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March 1, 1956

Message from Buenos Aires to Ministry of External Affairs, External Publicity Division, 'Future of Antarctica - India’s Reported Move Criticized'

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Ministry of External Affairs,

External Publicity Division



Future of Antarctica

India’s Reported Move Criticized

DATE: March 1, 1956




Under the heading “unquestionable sovereignty,” La Nacion, Santiago de Chile (Feb 24) referred to India’s move to place Antarctic territory under UN trusteeship and said: This would imply that these are territories under discussion or that possession of Antarctic lands is not clearly established.


It said the Chilean Foreign Minister had firmly rejected such a proposal which might be well-intentioned but was surely misinformed and added that the Chilean Permanent Delegate in the UN as well as the Chilean Charge d’Affaires in New Delhi, had been instructed also to reject the proposal, indicating that the Chilean Government considered the same as inadmissible as it implied “the discussion in the international organization of a question involving territories under the unquestionable sovereignty of Chile.”


El Mercurio, Santiago de Chile (February 25) published an editorial entitled, “Half Apostle-Half Politician,” in which after saying that hybridization had been successful with animals but not with human beings, added: “India is an example of this. Mahatma Gandhi was simply an apostle and his task was surprising. As India was then under the British rule, he only concerned himself with the freedom of his people, praying, fasting, and spinning. Finally he attained his country’s independence.


“When Gandhi disappeared, Indians thought they should replace him with a leader who maintained the quality of an apostle bearing in mind all the good which that character had produced. This resulted in the election of a political personality charged with that duty. Thus emerged Mr. Nehru, a fruit of hybridization imposed by circumstances.


“The hybridization of his personality had already been shown to all in the aspects of the political sphere of his country. India is neutral. She does not express herself in favor of Communism or democracy; she exalts Mr. Bulganin and Mr. Eisenhower, she preaches non-violence and shows the most violent regional struggles. Finally, she claims reintegration of Goa from Portugal and proposes to deprive Chile of Antarctic.


“As may be seen by all this, we are witnessing the dissociation of original characters. To solve the Nehru case Mr. Wallace must be consulted.”


El Mecurio (February 24) in an editorial under the heading “An Unacceptable Proposal,” said: While every member of the UN has a perfect right to request the inclusion of a question in the agenda of the General Assembly, it is also evident that any serious Government that coverts the consideration of other Governments cannot request the inclusion of any question in the agenda. The questions entered must figure within the juridical frame of the UN and everybody knows that paragraph Seven of Article Two of the Charter establishes that “no provision of this Charter will authorize the UN to interfere in the questions which are essentially within the jurisdiction of the States…


Thus Chile could never accept discussion by the General Assembly of the situation or juridical status of a place of its territory and much less permit the consideration of placing Chilean territory under trusteeship, that is an international administration.


El Mercurio in an editorial entitled, “Agreement on the Antarctic,” said India had just committed a great mistake when proposing that the vast territory of Antarctica be placed under the trusteeship of the UN. The paper said: “It is evident that India ignores – although she should not ignore it – that in the Antarctic continent there are countries with dominion titles as solid and juridically correct as she has over any part of her territory.


“For example, Chile sees no more valid reason why she should accept India’s proposal about placing the Antarctic under the trusteeship of the UN than India had to place the territories of Pondicherry and others which she seeks to reintegrate to the nation under a similar trusteeship. What would have India said if a year ago Chile proposed to the Assembly of the UN that all those territories and even Goa be placed under the trusteeship administration of the UN?        


In the Antarctic there is no serious danger of a conflict, or the least fear of a hot war like those of Korea and Indo-China.


Mr. Nehru’s advisers have been a little too hasty this time and have forced him to a “faux pas” which he must try to correct immediately or at least not insist on carrying through. Chile’s rights in Antarctic are undisputed and do not admit of any doubt, be it juridical or political.



Newspapers in Chile published editorials which contend that Chile’s rights in Antarctic are undisputed and do not admit of any doubt, be it juridical or political

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File No: 25(I)-AMS/56. Obtained by Ryan Musto.

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