77 Commonwealth Government to Cranborne

Cablegram 66 CANBERRA, 14 March 1944


Your D.240, 241. [1]

Australian Government reserved its reply on your telegram D.1102 of 14th December [2] on this matter pending Australian - New Zealand Conference. Views arrived at during the Conference were communicated to you in my telegram No. 22 of 25th January [3], which stated that the Australian and New Zealand Governments regarded it as a matter of cardinal importance that they should both be associated in the initial stages with the elaboration of any international general security system.

2. Therefore Australian Government objects to the procedure outlined in your D.240 as it means that the proposed talks in Washington would be on the basis of a preliminary exchange of views between the United States, United Kingdom and Soviet Governments only. On this point, our opinion is that the small Powers contributed as much as the greater Powers to the League of Nations and that it is out of place to commence a new world organisation in the way now proposed.

3. Australian Government would also feel it preferable that you did not discuss these matters in Washington until Australia and New Zealand have had opportunity to take part in the preliminary exchange of views.

4. This is one of the most important of recent occasions on which the Australian Government has felt bound to request a degree of participation in governmental discussions commensurate with Australia's substantial contribution to the common war effort, and we feel that the adoption of a definite line by you, as in case of civil aviation talks [4], would greatly help to support that status.

1 Dispatched 17 and 18 February respectively. On file AA:A989, E43/1/1.

2 On the file cited in note 1.

3 Document 32.

4 See Document 52.

[AA:A989, 44/735/765/1]