320 Commonwealth Government to Fraser

Cablegram 226 CANBERRA, 17 October 1944


Your early views would be appreciated on the following draft telegram to Dominions Office.

BEGINS- Your telegram D.1463 of the 28th September. [1] Surrender instrument for Germany.

1. There appears now to be little chance that the United States and Soviet Governments will agree to any real participation by other governments in this very important matter. The situation is well illustrated in paragraph 3(iii) of your telegram in which the establishment of even an Advisory Council is described by the Soviet Representative as a 'trespass on the primary responsibility' of the three major governments 'for the work of control'.

2. Australian Government has noted your suggestion that provision might be made for the attachment of Liaison Missions to the Control Council. This arrangement might have some value for the European allies in particular matters touching their direct interests, but it would hardly meet the requirements of Australia and other Dominions, whose interest in the post-Armistice control of Germany is general and based on grounds of high policy. Our real case is that the spontaneous and substantial effort which we have made in the war against Germany surely carries with it a valid claim to some form of recognition in the disposition of Germany after defeat. Public opinion here would find it quite impossible to understand why such recognition should not be accorded.

3. Failing any prospect therefore of an Advisory Council or separate participation in the High Commission, we would urge that this is a case where exceptional circumstances of first rate importance would at least justify resort to the concept of the British Commonwealth of Nations as an international entity. You will recollect that a proposal in this sense was put forward by the Australian Government in connexion with the framing of the Moscow Declaration of October 1943. [2] A variation of this proposal is contained in paragraph 4 of Dominions Office memorandum of May 1944 [3], on 'Association of the United Nations other than the Three Powers with the High Commission for Germany' and other variations are also possible.

4. What is essential, however, is full recognition of Dominions interest in this matter either by one method or another.


1 On file AA:A989, 44/735/1013/2/2.

2 i.e. the Four Power Declaration. See Documents on Australian Foreign Policy 1937-49, vol. VI, Document 280.

3 The memorandum, dated 7 June and entitled 'Draft Instrument of Surrender for Germany. Explanatory Memorandum of Draft Text of 25 May', was transmitted with Dominions Office Circular Dispatch D75 of 9 June. On the file cited in note 1.

[AA:A989, 44/735/1013/2/2]