260 Deschamps to Department of External Affairs

Cablegram A2 Moscow, 11 March 1947, 7.08 p.m.


Your telegram 34. Moscow Conference Series No.1.

1. Your instructions have been noted. Bevin has promised personally to consult my Canadian and New Zealand colleagues and myself daily or almost daily and to keep us fully informed of developments. When he is unavailable, according to the present arrangements Shannon of Dominions Office will deputise for him and meet us or our deputies.

2. I have already drawn attention to the contents of your telegram 33 and shall discuss it personally with Bevin.

3. Although not all basic documents have yet been [sent] [1] from London, I have those which set out the Australian attitude and shall lose no opportunity of pressing Australian views.

4. The opening session of Conference lasted less than two hours.

The two most important developments were:

(1) Molotov's proposal that the Council of Foreign Ministers should hear reports on the fulfilment of decisions of the Moscow Conference of 1945 regarding 'the necessity for uniting and democratising China under a national Government'. The British attitude was not disclosed but Marshall proposed that consideration of the suggestion be postponed until today.

(2) Marshall's proposal to include on the agenda the question of limitation of occupation forces in Europe. Discussion of this proposal was also postponed until today. The remainder of the sitting was occupied with points on the existing agenda on the lines intimated to the Daily Press.

The British attitude with regard to Molotov's proposal on China is to 'let the Americans make the running'.

1 A sign here indicates 'word omitted'.

[AA : A1068, E47/15/5/1/10]