109 Cranborne to Commonwealth Government

Cablegram 92 [1] LONDON, 10 April 1944, 11 p.m.


Your telegram 30th March No. 79. Finland. [2] Your paragraph one.

For latest developments see my telegram of to-day No. D. 538, paragraph 3 [3] of which contains the reminder that any armistice should expressly cover Australia and other members of the British Commonwealth at war with Finland.

2. Your paragraph two. See paragraph 4 of my D. No. 538. [4] It is not yet clear whether any armistice Commission will be set up for Finland nor, if this is done, what provision will be made for representation of countries other than Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. In this connection please see paragraph 3 of my telegram, 12th February, No. 45. [5]

3. Your paragraph 3. We recognise that many questions must wait for comprehensive settlement when hostilities have ceased everywhere. We think, however, that each case will have to be considered on its merits as it arises and that, in particular, distinction can be drawn between minor European enemy countries and Germany. Where a problem is reasonably self-contained, as in the case of Finland, we see advantage in attempting an early solution. In this case, moreover, we are bound to recognise the predominant interest of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

If they or Finland are anxious to conclude a peace treaty we do not feel that the British Commonwealth interest is large enough to justify our opposing their views.

1 Repeated to the N.Z. Govt as no. 74.

2 Document 105.

3 On file AA:A989, 44/970/58.

4 Paragraph reported that the U.K. Ambassador to the Soviet Union had been asked 'to elicit the Soviet Government's views on suggestion for a Control Commission with provision for our participation'.

5 Document 48.

[AA:A989, 44/970/58]