174 Department of External Affairs to Embassy in Washington
Cablegram 1481 CANBERRA, 23 October 1946
SECRET MOST IMMEDIATE
Your FEC 258  and 261. 
Minister desires you make a general protest against inordinate delay in F.E.C. in the vital matter of basic policy. It was June last  when the Minister endeavoured to have a basic policy document considered.
2. You should protest at the unnecessary hurry in putting forward the reparations proposal.
3. F.E.C. should be asked to give a decision on FEC 081 and it will be time enough then for Governments to consider position if there is no agreement. It may be eventually that Reparations Conference itself should decide all matters including external assets. In these circumstances we do not favour suggestion of interim reparation deliveries prior to determination of Conference of countries to receive shares and their proportion.
4. Provisional lists of items which Australia may desire to obtain as reparations were forwarded to you with Chancery letter 356 of 17th October. This material should arrive this weekend. We are preparing additional background information including statistics of the Australian war effort and of casualties etc. as a basis for Australian claims. We are hoping to be able to let you have this in the near future. If there is any particular matter on which it would be helpful to have information from here we should be glad to have details.