117 Commonwealth Government to Cranborne

Cablegram 260 CANBERRA, 19 June 1945

SECRET

Your telegram D.1005. [1] Australian Government is opposed to this suggestion. Italy can make no contribution to the war against Japan and has no special interests which entitle the Italian Government to a role in the international organisation of this area.

Italians constitute the largest alien groups in Australia and the most difficult to handle.

This constant factor increases our misgivings about any future intervention by the Italian Government in Pacific affairs in view of the mischief done by Italian consular officers in Australia during the Fascist regime.

2. If Italy were to participate in the Pacific War it would be extremely difficult to deny her the right to a role, however slight, in the affairs of this area. The disadvantage of this result in view of the factors mentioned above, seems to us far to outweigh the advantages claimed by the United States Government.

In respect of the reasons advanced in your telegram we strongly doubt in any case if the proposed action would strengthen the democratic elements in Italy which must surely rely for their strength on their achievement in internal reconstruction rather than on such relatively remote matters as the war against Japan.

3. If Italy is allowed to participate in the Pacific War, we will certainly urge vigorously that her participation in the Pacific settlement and other post-war Pacific matters to be kept to a minimum.

1 Document 106.

[AA : A1066, P45/144/1]