75 Department of External Affairs to Eggleston

Cablegram 206 CANBERRA, 8 February 1946


Your No. 117 F.E.C. [1]

Minter has just informed us verbally of telegram he has received in reply to Dr. Evatt's note [2] summarised in telegram to you No.

136 of 25th January. Telegram advises that United States Government is taking the note as Australian acceptance to invitation to participate in the work of the Commission. it points out that the United States Government have worked strongly for democratic principles and will use their endeavours to maintain them. United States will also do their best to achieve final approval of policies on which the Advisory Commission and its Committees have already reached agreement.

2. In view of United States assumption that acceptance was implicit in Minister's note we are taking no further action in the matter. [3]

1 Dispatched 4 February. In it Eggleston requested confirmation of information from the U.S. State Department that Australia had accepted the U.S. invitation conveyed in Document 6 and asked why he had not been informed.

2 Document 50.

3 Eggleston replied on 9 February, 'presuming' that Australian representatives should now attend meetings of the new Commission and requesting instructions. Evatt nominated Eggleston as Australian representative 'for the time being', with Lavarack to assist him. At the F.E.C.'s first meeting on 26 February, Eggleston expressed Australian regret that the terms of reference had been drawn up without consultation with other powers concerned, and that voting procedure was 'not consistent with Australia's position as a party principal in the Pacific War'. New Zealand also formally opposed the veto arrangement.

[AA:A1838/2, 483/1/7]