276 Department of External Affairs to Noel-Baker

Cablegram 38, CANBERRA, 17 February 1948, 3 p.m.

SECRET

Germany.

Your D. 79[1] and preceding telegrams.

We share your appreciation of the high importance of rehabilitating economy of Western Germany, as we feel this must be achieved if there is to be any prosperity in Europe and a breeding ground for Communism destroyed. It is a matter of urgency that possible French objections to the building up of Germany should be overcome and we welcome the opportunity which will be provided by the forthcoming meetings in London.

2. We are also glad that meetings will consider possibility of associating Benelux countries. It appears to us important that the practical difficulties of co-operation with the Soviet should not cause the powers having responsibility for Western Germany to overlook the necessity for fully democratic procedures, including the widest possible consultation with major belligerent countries.

3. In this connection, it is noted that the forthcoming meetings are to consider questions which are not merely administrative and decisions on which may prejudge the major issues which might have come before a peace conference. We ourselves would, of course, expect to be consulted before decisions on such issues were made and will look forward to receiving full and timely information.

[1] Cablegram D79, dispatched 6 February 1948. It advised that France had accepted an invitation to tripartite discussions in London with the United Kingdom and United States on future co-operation in Germany.

[AA : A1838, 29/2/3/7, II]