Cablegram PC127 PARIS, 31 August 1946, 12.05 p.m.
Our position on Economic Commission is very difficult. Our
amendment of full text Article 64 Italy  received no support in
debates and was voted out 15 to 2 with 3 abstentions.
Reason apart from U.S.S.R. bloc and opposition United Kingdom,
United States and France was that other claimants fear to dispute
with Russia before their own claims are considered.
We were subject to full blast from Molotov and Vishinsky.
No way of manoeuvering out of our position. In fact meeting this
afternoon refused to defer final consideration of Section A of
Article 64 until claims under Section B are considered. Canada
moved this but only five supported. As result meeting Foreign
Ministers yesterday seems that United Kingdom, United States and
France have been directed to give immediate support to finally
drafted articles. Significant that to-day they have come in
immediately and briefly in support. This naturally has a big
We will move amendment paragraph 3 of Article 64 Section A to make
agreement for selection delivery etc. of reparations goods matters
for agreement between U.S.S.R. and proposed reparations and
restitution commission. This will revise first part of the
original proposal. We are assured of some support for this but am
not over sanguine of favourable vote.
Regard it as important that Mr. Beasley's final address in Plenary
should fully cover the motives behind our amendments and make it
clear that we have done what we could to bring reality into the
treaties. Responsibility  adverse economic results rests on
members of conference who allowed self interest in expediency to
dominate their attitude and not on Australia.