466 Maloney to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram 344 Moscow, 19 December 1945, 8.45 p.m.

IMMEDIATE SECRET

I saw Bevin this morning when he gave me the text of the American suggestions relative to the Far Eastern Control Council and Commission together with the Soviet's proposed amendments to read and later discuss with his Far Eastern expert. [1] I informed him of my instructions (your telegram 219 [2]) but as at that stage I had not examined documents he had given me to read, I did not go further into the matter with him other than to listen to his explanation of difficulties in which he was placed with both the Soviet and the United States of America likely to arrive at some common basis without Great Britain.

2. He instanced American action whereby on the eve of his departure from London for Moscow he had received from the United States Government the text of what they proposed to place before the Soviet relative to atomic energy. As this text in some instances differed from the understanding between Attlee, King and Truman on this matter he had asked Byrnes not to submit his plan to the Soviet until His Majesty's Government had had the opportunity of considering them.

This, Byrnes agreed to and again on seeing Byrnes in moscow on Saturday last Byrnes had confirmed his agreement not to submit his proposals to the Conference until Bevin had word from his cabinet which would probably be not later than Tuesday or Wednesday of this week. At the conclusion of last evening's conference Byrnes had circulated his proposals without any intimation of his intentions to do so being made to him (Bevin).

3. Later after having read the document referred to in paragraph 1 above I informed Bevin's Far Eastern expert of the attitude of the Australian Government, telling him that it was the view of my Government that such matters should be discussed and determined by all parties concerned and not by the conferences of three foreign secretaries; such being the case I had no comments to make on the American and Soviet proposals. He undertook to emphasise that viewpoint to Bevin.

4. I feel that Bevin will do his best to have the conference solely one of exploration at the same time appreciating his difficulty in doing so if American and Soviet representatives endeavour to go further as I think they are likely to do.

1 J. C. Sterndale Bennett, Head, Far Eastern Department, U.K.

Foreign Office.

2 Document 449.

[AA : A1066, H45/1016/4/1]