26 Commonwealth Government to Cranborne

Cablegram 32 CANBERRA, 7 February 1945

TOP SECRET MOST IMMEDIATE

Your telegram D.227 6th February. [1] While Australian Government recognises the practical importance of agreement with the Soviet Government regulating the general treatment of ex-prisoners of war pending their repatriation our view is that any performance of labour duties by Australian ex-prisoners whether on a voluntary and therefore partial basis or on a compulsory basis, would be quite unacceptable to public opinion here.

We assume that any arrangements you make will expressly cover the speediest possible repatriation of Australians who will be liberated.

1 Document 25.

[AA:A1066, IC45/6/2/1, i]