337 Commonwealth Government to Walker

Cablegram P8 CANBERRA, 24 October 1945

Your 41-Reparations. [1]

1. It is desired that the invitation of the French Government as host be accepted and that you and/or Tange represent Australia.

[2]

2. Tange is familiar with the viewpoint of the Australian Authorities on the issues concerned while crucial points should be referred to us.

3. We are forwarding by air mail copy of Cabinet Agendum and decision [3] on reparations from Germany and a statement of claim.

(See our Telegram No. 275 of 2nd October to Accredited Representative, London [4]). Treasury is preparing a statement of German property situated in Australia at the outbreak of war which will be despatched as soon as possible. Secondary Industries Commission has made the following comments:-

'The industries listed below are planning expansion in Australia, and the programme of expansion is likely to be delayed on account of the difficulty in getting necessary plant and equipment from overseas Allied countries. It would accordingly be advantageous to obtain from Germany modern plant and equipment for any of the following industries Paper making Paper makers felt Hydrogenation of coal Automobiles Woodworking Textiles including synthetics, wool, cotton flax and other fibres Canning Production of raw plastic materials Manufacture of ball and roller bearings Ordnance factory production (heavy equipment) Aluminium ingot manufacture Steel strip rolling mills (complete plant) and Electric power generation (moderate to large size).' 4. While realizing that Australia's claim will necessarily be relatively small we are anxious to secure a reasonable share of whatever becomes available on grounds of our considerable war effort.

1 Dispatched 22 October. On file AA : A1066, H45/1015/11. It concerned the invitation reported in Document 318.

2 Walker attended the Conference throughout as First Delegate.

Some early sessions were also attended by Hood, Tange, S. Atyeo and J. R. Cochrane.

3 See Document 140.

4 Document 283.

[AA : A1066, H45/1015/11]