47 Bruce to Curtin

Cablegram [22A] [1] LONDON, 11 February 1944, 7.20 p.m.

SECRET

Addressed to the Prime Minister, Mr. Curtin.

War Crimes Commission. Dominions Office telegram [D.182] of 7th February. [2]

In your telegram 3 of 7th January [3] you acquiesced in the proposed course of action suggested in telegram D.No. [1077] of 8th December. [4] Notwithstanding this the United Kingdom have adopted an entirely different course [5] without any notification to you until the action has been taken. While in the present case I do not think any particular harm has been done, a very important principle is involved. I have accordingly offered a strong protest and warned the United Kingdom that a repetition of this sort of thing will inevitably lead to serious trouble.

While I think we can let the episode pass with my protest, a telegram from you if you felt so disposed would have a salutary effect.

BRUCE

1 Material in square brackets has been corrected from Bruce's copy on file AA: M100, February 1944. The copy circulated in Canberra was incorrectly numbered 221.

2 On file AA: A5954, box 444.

3 On the file cited in note 2.

4 On file AA: A816, 19/301/836. The United Kingdom had proposed that commission members, including Australia, discuss Soviet insistence that Dominion representation on the commission be balanced by representation of each of the Soviet republics.

5 The United Kingdom had accepted Washington's preference for discussions limited to the United States, the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union.

[AA:A989, 43/735/580/1]