110 Australian Government to Addison

Cablegram 92 CANBERRA, 25 February 1946

IMMEDIATE SECRET

Your D.91 and D.92 Saving. [1] Modification of Italian Armistice terms.

Australian Government finds the United States proposals for modification of Italian Armistice terms objectionable for several reasons:

(a) As we have previously stated the exclusion of active participants like Australia and New Zealand from original armistice was indefensible. However, having accepted the armistice we cannot agree to its terms being amended unless we take full part in negotiation of amendments.

(b) Substantial amendments such as those suggested by the United States are bound to affect the terms of the peace treaty and would thus undoubtedly limit the scope of our participation in the Peace Conference.

(c) Adoption of United States proposal would certainly tend to postpone further the negotiation of a treaty of peace. We agree with you that this is undesirable.

We hope that you are in agreement with our general attitude and that you will, therefore, reject the American suggestion.

We feel that other Governments (particularly the Soviet Union) would resent interference with the procedure and timetable which were only settled after difficult discussions at MOSCOW. [2]

1 Dispatched 13 February, they conveyed the text of a U.S. draft agreement modifying Italian Armistice terms to include, amongst other things, replacement of the Allied Commission by a quadripartite section at Allied Force Headquarters, to direct the size and character of Italian armed forces.

2 On 23 Much the U.K. Govt replied that it was continuing to resist the U.S. proposal and raising the question of consulting other governments. On 25 March Hood reported a firm U.K. stand in Washington in line with the view that prior consultation was essential, and the U.K. Govt's doubt that allied concurrence could be obtained in every case.

[AA:A1067, E46/19/1]