304 Department of External Affairs to Hood

Memorandum CANBERRA, 10 December 1946

In correspondence which continued until the date of a memorandum of 19th November, 1945, we exchanged views and information with the External Affairs Office, London, on reparations, particularly with regard to the Inter-Allied Reparations Agency and the Paris peace conference. We have also corresponded concurrently on this subject with the Australian Legation in Paris.

2. Subsequent to the abovementioned date, our principal correspondence has been with the Australian Scientific and Technical Mission, Australia House, London, which has no doubt been in consultation with you on matters affecting German reparations.

3. You will be aware that on 8th October, 1946, the Assembly of the Inter-Allied Reparations Agency adopted a resolution deploring the slow rate at which industrial capital equipment from Germany is being made available for distribution between the member Governments of the Agency, as a state of affairs inconsistent with the reparation policy enunciated in the Yalta communique and the Potsdam declaration of 2nd August, 1945. The resolution charged the Agency President with(a) requesting the delegates of the United States, France and the United Kingdom, being the delegates of the Governments of those powers occupying Germany, which are also signatories to the Paris Agreement of 14th January 1946, and the Soviet Ambassador to Belgium, to bring the resolution urgently to the notice of their respective Governments, and to inform those Governments that it was the wish of the Assembly that the matter be placed on the agenda of the Council of Foreign Ministers at the earliest possible date, and (b) informing the President of the Allied Control Council in Berlin of the action taken by the Assembly.

4. A second resolution, adopted on 7th October, 1946, agreed 'that the Governments Members of the Inter-Allied Reparations Agency should be requested to support this resolution by an approach through diplomatic channels to the five Governments Members of the Council of Foreign Ministers.' 5. The terms of these resolutions were communicated to the Secondary Industries Division of the Department of Post-War Reconstruction, and their views requested.

6. In its reply the Division stated that the time factor in the obtaining of reparation items is of extreme importance to Australia. Whereas Australia requires certain machinery at the present moment, the receipt of similar machinery in two or three years' time might be of no interest whatsoever to her, as similar machinery could be obtained by other methods during that time. The Division supported any move to bring about a quicker delivery of reparation plants from Germany.

7. Accordingly, in view of the great importance which Australia attaches to the early conclusion of arrangements for, and realization of, reparation deliveries, it is desired that you should take every step open to you to press for speedy satisfaction on this score.

8. Your advice would also be appreciated as to the desirability or value of addressing communications on the subject to Governments who are members of the Allied Control Council for Germany.

9. A copy of this memorandum has been sent to Dr. E. R. Walker.

P. R. HEYDON for Secretary