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Friday, 29 March 1946

Dr EVATT (BARTON, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Attorney-General) - The view of the Government was stated in the course of the recent debate on international affairs in this chamber. Our view is that once a dispute such as this has been brought before the Security Council it cannot be removed from the jurisdiction of the Council merely because one party desires that it should be. As a judicial body, the Security Council has a duty to investigate the facts, and the Australian representative, Colonel Hodgson, has acted in accordance with that general principle. The great difficulty, of course, in to ascertain what are the facts. One day a. statement is made by the Persian representative that his government does not 1\- Ish the matter to be brought before the Security Council as a settlement with Russia has been reached, and next day a contradictory statement is made. That only makes more important the necessity t,n discover the facts, and that is the course that Colonel Hodgson is now pursuing. It is a matter not of merely accepting statements made at the conference: table, but of ascertaining precisely what has occurred in Persia and what, agreement, if any, has been reached between Persia and Russia. It is difficult to know exactly what has happened. At a convenient time I shall adopt the right, honorable gentleman's suggestion and give to the House the fullest possible information on this dispute, which in my opinion is a test case and will determine the power of the Council to mediate in such disputes.

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