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resolution adopted may be helpful in pointing the way toward improvements in the operation of the Security Council.


In his oral report to the General Assembly on October 24, 1946 the Secretary-General noted that the Spanish question had repeatedly claimed the attention of various organs of the United Nations and remarked that as long as the Franco regime remained in Spain it would continue to be "a constant cause of mistrust and disagreement between the founders of the United Nations". The problem of relations between Spain and the United Nations was placed on the Assembly's agenda at the request of Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Norway, and Venezuela. On November 4 the Security Council removed the Spanish question from its agenda, clearing the way for unimpeded action by the General Assembly.

It was apparent that a fundamental difference of views existed on the measures which should be taken to secure the replacement of the Franco regime. The most radical suggestions, recommending a break in diplomatic relations with the Spanish Government and the imposition of economic sanctions against it, were made by Poland and the Byelorussian S. S. R. respectively.

A large group of delegations, including that of the United States, objected to any attempt to use sanctions against Spain or to intervene in Spain's internal affairs. It was the opinion of the United States that such measures would not achieve the desired objective but would merely tend to unite the Spanish people behind General Franco, and if carried sufficiently far, to produce hardship, civil war, and chaos. The United States Delegation agreed that the totalitarian regime of General Franco should be replaced by a democratic government but maintained that as long as the regime did not constitute a threat to the peace this change should be accomplished by the Spanish people themselves, and by peaceful means. The Representatives of the United States therefore urged the adoption of a resolution which, by avoiding coercive recommendations, might permit the General Assembly to act unanimously in order to produce the greatest moral effect within Spain.

In support of its position, the United States introduced in the Assembly a draft resolution which contained two positive proposals. First, it recommended that the United Nations banish the Franco regime from the organized community of nations by debarring it from membership in international agencies set up at the initiative of the United Nations and from participation in conferences or other activities arranged by the United Nations or by those agencies. Secondly, it invited the Spanish people to establish the eligibility of Spain for admission to the United Nations and suggested that, as a first step in this direction, General Franco should surrender the powers of government to a broadly representative democratic provisional regime committed to hold free elections.

After a long debate, the Political and Security Committee of the General Assembly rejected by tie votes both the proposal for a break in diplomatic relations with Franco and the United States suggestion for an appeal to the Spanish people. The Assembly finally adopted, by a vote of 34 to 6, with 13 abstentions, a resolution containing three recommendations. These are, first, that Franco Spain not be admitted to membership in international agencies “established by or brought into relationship with the United Nations” or to United Nations conferences until an acceptable Spanish Government is formed; secondly, that all Members of the United Nations immediately recall their ambassadors and ministers from Madrid; and thirdly, that, if within a reasonable time a democratic government is not established, the Security Council should consider the measures to be taken in order to remedy the situation. The United States Delegation expressed grave doubt as to whether the Charter provided any basis for Security Council action under such circumstances and abstained from voting on the third point. In order to achieve the greatest possible measure of agreement, however, it voted for the resolution as a whole.


According to the Government of India, which brought this problem before the General Assembly, friendly relations between India and South Africa had been impaired by discriminatory measures taken against the long-established Indian population of the Union.

As the issue was presented, the Assembly was confronted by the necessity of deciding what type of action, if any, the United Nations should take in cases where it was claimed that the spirit of the Charter provisions on human rights and discrimination was being violated. The Indian Delegation, asserting that certain agreements concluded in 1927 and 1932 bound the Union in this matter, gought to have the General Assembly condemn the discriminatory practices of the South African Government and urge their revision. The South African Delegation, on the other hand, maintained that its treatment of the Union's Asiatic population, the bulk of which enjoyed South African nationality, was a domestic matter in which the United Nations, under article 2, paragraph 7 of the Charter, could not legally intervene. The South African Delegation stated, however, that it would agree to full discussion of the matter and suggested that the question of domestic jurisdiction be referred to the International Court of Justice.


The United States took the position that the International Court of Justice should be asked for an advisory opinion on the question whether an international obligation actually existed between the Union of South Africa and India. The United States Delegation believed that this question should be answered before the Assembly took any action directed against a Member state; that, if the Court advised that an international obligation existed, the General Assembly would be in a much stronger position to exert its influence against the alleged discrimination in South Africa ; and that, since South Africa questioned the jurisdiction of the United Nations and was willing to have the matter submitted to the Court, it was entitled to that consideration.

The United Kingdom, Sweden, and a number of other states (including the South African Delegation itself) favored this general approach as the method best calculated to assist in a satisfactory solution of the problem. After a dramatic debate, the General Assembly rejected this view, and instead, by a two-thirds majority (32 to 15, with 7 abstaining), approved a proposal presented by France and Mexico and accepted by the Indian Delegation, which stated that friendly relations between the two Member states had been impaired and expressed the opinion that the treatment of Indians in the Union of South Africa should be in conformity with the international obligations under the agreements concluded between the two Governments and the relevant provisions of the Charter. The resolution requested the two Governments to report at the next session of the General Assembly the measures adopted to those ends.


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ADMISSION OF NEW MEMBERS Four new Members—Afghanistan, Iceland, Sweden, and Siamwere admitted to the Organization by the General Assembly upon recommendation of the Security Council. Considerable dissatisfaction was expressed, however, with regard to the Council's action on the admission of new Members and particularly because the Council had failed to make any recommendation regarding the admission of the five other states which had made application for membership: Albania, Eire, Mongolian People's Republic, Portugal, and TransJordan. Without such a recommendation the General Assembly, under article 4 of the Charter, cannot act to admit an applicant.

A number of delegates asserted that the Security Council had rejected certain applications on grounds other than those contained in the Charter, which provides that membership is open to “. peace-loving states which accept the obligations contained in the present Charter and, in the judgment of the Organization, are able and willing to carry out these obligations. The Assembly consequently adopted a resolution recommending that the Security Council reexamine the applications for membership in the United Nations from the five states which had not been admitted, on the basis of the criteria established in the Charter. The United States supported the proposal, opposing an unsuccessful attempt by certain eastern European states to alter it so as to lay special emphasis on the conduct of applicant states during World War II as a factor in admission.

Another resolution of the Assembly, originally presented by Australia but considerably modified in discussion, requested the Security Council to appoint a committee to confer with an Assembly committee, with a view to preparing rules governing the admission of new Members which would be acceptable to both bodies. The United States opposed the resolution on the grounds that the rules of procedure on membership are generally satisfactory and have not in themselves given rise to major difficulties, and that in its final form the resolution left the proposed committee without directives as to how to proceed.

On November 29, 1946 the Security Council approved the establishment of a subcommittee to meet with and to hear the views of the Assembly committee, and accepted the Assembly's resolution urging reconsideration of the five applications in question. The Council has appointed China, Brazil, and Poland to represent it in the joint discussion. The General Assembly committee will consist of Australia, Cuba, India, Norway, and the Soviet Union. 2. ECONOMIC AND FINANCIAL PROBLEMS

THE FOOD SHORTAGE At the First Part of its First Session the General Assembly passed a resolution urging that immediate and drastic action be taken to increase and conserve supplies of cereals and to provide for the collection and publication of information on the food situation.

In view of the danger of a renewed food crisis in 1947, the General Assembly on December 11, 1946 adopted unanimously a more comprehensive resolution to encourage food production, food conservation, and the equitable allocation and prompt distribution of available supplies of cereals and other foodstuffs, free from political considerations.

Associating itself with the objectives of the resolution, the United States Delegation pointed ouť that production goals for American farmers were being pushed even higher in 1947 than in 1946 and that the main factor limiting United States exports was not shortage of available supplies but an overstrained transportation system.

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POST-UNRRA RELIEF At the suggestion of the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration and the Economic and Social Council, the General

Assembly also approached the problem of residual relief needs in 1947 through an exhaustive discussion of methods of extending relief to needy countries after UNRRA activities are concluded.

Many Delegations, particularly those from war-devastated areas in eastern Europe, exhibited a strong preference either for the prolongation of UNRRA activities or for the creation of another international relief agency such as an emergency food fund suggested to the Assembly by UNRRA Director General Fiorello H. La Guardia. The task of relief, these Delegations argued, was an international burden which should be borne by an international body with power to make allocations without regard to political factors.

The United States took the position that the need for direct relief had been greatly reduced by recovery in the liberated countries and by the availability of credit facilities; that time was of the essence in developing relief plans before the critical period prior to the 1947 harvest; and that the best results could be obtained not by the timeconsuming process of establishing a new international agency to ascertain needs and allocate supplies but by direct, informal consultation among the contributing governments and the governments of the few countries still needing assistance.

The United States Delegation emphasized that this country did not intend to use food as a political weapon and that, in the particular circumstances of the case, it was not prepared to agree to the mandatory allocation of relief supplies by an international agency. The United States approach to the residual relief problem in 1947 was supported by the United Kingdom Delegation.

In view of the very great importance of the United States and the United Kingdom as contributors to any relief program, efforts were made to reconcile the divergent points of view by a compromise under which the functions of the international machinery to be established would be limited to collecting information and facilitating informal international consultation.

The resolution, passed unanimously by the General Assembly on December 11, 1946, recognized the need for relief, on a reduced scale, after the termination of UNRRA programs. It established a Special Technical Committee of ten experts, including an expert designated by the Government of the United States, to render a report by January 15, 1947 on the financial assistance required for relief purposes, and directed the Secretary-General to transmit information to, and to facilitate informal consultation among, the governments concerned regarding relief needs and plans.

A Norwegian proposal calling upon the Secretary-General and the Economic and Social Council to study the feasibility of obtain

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