262 Evatt to Mackenzie King

Cablegram 146 [1] CANBERRA, 25 August 1943


Your telegram No. 8 to Australia. [2] War Crimes Commission.

Australia agrees with your insistence that Soviet Government must be made to understand constitutional and international position of Dominions. I therefore suggest that in any representations in Moscow, Canadian Minister should act in co-operation with Australian Charge d'Affaires. It is intolerable if status of Dominions is to be questioned in this way. [3]

At the same time I think Canada should be very careful when combined bodies are being set up with United States and United Kingdom to recognise that Australia's status is equivalent to that of Canada and I am sure you will understand that we feel as strongly on the matter as you do.

I have heard reference to a proposed combined body to deal with mutual aid. Why Australia should be omitted from such a body I quite fail to understand. [4] I am quite sure you will not fail to co-operate with Australian High Commissioner in Ottawa and regard yourself as representing Australia when for obvious reasons we can have no Australian responsible Minister on the spot. Best wishes.


1 Sent through the High Commission in Ottawa.

2 See Document 263, note 4.

3 Evatt dispatched a message to Eden the same day stating his support for the Canadian proposal and insisting that it was 'of cardinal importance that status of Dominions should not be open to question'. He also advised that Officer had been instructed to make joint representations with the Canadian Minister in Moscow.

See cablegram 140 (FA:A3196, 1943, 0.23284).

4 Glasgow advised on 26 August that the Joint War Aid Committee was a purely Canadian-United States body established to co- ordinate the operations of the two main suppliers of Lend-Lease aid. See cablegram 151 on file AA:A989, 43/735/580.

5 Glasgow advised Evatt on 30 August that he had spoken to Mackenzie King, who had welcomed Evatt's suggestion of joint representation and agreed that both Dominions should have equivalent status. See cablegram 156 on the file cited in note 4.

[AA:A989, 43/735/580]