214 Evatt to Hodgson

Cablegram E138 WASHINGTON, 5 June 1943, 10.10 p.m.


Reference your 629. [1]

I am in general agreement with the views expressed which appear very sound. There was danger of embarrassment in undertaking representation but Australian Prime Minister's views appealed to both Churchill and Roosevelt.

The essence of the situation is the need to act most prudently and avoid trouble with U.S.S.R. The primary duty of our mission is to maintain good relations with U.S.S.R. The duty of watching Polish interests, though very important, is secondary.

You should send further wire to Officer along the lines of this telegram. I have already warned him once [2], but he should be constantly on the alert. Above all, he should not be influenced by Bruce's over-enthusiasm for the Polish Government in London.

I would like your views as to appointment Minister which cannot long be delayed. [3]

1 Dispatched 4 June. It repeated to Evatt Curtin's cablegram 5194 to Bruce, which advised that the Commonwealth Govt was disinclined to use the services of Polish personnel in maintaining Polish interests in the Soviet Union. The Polish Foreign Minister (Count Raczynski) had earlier approached Bruce with a detailed proposal for Polish support for the Legation in Kuybyshev, including provision of Polish personnel and a back-up administrative arrangement using the former Polish Embassy staff and records now in Tehran (see Bruce's cablegram S116 of 2 June). Both cablegrams cited in this note are on file AA:M100, June 1943.

2 Neither cablegram to Officer has been found.

3 The appointment of a successor to Slater as Minister to the Soviet Union was in fact postponed until after the Australian elections on 21 August and Officer continued to act as Charge d'Affaires until J. J. Maloney (President of the N.S.W. Trades and Labour Council) took up duty as Minister on 23 December. In the meantime the Australian Legation had moved from Kuybyshev to Moscow, where it opened for business on 16 August.

[AA:A4764, 4]