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Wednesday, 3 April 1946

Mr HUTCHINSON (DEAKIN, VICTORIA) - I ask the Minister for External Affairs whether he has seen cabled reports from New York to the effect that the Australian delegate at, the meeting of the Security Council clashed vigorously with both the British and American delegates in regard to the Russian " walk-out " ? Will the right honorable gentleman say on whose initiative Colonel Hodgson spoke? Did he speak on instructions from the Government or on his own initiative? If he spoke on instructions from the Government, was the Government fully aware of the British and American view on the subject?

Dr EVATT - The general instruction to our delegate was to keep the Persian dispute on the agenda; not to allow it to disappear, merely because it had been said that an agreement had been made, but to press for an investigation of it, and to see that the investigation was conducted according to proper procedure, so that cases would be filed by both sides, and a proper hearing would be given to the matter. In all that he has done, the Australian delegate has acted strictly in accordance with that principle, which incidentally was followed in London by my colleague, the Minister for the Navy (Mr. Makin). Not only has this general instruction been carried out excellently by the Australian delegate, but in addition the advice that he gave at an earlier stage was followed by the Council two days later. One cannot anticipate every turn that a debate may take at a meeting of a body of this character. The fact that, on one matter, the Australian delegate happened to vote against the delegate of the United Kingdom or the United States of America, has no bearing on the point. He has to do his duty honestly to Australia, and as a member of the Security Council. He cannot be expected to ascertain how other countries intend to vote before he makes up his mind how he will vote.

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