36 Evatt to Hodgson

Radiogram unnumbered S.S. Argentina, 26 July 1946

1. Thanks your telegram No.12. [1] Whitlam will be available and if necessary I could requisition additional assistance on arrival.

However main questions will involve far more important decisions than legal issues.

2. Points upon which you should concentrate are:

(a) Status of Australia at Conference in respect of possible chairmanships and position on executive secretariat of representatives of eight delegations. Australia should certainly be included in chairmanships because of her outstanding war efforts and initiative in fighting for holding of conference. But for Australia conference would probably never have been held;

(b) Relationship of major Powers to conference including rotation of conference chairmanship. This seems quite unacceptable but we must consider alternative proposals and possibilities. I have spoken to Beasley about these matters and asked him to contact you. Please keep in closest touch with him.

3. No doubt you will make our position as to status very clear to Bidault who should be sympathetic having regard to Australian aid in New Caledonia. Facts are Russia and France have manoeuvred themselves into leading position regarding Italy without any real contribution to victory over Italy. This is most unjust to Australia and New Zealand who took leading part in ejecting Italy from Africa. We must see Australia is not outmanoeuvred. In so doing you should use care and discretion but stick strongly to our publicly proclaimed position.

4. Following work should be undertaken immediately:

(a) Critical analyses of each treaty from point of principles of Atlantic and United Nations Charters;

(b) In particular, analyses of plan for dealing with Italian Fleet;

(c) Plan for Reparations considered as a whole and in detail.

5. Please have fullest information ready for me and definite clear proposals in order to safeguard Australian position and take worthy part at conference in accordance with our general attitude at United Nations of full investigation of facts as preliminary to just and fearless decisions on facts as proved.

1 Dispatched on 20 July, it had suggested that additional legal experts be appointed to the Australian delegation to the Paris Peace Conference.

[AA:A4387, A/46/1A]