380 Dr H. V. Evatt, Minister for External Affairs, to Mr A. T. Stirling, External Affairs Officer in London

Cablegram SL2 CANBERRA, 27 February 1942

MOST SECRET PERSONAL FROM MINISTER TO MR BRUCE [1]

Your 99. [2] In your talks with Maisky [3] you should take the opportunity of pointing out to him- (a) Our initiative and persistence contributed largely to the declaration of war by Britain against Finland, Hungary and Rumania.

(b) We twice prior to the Japanese war strongly suggested to the United Kingdom Government an alliance with Russia involving joint action whether Japan moved north or south [4]; in other words, to protect Russia as well as ourselves.

(c) Australia and New Zealand have Labour Governments most sympathetic with Russia and our social systems are more progressive and our economic systems more egalitarian than any other country with the possible exception of pre-war Sweden.

(d) Further evidence of this is to be found not only in the items mentioned in (a) and (b) above but also in the fact that the first action of this Government when it came into office was to send rolling stock to Iran, in the active part we took in the Lease- Lend Agreement and in our ready acceptance of the Soviet invitation to join in discussion on post-war matters. Also the attitude we adopted during the Eden [5] visit when Stalin raised the question of post-war settlement might be pointed out.

2. With these facts in mind it occurs to me that after talking to Maisky along these lines it may be possible to suggest to him that a leading Soviet statesman might issue something in the nature of a warning or threat against any further attacks whatever against Australia or New Zealand by Japan.

3. If you could bring this off other pending problems might be easier of settlement.

EVATT

1 High Commissioner in the United Kingdom.

2 See Document 350, note 8.

3 U.S.S.R. Ambassador to the United Kingdom.

4 See Documents 97 and 153.

5 U.K. Foreign Secretary. See Document 212.

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