Page images

administer Trust Territories and those which do not, that two Members should be elected by the General Assembly.

THEREFORE, the General Assembly

1. ELECTS Mexico and Iraq as Members of the Trusteeship Council for three-year terms;

2. DIRECTS the Secretary-General to convoke the first session of the Trusteeship Council not later than 15 March 1947, and to draw up and communicate to each Member of the Council the provisional agenda for that session at least thirty days in advance of the date of the session.

217. SUBMISSION OF UNITED STATES DRAFT TRUSTEESHIP AGREEMENT FOR JAPANESE MANDATED ISLANDS Statement by Warren R. Austin, United States Representative to the United Nations, February 26, 1947 1

Mr. President, the United States, like other nations adhering to the United Nations Declaration of January 1, 1942, subscribed to the Atlantic Charter principle that "their countries seek no aggrandizement, territorial or other."

It was for the purpose of making clear that the United States adheres unswervingly to this principle that the President of the United States on November 6, 1946 declared our intentions regarding Pacific islands whose control by Japan enabled her to attack the United States. The President said:

"The United States is prepared to place under trusteeship, with the United States as the administering authority, the Japanese Mandated Islands and any Japanese islands for which it assumes responsibility as a result of the second World War. In so far as the Japanese Mandated Islands are concerned, this Government is transmitting for information to the other members of the Security Council (Australia, Brazil, China, Egypt, France, Mexico, the Netherlands, Poland, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, and the United Kingdom) and to New Zealand and the Philippines a draft of a strategic area trusteeship agreement which sets forth the terms upon which this Government is prepared to place those islands under trusteeship. At an early date we plan to submit this draft agreement formally to the Security Council for its approval."

Final disposition of islands belonging to Japan must, of course, await the peace settlement with Japan. The draft trusteeship agree ment submitted to the Security Council for its approval relates only to the former Japanese Mandated Islands, which never belonged to Japan but were a part of the League of Nations mandate system. The United States has consistently and strongly supported the position of the General Assembly that former mandated territories should be placed under the trusteeship system as soon as possible.

The General Assembly, at the first part of its first session, called on "those members of the United Nations which are now administering territories held under mandate" to undertake practical steps for

1 Statement made by Warren R. Austin, United States Representative to the United Nations, before the Security Council on February 26, 1947; Department of State Bulletin of March 9, 1947, pp. 416-419. See Draft Trusteeship Agreement for the Japanese Mandated Islands, Department of State publication 2784,

Far Eastern Series 20.

the implementation of article 79 of the Charter. Since the United States was, and is, occupying the territory formerly mandated to Japan, the United States desired to play its part in attaining the objectives of the General Assembly resolution, namely that trusteeship agreements for all former mandated territories should be concluded promptly and the trusteeship system organized as soon as possible. The Japanese Mandated Islands-the Marshalls, Marianas, and Carolines consist of some 98 islands and island clusters with a total land mass of only 846 square miles, a total population of only about 48,000 native inhabitants, and negligible indigenous economic re


The tremendous strategic value of the Mandated Islands to Japan is evident, however, in the way these islands were used in carrying out its basic plan of aggression. Before Japan entered the war on December 7, 1941, she had established fortified positions, naval bases and air bases in the islands of the Japanese Mandates. As a whole, the islands formed a deep, well-defended barrier between the United States and Guam, the Philippines, and its British and Dutch Allies in the Far East.

The major part of the Japanese submarines which participated in the attack on Pearl Harbor staged through Kwajalein in the Marshall Islands. From this same base, Japanese submarines continued to carry out extensive operations against the United States shipping in the eastern half of the Pacific Ocean for years.

Air bases and amphibious staging points in the Marianas facilitated the capture of Guam in December 1941.

Air forces and naval forces operating from the Marshalls were used in the capture of Wake Island.

On the outbreak of war, the Japanese Mandated Islands, with their naval and air forces and shore defenses, served to screen and protect the southward advance of the Japanese against the Philippines and British and Dutch possessions in the southwestern Pacific Ocean.

The Palau group in the western Carolines served as the main forward support base for the attack on the Netherlands East Indies and Timor.

It was this interlocking network of naval and air bases in the Mandated Islands that prevented sending early and effective support to China except by circuitous and highly difficult routes.

The atoll of Truk was used by the Japanese as a great naval and air base from which they launched their attacks against New Britain, New Ireland, New Guinea, and the islands of the Solomons chain. It was a base for their projected attack against Australia. From Truk and other bases Japanese naval and air forces could and did penetrate to the eastward to threaten the Allied lines of communications between the United States, Australia, and New Zeland.

Until they were reduced, or by-passed and rendered innocuous by air and naval attack, the Mandated Islands threatened our lines of communications to Australia and prevented our early return to the aid of the Philippines and to China. It was only after neutralization of Truk and capture of Peleliu and Angaur in the Palaus that it was feasible to return to the Philippines, and it was only after capture of the Marianas that serious military pressure could be placed on Japan itself by our B-29's.


Tens of thousands of American lives, vast expenditures of treasure, and years of bitter fighting were necessary to drive the Japanese aggressors back from these islands. These islands constitute an integrated strategic physical complex vital to the security of the United States.

The American people are firmly resolved that this area shall never again be used as a springboard for aggression against the United States or any other member of the United Nations.

Most of the strategically important areas of the world, including those in the Pacific, are at present under the exclusive sovereignty of various of the larger nations. The United States, however, is proposing trusteeship rather than annexation as the basis for its administration of these highly strategic islands.

In undertaking to place under trusteeship a territory of such strategic importance to the United States as these islands, the United States is expressing its faith in the United Nations

Our purpose is to defend the security of these islands in a manner that will contribute to the building up of genuine, effective, and enforceable collective security for all members of the United Nations.

The first of the four basic objectives of the trusteeship system set forth in article 76 of the Charter is "to further international peace and security". Since the area of the former Japanese Mandated Islands is of paramount strategic importance, the United States proposes, in accordance with article 82 of the Charter, that the trust territory be designated a strategic area.

In preparing this draft trusteeship agreement, the Government of the United States gave long and careful study not only to the Charter as a whole and to its specific provisions for strategic needs in special areas, but also to the draft agreements for non-strategic areas recently submitted to the General Assembly by five of the mandatory powers. This draft trusteeship agreement is viewed by the Government of the United States as conforming, in substance and in form, with the Charter and as promoting the interests both of the inhabitants of the islands and of the United Nations. It contains the terms upon which the United States is prepared to administer the former Japanese Mandated Islands as a trust territory.

In conformity with the provisions of the Charter for strategic areas the trust territory will contain bases. Many atolls in the territory have potential value as base sites or as anchorages. Few such sites, however, are being developed and maintained at present.


The United States will administer this strategic_trust territory in accordance with the provisions of the Charter. In particular, the United States will administer the territory in accordance with the obligations contained in article 2, paragraph 4, to "refrain. the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations."

The United States as administering authority will insure that this trust territory shall play its part in the maintenance of international peace and security in accordance with its obligation under article 1 of the Charter-"to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace, and for the suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of the peace". Its administration will also be in accordance with article 84 of the Charter, relating

to the part to be played by trust territories "in carrying out the obligations towards the Security Council" of the administering authority. The United States intends, therefore, to include this trust territory as fully as those territories under its sovereignty in the special agreement or agreements it will conclude with the Security Council for the provision to the United Nations of "armed forces, assistance, and facilities, including rights of passage, necessary for the purpose of maintaining international peace and security" as envisaged under article 43 of the Charter.

Pending conclusion of these permanent agreements under article 43 the United States will undertake that these islands play their part in whatever action the United States may be called upon to take in accordance with the obligations imposed by article 106 relating to transitional security arrangements.

The United States draft agreement provides that the administering authority may from time to time specify certain areas as closed for security reasons. This provision will not, of course, prejudice the full application to the entire trust territory of all international control and inspection measures that become part of a system of international control of atomic energy, other weapons of mass destruction, and conventional armaments.

The United States is willing to submit to international supervision, as provided in the agreement, the political, economic, social, and educational development of the inhabitants of the trust territory. It is equally willing to submit military and naval installations to whatever degree of supervision and control may be provided by agreements for the international control of armaments and armed forces.

In preparing this draft trusteeship agreement the Government of the United States bore constantly in mind article 73 of the Charter: "Members of the United Nations which have or assume responsibilities for the administration of territories whose peoples have not yet attained a full measure of self-government recognize the principle that the interests of the inhabitants of these territories are paramount and accept as a sacred trust the obligation to promote to the utmost, within the system of international peace and security established by the present Charter, the well-being of the inhabitants".

The United States Government believes that the draft trusteeship agreement now before you conforms fully with this principle in its provisions for the political, economic, social, and educational advancement of the inhabitants of the trust territory.

Although this is a strategic area vital to that system of international peace and security to which articles 73 and 76 refer, the United States draft agreement goes beyond the requirements of the Charter in strategic areas: It provides that articles 87 and 88-relating to reports, petitions, visits, and questionnaires in non-strategic trusteeship areas shall be applicable to the whole of this trust territory, except that the administering authority may determine the extent of applicability in any areas which may from time to time be specified by the administering authority as closed for security reasons. This exception has been made in recognition of the fact that an administering authority of a strategic trust territory should have the authority necessary to safeguard the installations established in the discharge of its responsibilities for the maintenance of international peace and security.

It is true that the fulfillment of the basic objectives of the trusteeship system will depend in all trust territories-and this territory is no exception-upon the good faith of the administering authority as well as upon effective supervision by the United Nations.

I can assure you on behalf of the Government of the United States that the United States will faithfully support the principle of effective supervision by the United Nations as fully in this trust territory as in any other trust territory within the limits imposed by its obligations to administer this area in such a way as to preserve the security of the United States and to strengthen collective security under the United Nations.

Articles 6 and 7 of the draft trusteeship agreement submitted to the Security Council contain strong provisions relating to the political, economic, social, and educational advancement of the inhabitants of this territory and to guaranties of their basic human rights. These are the fundamental objectives of the trusteeship system, aside from the strengthening of international peace and security. The United States is glad to invite the members of the Security Council to make a searching examination of the provisions contained in these articles. not only in relation to the requirements of the Charter but in relation to the comparable provisions of the trusteeship agreements approved by the General Assembly last December. The United States believes these articles, taken together with other provisions of the draft agreement, provide a maximum degree of protection for the welfare and advancement of the inhabitants of these islands.

The United States believes it has fulfilled the requirements of article 79 of the Charter, first by transmitting copies of a draft trusteeship agreement for the former Japanese Mandated Islands to all members of the United Nations which, in the view of the Government of the United States, may have special interests in these islands, and now by formally submitting the draft agreement to the Security Council for its approval.

The United States Government does not consider that there is any barrier to the placing of these islands under trusteeship in accordance with the Charter whenever the Security Council approves the draft agreement.

As a result of the war, Japan has ceased to exercise, or to be entitled to exercise, any authority in these islands. The islands were entrusted to Japan under mandate from the League of Nations following the first World War. In utter disregard of the mandate Japan used the territories for aggressive warfare, contrary to the law of nations, against the United States and others of the United Nations. By Japan's criminal acts of aggression, she forfeited the right and capacity to be the mandatory of the islands. The termination of Japan's status as mandatory in the islands has been frequently affirmed, as in the Cairo Declaration of 1943, subsequently reaffirmed in the Potsdam Declaration and in the instrument of surrender accepted by the powers responsible for Japan's defeat.

All authority in these islands is now exercised by the United States. The United States in repelling Japanese aggression occupied, and is in possession of, the former Japanese Mandated Islands. This Govern

« PreviousContinue »