389 Department of External Affairs to Embassy in Washington

Cablegram 569 CANBERRA, 14 May 1947

MOST IMMEDIATE

Your 614. [1] F.E.C. decision was majority one, and though we disagreed on question of jurisdiction of F.E.C. and therefore abstained, that is no reason whatsoever why, now that the decision has been taken, we should fail to submit suggestions on proportions. The course you have adopted is likely to lead to Australia being excluded altogether.

2. You should therefore inform F.E.C. that you are submitting a claim without prejudice to any different mode of allocation which might be agreed upon by the Peace Conference or other appeal tribunal.

3. We note the claims so far total over 176 percent. Some seem excessive. We have no option but to submit a claim based on our own estimate of Australia's proper share having in mind the claims already submitted by other Governments. We therefore put forward the tentative claim, having in mind our Pacific War effort in comparison with the contributions made by other countries, of 28 percent, which would place Australia third on the list, following the United States and preceding United Kingdom.

4. You have details of Australia's war effort in the Pacific in all aspects; perhaps it should be summarised. Its effort was second only to that of U.S.A. MacArthur and other authorities could be quoted.

1 It reported submission of claims for reparations shares as a result of the FEC vote on 8 May. China had requested 40%, United States 34%, United Kingdom 25%, India 18%, the Netherlands and the Philippines 15% each, USSR 14%, France 12%, New Zealand 2% and Canada 1 1/2%. Australia had abstained.

[AA : A1838,479/10, iii]