242 Commonwealth Government to Attlee

Cablegram 174 [1], CANBERRA, 10 July 1943


Your D.364 and D.365. [2]

The Commonwealth Government agrees that the principles laid down in paragraphs (a) to (j) of telegram D.365 offer a useful basis for an informal approach to the United States and Soviet Union regarding the problems connected with the cessation of hostilities with enemy powers in Europe and we wish to be kept fully informed of the results of that approach and to have an opportunity of expressing our views on any variation of the principles that may be proposed by either America or Russia.

We have noted the proposal in paragraph (j) of 365 for a United Nations Commission for Europe, and we accept the principle that Dominion membership of the Commission would mean a Dominion contribution to the policing of Europe. Our present hope and intention is that Australia should participate in the Commission's work, but a final decision must necessarily be reserved until, as the result of the discussions with other Allied Governments, the form of the Commission and the police system to be set up in Europe can be seen more definitely than at present.

We assume from the nature of the principles set out in your telegram under reference that it is hoped to avoid writing the terms of peace into the armistice as in 1918, and that such matters will be subject of separate discussions.

The Commonwealth Government has a strong interest in the future stability of Europe as an important factor in ensuring world peace. We also believe that the armistice period in Europe will impose one of the earliest and severest tests of the capacity of the United Nations to cooperate for post-war reconstruction, and in the proposed discussions we would urge that a high value be placed on the securing and maintaining of Anglo-Russian-American collaboration. It is also evident, for example, in the list of activities mentioned in paragraph (k) of D.365, that many of the practical administrative problems associated with post-war collaboration of the United Nations will be worked out initially in Europe. In all these matters, while we recognise the necessity for the regional handling of detailed administration, we would urge that whatever is done as regards Europe should be consistent with the maintenance of peace and the advancement of the human welfare of all regions of the world.

1 Repeated to the Canadian, N.Z. and South African Prime Ministers as nos 14, 115 and 89 respectively and to the Minister to the United States as no. 811.

2 See Document 227 and note 1 thereto.

[AA:A989, 43-44/735/1009]