288 Cranborne to Curtin

Cablegram 281 LONDON, 29 September 1943, 10.55 a.m.

MOST SECRET

My telegram No. 664 of 16th September. [1]

On re-reading your telegram No. 201 of 4th August [2], we think that we may have misread your wishes. We had understood you to mean that you had no objection to preliminary discussion with United States and Russia of proposals as to Austria as set out in D. No. 439 [3] but wished to emphasize that Austria was part of the problem of the future of Germany, and that you would naturally wish to be fully consulted on this larger question before we formulated proposals for discussion with the major Allies.

We hope that you will read our telegram D. No. 664 in the light of this explanation and we are very sorry if, in fact, there has been any misunderstanding.

Position now is that as you will see from my telegram D. No. 709 [4] we expect that question of Austria will come up for discussion at the forthcoming meeting of Foreign Ministers at Moscow. You will since have received my despatch of 8th August D. No. 67, containing a memorandum which sets out in full our reasons for our proposed line in regard to Austria [5] and we hope that we may now feel the Commonwealth Government are in general agreement with our taking this line in preliminary discussions at Moscow. [6]

1 See Document 286, note 1.

2 Document 253.

3 Document 247. 4 Dispatched 28 September. On file AA:A989, 43/735/1016/1.

4 On file AA:A1608, F41/1/3, i.

5 The Commonwealth Govt did not comment further on this issue and the Allied declaration on Austria was included in the final communique of the Moscow Conference on 1 November. The Allies stated that they regarded the 1938 union of Germany and Austria as null and void and wished 'to see reestablished a free and independent Austria', but warned that 'Austria must however remember that she has a responsibility which she cannot evade for participation in the war on Germany's side'. See cablegram D801 (15 October) and D881-2 (31 October) in PRO:DO 114/104.

[AA:A989, 44/85/2/1]