29 Evatt to Beasley

Cablegram 90 WASHINGTON, 19 July 1946


Following our telephone conversation it is most important that everything should be done to see Australia's international position is recognised in a fitting manner at the Paris Conference. There will certainly be a Management Committee or Executive or Steering Committee. On that Australia should be represented. Addison and Bevin may also stress Canada's claims but in no circumstances must we accord precedence to Canada which held back in the struggle to have a Peace Conference and only came in after I led the way with the support of Smuts and Peter Fraser. My own feeling is that both Australia and Canada could be included on such a Committee. In addition to seeing Addison, Bevin and Attlee, you should see all the representatives in London of the countries which will be represented at the Conference and try and pin them down to active support of our claims. Hodgson also should be approached and asked to secure Bidault's full support. I mentioned the question to the Secretary of State, Byrnes, in Washington yesterday and I think we will have general support from the United States for our inclusion in all leading activities. I am worrying you now only because past experience shows that a great deal of manipulation goes on at level of people like Jebb [1] of the British Delegation and Dunn [2] from United States but I have no doubt you will be able to unravel the tangle and guarantee that our interests are protected. Incidentally I think it wrong that the Chairmanship of the Conference itself should be rotated amongst the so called Great Powers. In point of fact, as the Conference will be revising what the Powers have already done for subsequent consideration by them, justice suggests that the Big Powers should take a back seat at the Paris Conference allowing the other belligerents to express our views with the utmost freedom upon their draft. Otherwise the Big Four will be advocates for their own draft and I greatly fear they may have made an arrangement to stick to their drafts unless all of them agree to variations. if so, that means in effect a veto by each of the Powers on any alteration which would, in my opinion, be almost intolerable. I know this is a difficult matter but you and I always believe in direct approaches in this matter. Outside the major Powers themselves, Australia stands pre-eminent in the Security Council and in the United Nations. Our war effort was even greater than that of Canada. It might be of value for Dunbabin [3] to prepare a short account for us, both of Australia's great contribution to the European war effort against Italy, Germany, etc., especially noting our almost unknown contribution in the shape of the enormous number of Australian Personnel participating in the R.A.F. also our efforts in North Africa were of an epic character. Australia's prestige is of vital importance to maintain. In New York Cadogan has been most grateful for the leadership we have recently assumed in the Security Council and the Atomic Commission. At Paris we must try to maintain our status to the utmost extent of our power. Good luck to you. I am anxious to see you. We are on the United States Line steamer 'Argentina' leaving New York to-day and expected arrive at Southampton about the 26th. Please have transport to London and accommodation arranged, also inter-view for me with Attlee or Bevin also so far as you think necessary with the representatives of the other Dominions or belligerents to be represented at the Conference.

1 Gladwyn Jebb, Assistant Under-Secretary and United Nations Adviser at the Foreign Office.

2 James Clement Dunn, member of the U.S. delegation to the Paris Peace Conference, and, from July 25, Ambassador-Elect to Italy.

3 Thomas Dunbabin, Director, Australian News Bureau, London.

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