation in meetings of the General Assembly and other organs of the United Nations and of specialized agencies, in discussions with other Members of the United Nations, and in the development of regional commissions for non-self-governing territories, has sought diligently the implementation of the provisions of chapters XI, XII, and XIII.
Resolution on Non-Self-Governing Peoples A resolution drafted by the United Nations Preparatory Commission for submission to the General Assembly at the First Part of its First Session held in London in January and February, 1946, called upon states administering territories under League of Nations mandate to undertake practical steps for placing those territories under the trusteeship system so that agreements could be submitted for approval, preferably not later than the Second Part of the First Session of the General Assembly.
The United States Delegation to the London meeting felt that this Draft Resolution should be amended by adding provisions: (a) to reaffirm the principles relating to all non-self-governing territories which are set forth in chapter XI of the Charter, (b) to take account of the fact that the obligations accepted by Member Nations under chapter XI were already in force, and (c) to request the Secretary
General to include in his annual report a summary of such information as may have been transmitted to him under article 73 (e). This article provides for regular transmission by Members of the United Nations of “statistical and other information of a technical nature relating to economic, social, and educational conditions” in territories, other than those placed under trusteeship, for which they are responsible.
A resolution incorporating these amendments was agreed upon and adopted by the Trusteeship Committee and the General Assembly. The steps taken by the United States and other Members of the United Nations pursuant to this Resolution are described in the section which follows.
Information on Non-Self-Governing Territories The Secretary-General requested-by letter dated June 29, 1946– the opinion of each Member on the factors to be taken into account in determining which are the non-self-governing territories referred to in chapter XI of the Charter. He also indicated that if the respective Members were already in a position to supply information on non-self-governing territories under article 73 (e) “such action would no doubt be highly appreciated by the General Assembly”.
After consultations with the other interested departments of the Government, the Acting Secretary of State transmitted to the Secretary-General on August 19, 1946 copies of the latest Annual Reports of the Governors of Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and the Panama Canal Zone, and a specially prepared “Report to the United Nations on Guam, Samoa, and Other Island Possessions administered by the Navy Department”. In an accompanying note to the Secretary-General, the Acting Secretary pointed out in part that “Chapter XI would
appear to apply to any territories administered by a Member of the United Nations which do not enjoy the same measure of self-government as the metropolitan area of that Member”, but that for this year this Government had used a purely pragmatic approach in selecting the territories on which it should transmit information in the hope that the experience
The resolution is contained in the Report of the Secretary of State on the First Part of the First Session of the General Assembly.
On Nov. 14, 1946 the Delegation of Panama made a declaration to the General Assembly asserting that although the United States has the responsibility for the administration of the Panama Canal Zone it should not have included the Panama Canal Zone among the territories for which it submitted information under article 73 (e) of the Charter, chiefly on the grounds that sovereignty over the Canal Zone resides in the Republic of Panama.
of the various Members would perhaps reveal more clearly the kind of criteria, if any, that could eventually be agreed upon in making the selection. Attention was called to the fact that "the territories under the administration of this Government have already attained varying degrees of self-government and that the political advancement of all these territories is a matter of special concern to the American people."
The fact that this Government was the first of the United Nations to transmit information on non-self-governing territories to the Secretary-General was favorably noted in the press as were also the views advanced by the United States with regard to the method of determining the territories to which chapter XI applies. Information regarding their respective non-self-governing territories was also transmitted to the Secretary-General by the Governments of Australia, Belgium, Denmark, France, the Netherlands, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. Thus eight Members have pledged themselves to supply to the United Nations information on conditions in seventy-two non-self-governing territories.
The General Assembly in the Second Part of the First Session in New York adopted a resolution on the transmission of information under article 73 (e) which instructed the Secretary-General to summarize, analyze, and classify such information, to communicate it to the specialized agencies, and to convene an ad hoc committee prior to the Second Session of the General Assembly to examine the information transmitted with a view to making recommendations to the General Assembly. The United States voted against this resolution on the ground that the creation of an ad hoc committee would be an unnecessary and undesirable duplication of machinery in view of the fact that the Secretariat is already equipped to perform these functions. The ad hoc committee is to consist of the eight states transmitting information on territories under their administration and of the following eight Members elected by the General Assembly: Brazil, China, Cuba, Egypt, India, Republic of the Philippines, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, and Uruguay.
Conferences of Non-Self-Governing Peoples The Philippine Delegation, at the Second Part of the First Session of the General Assembly, introduced a resolution calling for the Economic and Social Council to convoke a world-wide conference of non-self-governing peoples to implement the provisions of chapter XI of the Charter. After various revisions of the Philippine draft resolution were considered in committee and subcommittee, the plenary session of the General Assembly rejected the provision
authorizing the Economic and Social Council to call the conference in favor of an amendment, moved by Cuba, recommending that Members responsible for the administration of non-self-governing territories convene conferences of representatives of non-self-governing peoples.
Throughout the committee discussions and in the plenary meetings of the General Assembly, the United States strongly supported regional rather than world-wide conferences of representatives of non-self-governing peoples and opposed any proposals which would have authorized the Economic and Social Council to convene such conferences. The United States Delegation held that granting the Economic and Social Council such powers would be contrary to the Charter since it tended to give the Economic and Social Council an authority equal to or greater than that exercised by the metropolitan governments responsible for the administration of non-self-governing territories.
Drafting of the Trusteeship Agreements During meetings of the General Assembly and its Trusteeship Committee in London all of the mandatory powers, except the Union of South Africa, announced that they would draw up trusteeship agreements placing the “B” and “C” mandated territories respectively administered by them in Africa and the Pacific under the international trusteeship system provided for in chapters XII and XIII of the Charter. The Resolution adopted by the General Assembly on February 9, 1946 welcomed the declarations by these mandatory powers and invited them and other states to take steps to conclude trusteeship agreements for submission to the Second Part of the First Session of the General Assembly.
At its final meeting in April 1946 the Assembly of the League of Nations noted the expressed intentions of the Members of the League administering territories under mandate to continue to administer them for the well-being and development of the peoples concerned in accordance with the obligations contained in the respective Mandates until other arrangements had been agreed upon between the United Nations and the respective mandatory powers.
Early in 1946 the United States Government received copies of proposed trusteeship agreements for Tanganyika, Togoland, and the Cameroons from the United Kingdom; for Ruanda-Urundi from Belgium; and later for Togoland and the Cameroons from France; for
* The question of trusteeship for South West Africa, a former League of Nations mandate administered by the Union of South Africa, is discussed later in this chapter.