Cablegram 12 (extract) LONDON, 9 May 1944, 8.01 p.m.
(Addressed to the Acting Prime Minister, Mr. Forde.)
1. With reference to subparagraph i (IV) of my No. 11  relative
to the review of foreign affairs, the Foreign Secretary stated
that the main duties of the Foreign Office in time of war were-
(i) To give all possible support through the diplomatic channel to
the defence forces in the conduct of operations.
(ii) To lay the foundations during the war for a co-operation of
forces to keep the peace.
2. A cardinal feature of the conduct of the foreign policy had
been to avoid commitments or decisions during war which might at
the peace table prove embarrassing for the future of the world. So
far that policy had been successfully fulfilled. No commitment or
engagement, secret or other, had been contracted with anyone.
3. The Foreign Secretary stated that the principal task which fell
to him to discharge was the preservation of harmony between the
great Allies and specially between the British Empire, the United
States and Russia.
4. The relations with the various United Nations were traversed.
The dominant position of Russia in the Europe of the future and
the paramount importance of ensuring the present close
collaboration and co-operation in the post-war period was
emphasised. The manner in which the Russian Government had
recognised the Badoglio  Government was mentioned as an
illustration of a tendency to separate action though the result
was satisfactory because it had effected a complete change of
attitude in the Communist elements in that country and had given a
broader basis of support to the Badoglio Government.
5. The results of the European Advisory Commission were stated to
be disappointing so far and I am cabling a copy of the note by the
Foreign Office on its work. 
6. There was some discussion on International Communism and I
pointed out that if the Communist Party could throw up
personalities who would attract public attention and support as
the Nazis had done, they might well appeal to oppressed and
discontented elements. I had in mind a strong resurgence of
Russian Nationalism of which there appeared to be so many signs
with the Communist Party in other countries acting as it were as
Russian diplomatic agents. We should aim at establishing as early
as possible some kind of stable Government in the countries which
had been over-run. Clearly all post-war adjustments would
primarily depend on how far we could succeed in our arrangements
with Russia, and how far Russia in fact sincerely intended to
collaborate. We should not be deterred from a world organisation
if Russia was ready to collaborate, merely because we disliked a
particular form of Government. But the leader whom in various
countries we found it wise to support in time of war was not
necessarily the leader for times of peace.
7. Mr. Churchill said that the history of the Communist Movement
in relation to the war had been a dispiriting one, having before
the war pressed France and Britain into war when the war started
and Russia did not at once join in they had denounced the war as
Imperialist. When Russia had joined the Allies, they had again
changed their policy. It was understandable that in these
circumstances there should be no relation between the Labour Party
in this country and the Communists, and inevitable that the deep-
rooted suspicions which the British working class entertained of
them should be difficult to eradicate.
8. In regard to France, the Foreign Secretary said that the most
important recent development had been the growth in the authority,
and on the whole he felt in the sense of responsibility, of the
French Committee of National Liberation. The Committee was a
definite and useful guarantee against the adoption of any extreme
policy by General de Gaulle  and had exercised a valuable
restraining influence on him at the time of the Lebanon crisis. A
feature of the Committee was the importance in it of the
resistance groups from France. The Committee had given us a pledge
that there would be elections once France was re-occupied and that
while Allied Forces were occupying France there should be no
executions. France when attacked in 1939 had been a divided
country and that was still the position. It remained to be seen
whether the various warring factions could even now unite. Our
policy would be to give all possible assistance to the elimination
of discords or controversies, both on general grounds and because
after the war a strong and friendly France would be more important
to us than ever.
9. In describing the position of Holland, Belgium and Norway the
Foreign Secretary said that all three countries were now in very
close relations with the United Kingdom and would welcome even
closer relations and, if possible, with France after the war.
10. There was some discussion on China. The Foreign Secretary
stated that the internal position in China had much deteriorated
in the last nine months and relations between Chiang Kai-shek's
 party, the Kuomintang, and the Communist Party had also
deteriorated. There was now a risk of a clash between the
Communist armies and the armies of the Marshal. The situation had
also deteriorated economically and the regime had moved towards
the right and increasingly towards the Soong Oligarchy. 
While the situation was far from stable the United Kingdom
Ambassador in Chungking  thought that China could be relied on
for another year, given the continuance of supplies by air,
although he was not prepared to commit himself further. Nor were
relations between China and Russia good. A recent incident in
Sinkiang had shown that Russia did not want China to have
sovereignty over Outer Mongolia and the possible reactions of a
decision by Russia to join the Allies against Japan on the
position inside China could not be overlooked.
Mr. Churchill emphasised the importance that had to be given to