255 Makin to Evatt

Cablegram 277 WASHINGTON, 27 February 1947, 8.25 p.m.


Procedure for German settlement.

I went this morning, accompanied by Minister, to see Secretary of State.

I gave General Marshall your message and left with him the substance of your telegram of 24th February to the Dominions Office.

I told him of our grave dissatisfaction with the position at the end of the Deputies meeting in London. I emphasised a lack of clarity in the proposals, despite which it emerged all too clearly that these proposals did not comply with democratic principles or with what was due to a nation that had been an active belligerent.

It had been essential, I continued, for the British nations to join in the winning of the war and it was now no less essential that they have a really effective part in the peace settlement.

The proposal that the final draft of the treaty was to rest with the Big Four, was totally opposed to all democratic procedure.

Australia most earnestly believed that the final say should be the responsibility of all active belligerents.

With all emphasis I recalled in broad outline Australia's part as an active belligerent in the war.

Marshall received me most cordially and, despite his obvious preoccupations prior to setting out for Moscow, was clearly ready for a friendly talk. He reminisced for a while about the war in the Pacific, recalling his exchanges of communications with you during the war period. It had been he said a great regret to him that he had not always been able to meet your requests on behalf of Australia. 'At first I just hadn't the means.' He recalled that at one stage early in the war he 'hadn't even the necessary money appropriation' to equip 12 Flying Fortresses. He contrasted this scarcity with the two thousand-odd Fortresses which in the final stage of the war, as Chief of Staff, he had had to scrap. He then spoke of the relative immunity of New Zealand from the Japanese compared to Australia.

After turning from the Pacific to North Africa and the Australian Army's role there and the circumstances of its return he added, 'from all this I've said you will see that I am very conscious of Australia's part as a belligerent'. He referred specifically and with marked sympathy to our losses.

With regard to what I had urged concerning the procedure for the German settlement he said-'only yesterday in those very chairs, Senators Vandenberg and Connally also put the same point of view to me with great emphasis and I am going to Moscow to urge that point of view'.

He said he was glad you had sent him your message, that he had pleasant recollections of his contacts with you in the war period and that he wished to send you his respects and greetings. He added 'I am sure Dr. Evatt had confidence that I always did my best'.

He asked me to tell you that he would in Moscow do his best to secure the democratic settlement which Australia urged.

I would suggest that if you have not already done so you consider supplying United Kingdom representatives at forthcoming Moscow Conference, by way of reminder, with full brief setting out Australia's actual part in the European war and her losses, having regard to the way Marshall's mind was trending.

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