269 Department of External Affairs to Beasley

Cablegram 141 CANBERRA, 24 April 1947, 6.20 p.m.

IMMEDIATE SECRET

Please see D401 Austrian Treaty.

This is the first intimation we have [that] the Foreign Secretary intended to act this way. We are informed after the event of a departure from a previous position. An accession clause is no substitute as no Government will wish to accede to a treaty when it has had no part in its drafting.

2. Our attitude in this matter is the same as that in relation to Germany. The case of Austria is, if anything, worse than that of Germany and we must continue to insist that association with the final decisions on the Austrian treaty should be full, free, and effective for all active belligerents.

3. We note furthermore, with reference to the second sentence of Para 1, that this particular concession to Soviet demands does not appear to have brought the completion of the draft appreciably closer and we believe the principle involved is worthy of a stand by the Western powers at least as strong as that being made in respect of Austrian frontiers or German assets. If this view is not shared by United Kingdom, France and United States to the extent necessary to secure proper recognition of our rights and those of other Governments, and if the signature of the treaty is in fact confined to the four powers, we will feel compelled to consider what other courses of action are open to the Australian Government in respect of the Austrian Settlement, apart from accession to a treaty in the preparation of which we believe we have not been adequately consulted.

4. Please represent our views as forcibly as possible and, if you think it desirable, nothing but good could come of facts becoming known publicly.

[AA : A1068, E47/3/5/13]