(A) Deputies for Germany Despite message from Gousev referred to in a telegram No.34 of 23rd January , we were able to present fully at Thursday's meeting Australian views on procedure and interim agreement to Deputies for Germany.
It was explained that only general observations were being made for the present but the Australian Government would be prepared to elaborate on certain points of substance at a later stage and after full discussion amongst all the active belligerents. Gousev said Deputies would be glad to receive subsequently any memorandum or hear oral presentation giving supplementary views on substance.
In discussion after statement, Gousev referred to our comments on procedure, stating that Deputies had no instructions to discuss procedure at current meeting with other belligerents. He challenged what we said about the proceedings at Paris on agreement clauses and said that Australia apparently did not believe in the Powers reaching agreement beforehand. Strang gave strongest support to our proposals, commenting that the very fact that Deputies had been asked to hear views of Allies at initial stages showed Foreign Ministers they believed that improvement of peace making procedure was desirable. He said his Delegation was broadly speaking in sympathy with Australian views on procedure both for present and subsequent stages and would do its best to see that final suggestions to be made to Council of Foreign Ministers were along that line.
Murphy said that his Delegation would welcome 'closest kind of association' with Australia and other invited Delegations in work in London. He did not want to imply criticism of Paris methods but it was always possible to make improvements. However, he did not feel procedure should be based on theory that one group of countries had a right to take the task of treaty formulation onto themselves.
He made point that the closer their association with other belligerents the greater the feeling of responsibility associates would have in the peace settlement.
French representative said Australian views would be examined with care by his Delegation. This was only a reserved point of view in absence of their Head who had strongly supported us previously. At meeting yesterday South African proposals for procedure were presented and we have heard unofficially that after South Africans left meeting whole question of procedure was debated again without any agreement being reached. The Russians are still adamant and it appears unlikely they will agree to further participation of associated powers until Moscow meeting though we understand Murphy, Chairman next week, will press strongly for our proposals.
Copy of official record of Thursday's meeting being airmailed.
(B) Deputies for Austria At meeting yesterday morning views on procedure were delivered to Deputies for Austria and for reasons given in telegram 34 Australian general views on substance were also given. After presentation of case Gousev enquired whether additional views on substance might be expected and if so when. He was told that so far only main principles had been touched on but if Australian proposal on procedure and creation of Committees were agreed to Australian representative would take part in discussion and present detailed views for actual treaty drafting.
(C) With regard to German talks, position is now that we have still to submit our views on substance.