105 Commonwealth Government to Cranborne

Cablegram 79 [1] CANBERRA, 30 March 1944


Your D.434 [2], 435 [3] and 436. [4] Finland.

We have no comment to offer on the basic terms of armistice summarised in D.436 and additional points suggested in D.435, but draw attention to desire expressed in our 48 of 22nd February [5] that terms should expressly cover Australia and other Dominions.

2. Regarding paragraph (f) [6] of D.435 we would draw attention to the principle expressed in Clause 10 of the Australia - New Zealand Agreement [7] referring to our participation in any armistice commission to be set up.

3. The implication of the first paragraph of D.434 [8] is that it is intended to negotiate a peace treaty with Finland shortly after the conclusion of the armistice. This suggestion causes us considerable concern for it has been a cardinal principle in our approach to the problems of the peace settlements that no final settlements should be made in respect of any of the enemies until after hostilities with all of them have been concluded. (See Clause 8 of the Australia -New Zealand Agreement). This view is based on the opinion that the piecemeal negotiations of peace will prejudice the chances of a sound world settlement and that a final settlement with one enemy or in any one part of the globe cannot be divorced from the final settlement with other enemies and in other quarters of the globe. A global war should be followed by a global peace. Moreover, we consider that there would be advantages in a period of delay between the armistices and the peace settlements both to ensure that the peace treaties are fitted into the post-war world situation and also to avoid distraction from the heavy tasks of war-time and rehabilitation by negotiations of peace treaties.

1 Repeated to the N.Z. Prime Minister as no. 67.

2 Dispatched 27 March. In AA:A3195, 1944, Folder, Inwards Most Secret Master Sheets, from Secdomin nos 33 to 29765, 1.11636.

3 Dispatched 28 March. On file AA:A989, 44/970/58.

4 Document 100.

5 On file AA:A5954, box 437.

6 Paragraph [2](f) read: 'The Armistice Commission. We expect that a Control Commission will be set up to supervise the execution of the armistice terms with provision for our participation'.

7 Document 26.

8 Paragraph 1 read; 'So far as we can make out the Soviet Government have in mind to conclude in first place an armistice with Finland for suspension of hostilities and later to proceed to a peace treaty. We are considering what points might in due course be suggested to the Soviet Government for inclusion in the peace treaty'.

[AA:A989, 44/970/58]