35 Dunk to Evatt

Submission CANBBRRA, 17 January 1946

Attached are notes regarding proposals for exchange of representation with- Portugal, Switzerland, Eire, Denmark, Czechoslovakia, Italy. [1]

If we accept representation, it would be very difficult to reciprocate. Further, if we accept the above we can expect other European countries, e.g., Belgium, Sweden and Norway, to make similar requests. South American countries may follow suit.

We might be able to do something in the way of grouping countries, e.g., handle Switzerland from France, Denmark and other Scandinavian countries from Holland, etc.

We cannot staff new legations at present and it would suit us best if countries concerned did not press their approach for at least a year. on the other hand, if they are prepared to accept a one- sided arrangement it will be hard to refuse. [2]

An exception could, I think, be made in the case of Eire. They are nominally still within the British Empire and it would be in accordance with our policy to exchange representation at an early date.

W.E.DUNK

I would like to discuss this with you at some early date. [3]

1 Portugal had been informed in June 1945 that Australia was too heavily committed to consider a Portuguese proposal for appointment of a Charge d'Affaires in Canberra (see Volume VIII, Document 105). Decisions on a Swiss proposal, first made to the U.K. Dominions Office in September 945 for reciprocal representation, then repeated informally to the U.K. Foreign Office for appointment of a Swiss Minister without exchange, and on de Valera's proposal to appoint Dr T. J. Kiernan to Canberra (see Volume VIII, Document 407) awaited Evatt's return from overseas. No action had been taken on an informal Danish suggestion for appointment of C. M. Rottboll to both Canberra and Wellington and for accreditation of the Australian Minister at The Hague to Denmark, or on information that Czechoslovakia was considering raising its Consulates-General in Australia and New Zealand to Legations. Nor had action been taken on Italian representations for Australian acceptance of an Italian Consul- General, beyond instructions to Bruce, in April 1945, that on advice of the Director General of Security, Australia was 'in no hurry' to accept an Italian representative.

2 Requests were repeated throughout 1946, from Switzerland in June and October, from Czechoslovakia in April and from Italy in February, March, October and November. Approaches were also made by Greece and Thailand.

3 Words in italics were handwritten.

[AA:A1838 T184, 80/1/3/1]