161 Beasley to Evatt

Cablegram PC75 PARIS, 9 October 1946, 5.15 p.m.


The Council of Foreign Ministers has arranged for their economic experts to proceed to New York at once by sea and to continue work on the treaties during the voyage. The Russians will undoubtedly try to talk others into dropping the Australian proposal for a Reparations Commission to supervise reparations due to Greece, Ethiopia and Yugoslavia since this proposal though carried by the majority will not have secured a two-thirds vote.

2. You will remember that initial votes and discussions were hostile and this majority was only achieved by patient advocacy in Economic Commissions and persistent lobbying which gradually gathered support for our proposal. I think there is some danger we may lose the ground already won unless United Kingdom endorsement is strengthened for the Council of Foreign Ministers meetings in New York. Perhaps you would press Bevin to stand by this majority decision since it would create a bad impression in Australia if the one major proposal for which we have secured a substantial majority at the Conference is now shelved by the Foreign Ministers. [1]

3. We are abstaining from voting on reparations from Hungary and Finland, these being the only two countries regarding which the United States are prepared to work for reduction on figures proposed by Russia. You may desire also to press upon the United Kingdom the need to support the United States in the Council since no opportunity should be lost to improve on the present reparations proposals. [2]

1 The Council did not accept the Australian proposal.

2 The Peace Conference ended on 15 October and its recommendations were submitted to the Council of Foreign Ministers for consideration.

[AA:A1067, E46/38/14]