518 Mr John Curtin, Prime Minister, to Mr A. T. Stirling, External Affairs Officer in London

Cablegram SL27 CANBERRA, 5 June 1942


For Bruce [1] from Curtin.

Your S.23. [2]

1. You are authorised to inform the United Kingdom Government of our approval of the general principles of the United States proposals for a United Nations Post-War Requirements organisation.

2. At the same time you are asked to watch closely the points mentioned below and to keep us fully informed of developments- (a) We are of the opinion that the participation of the Soviet Union is necessary and that consideration should be given to modification of the proposed organisation to meet their Wishes.


(b) The structure at present proposed does not appear to allow Australian representation except on the United Nations Relief Council, which you say will have no policy-making or executive functions.

(c) It is not clear whether there would be direct contact between governments and the proposed Executive Committee of officials drawn from the United Kingdom, China, the Soviet Union and the United States.

(d) Whereas it is envisaged that the present Post-War Requirements Bureau will become a permanent advisory committee on European relief, no proposal has been made for a similar regional body in the Far East.

3. As this project will involve the purchase and distribution of large stocks of foodstuffs, materials and other articles in the period immediately after the war and may be widened to embrace general questions of postwar reconstruction, we are vitally interested in a successful outcome.

1 High Commissioner in the United Kingdom.

2 See Document 496, note 4.

3 In cablegrams 1163-4 of 9 February (On file AA:M100, February 1942) Bruce had outlined a U.S.S.R. proposal for post-war relief which had been circulated to Allied govts.

[AA:A989, 43/735/201]