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the Fourth Committee. In plenary meeting at its Third Regular Session the General Assembly adopted, by large majorities and without change, the five resolutions accepted by the Fourth Committee.
The five resolutions deal respectively with:
1. The transmission of information under article 73 (e) of the Charter;
II. The continuation of the Special Committee for 1949;
III. Liaison between the Economic and Social Council and the Special Committee;
IV. Cooperation with the specialized agencies; and
V. Notification to the United Nations when a non-self-governing territory acquires a new constitutional status which, in the view of the administering member, makes the territory no longer non-selfgoverning.
Resolution I, adopted by the Special Committee by a vote of 14 to 1 (U.S.S.R.), registers the consensus of the Committee that previous procedures for the transmission and consideration of information had not worked satisfactorily. It invites the administering members to transmit the most recent information which is at their disposal as early as possible, and at the latest within a maximum period of six months following the expiration of the administrative year in the territories. This system substitutes, in place of the uniform date of June 30 for the receipt of information, a flexible schedule based on the fiscal years of the administering members. Pursuant to this resolution, information on the United States territories will be due on December 31 of each year, since the fiscal year for these territories ends June 30. It is hoped that this revised schedule for the receipt of information will give the Secretariat more time to prepare the summaries and analyses in advance of future Special Committee and General Assembly sessions.
Other provisions of this resolution reduce the reporting burdens of the administering members by requesting them not to report fully each year on all topics of the lengthy standard form, but only on appreciable changes which have occurred during the previous year. Further, for the purpose of evaluating the information transmitted under article 73 (e), the Secretary-General is empowered in the future to use, without prior consent of the government concerned, relevant and comparable official statistical information transmitted to the United Nations or the specialized agencies. This represents a liberalization of last year's resolution on supplemental documents. The Secretary-General is authorized to prepare summaries and analyses of information transmitted during 1949 and after that to do so at three-year intervals, with annual supplements pointing out changes in statistics and outstanding developments. Finally, those administering authorities which do not feel that they can transmit information on government are invited nonetheless to report on geography, history, peoples, and human-rights problems of the territories.
The United States Delegation to the Special Committee was aware of defects in the former system which did not allow sufficient time for the Secretary-General to prepare the summaries and analyses, the specialized agencies to contribute to the analyses, or the members of the Special Committee to examine the documentation in advance of sessions of the Special Committee and the General Assembly. Accordingly, the United States Delegation introduced a working paper to simplify the procedure and to correct these defects. This paper was well received by the Committee, and parts of it were incorporated in a modified form into the final resolution.
Resolution II, which was adopted by the Special Committee by a vote of 11 to 1 (U.S.S.R.), with 3 abstentions (Belgium, Colombia, France), provides for the continuation of a Special Committee for 1949 without prejudice as to the future. This committee will have the same balanced representation and terms of reference as this year's committee. In addition to the eight administering members, the committee for 1949 Includes the following nonadministering states elected by the Fourth Committee on behalf of the General Assembly: Brazil, China, the Dominican Republic, Egypt, India, Sweden, Venezuela, and the U.S.S.R. While certain nonadministering members wished to have the Special Committee established on a permanent basis, some of the administering members preferred the termination of the Special Committee at this Session and the transfer of its functions to the specialized agencies. The United States pressed for the resolution as adopted as a reasonable compromise between these divergent views.
Resolution III is designed to define more precisely the relationship which should exist between the Special Committee and the Economic and Social Council. The resolution was adopted by the Special Committee by a vote of 14 to 0, with 1 abstention (U.S.S.R.).
Resolution IV seeks to insure cooperation between the specialized agencies and the Special Committee on economic, social, and educational matters in the non-self-governing territories. It was accepted by the Special Committee 14 to 0, with the U.S.S.R. abstaining.
Resolution V, initiated by India in the Fourth Committee of the General Assembly and supported by the United States, was adopted 29 to 0, with 17 abstentions. The resolution establishes the principle that the United Nations is entitled to be informed of any change in the constitutional position or status of a non-self-governing territory as the result of which the responsible government concerned thinks it unnecessary to transmit information in respect to that territory under article 73 (e) of the Charter. The resolution also contains a request to the members concerned to communicate to the SecretaryGeneral within a maximum period of six months appropriate informaation relating to the new status of the non-self-governing territory, including the constitution, legislative act or executive order providing for the government of the territories, and the constitutional relationship of the territories to the government of the metropolitan country. This resolution arose from the circumstance that some administering members ceased to report in 1947 and in 1948 on certain territories on which they had in 1946 declared their intention to report. It was the understanding of the United States Government that the transmission of the information requested in the resolution did not alter the right of each administering state to determine the constitutional position and status of any particular territory under its sovereignty.
CONFLICT OF ATTITUDES
Sharp differences of opinion emerged in earlier sessions of the United Nations between administering and nonadministering members over interpretation and implementation of chapter XI. In 1948 these differences of opinion were primarily concerned with (a) the continuation of the Special Committee on a permanent or reconstituted basis and (b) the obligation of the administering members to transmit political information.
The Soviet Union introduced resolutions which, in addition to establishing the Special Committee as a permanent body, would have endowed it with powers comparable to those of the Trusteeship Council, to consider information from private individuals both within and without the territories, to examine petitions, and to send annual missions to non-self-governing territories. Some of the administering powers (the United Kingdom, France, and Belgium) were not only opposed to the establishment of the Committee on a permanent basis but sought to limit its functions to the improvement of procedures for the transmission of information. Belgium proposed that the specialized agencies take over the functions of the Special Committee.
The United States, with the support of Denmark, took the lead in securing the adoption of the compromise contained in resolution II.
A number of members of the Special Committee have contended that what is termed political information is required, although article 73 (e) calls only for "statistical and other information of a technical nature relating to economic, social, and educational conditions." The political information furnished by six of the eight administering members, including the United States, was summarized by the Secretary-General and was available to all members of the Committee. However, little attention was given by the Committee to the substance of this information voluntarily submitted. Instead, administering members which had not submitted such information were sharply criticized. The Special Committee adopted a proposal that members who had not heretofore transmitted information on government in the optional category of the standard form be invited, nevertheless, to cover the other topics, namely: geography, history, people, and human rights.
The United States, as an administering member, contributed substantially to the accomplishments of the Committee by acting as a moderating force in reconciling the conflicting views. Regional Commissions
Members of the United Nations which have non-self-governing territories in the Caribbean and South Pacific regions continued their efforts through two regional commissions for the economic and social advancement of the peoples of these areas. Member Governments of the four-power Caribbean Commission are France, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States; the membership of the six-power South Pacific Commission includes Australia and New Zealand in addition to the four Governments just mentioned.
The Eightieth Congress enacted legislation on January 28, 1948, authorizing participation by the United States in the South Pacific Commission. Subsequently, on July 27, 1948, the agreement establishing that Commission formally entered into effect. Similar enabling legislation was enacted on March 4, 1948, for the Caribbean Commission. The Caribbean Commission agreement entered into force on August 6, 1948.
Neither the Caribbean Commission nor the South Pacific Commission has an organic relationship with the United Nations, but both regional advisory groups maintain liaison with the United Nations and its specialized agencies. In accordance with Article XXI of the South Pacific agreement, the Government of Australia, in behalf of all six participating governments, registered the agreement with the Secretariat of the United Nations. The Caribbean Commission has directed that liaison be maintained on a secretariat level between the Caribbean Commission and the United Nations and its specialized agencies. Observers from the United Nations attended the first meeting of the Caribbean Research Council and the Third Session of the West Indian Conference, a biennial meeting of representatives of the peoples of the Caribbean region. The International Labor Office also sent an observer to this Conference. Canada, as in the two pre
vious Conferences, and Cuba, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic demonstrated their interest in the Conference by sending observers.
The development of these regional commissions is an attempt to maintain and enhance the international cooperation on a regional basis which existed during the war years.
In fulfilling its obligations under chapters XI, XII, and XIII of the United Nations Charter the United States during 1948 continued to adhere to its traditional policy of supporting the aspirations of dependent peoples for self-government or independence. This longstanding policy is well illustrated by the character of American administration in the Philippines, which led to the formation of the independent Republic of the Philippines in 1946. Another notable development in United States territories occurred at the very time the problems of non-self-governing territories were under discussion at the Third Session of the General Assembly. In November 1948, on the basis of universal, adult suffrage, Puerto Rico elected a native-born citizen to its governorship. Puerto Rico is thus in the unique position of being the only non-self-governing territory in the world which has the power to elect its own governor.
The system of accountability under article 73 (e) of the Charter is evolving slowly. At its 1948 session, the Special Committee devised a method of reporting which will enable the examining bodies of the United Nations to have more opportunity to study the reports. At the same time the new method will reduce some of the burden on overworked staffs of territorial governments. A spirit of moderation, compromise, and cooperation prevailed in the Special Committee, although a disproportionate amount of time was devoted to procedural matters and the attitude of the U.S.S.R. throughout was unconstructive.
The work of the Trusteeship Council was highly praised by the Philippine Representative, who stated in a plenary session of the General Assembly that it represented "a high-water mark of political morality in the modern world.” The Council was confronted with many difficulties, however, and a number of problems remain to be solved by those Members of the United Nations who share the determination of the United States to carry out the provisions of chapters XII and XIII.
After the Soviet Representative took his place at the Council table in April 1948, the spirit of compromise which had marked previous meetings was broken. The effect of Soviet participation was to sharpen the differences between administering and nonadministering members and to split the vote between the two groups more often.