261 Department of External Affairs to Deschamps

Cablegram 41 CANBERRA, 17 March 1947, 5.30 p.m.

MOST IMMEDIATE TOP SECRET

Moscow Conference 1. We cannot accept Strang's views as expressed in paragraph 1 of your telegram 46 [1] and every effort must be made to change attitude of mind which leads to such views. There is no question of United Kingdom making a 'concession' to the Dominions.

Australia as an active participant in the European war claims that it is entitled [in] its own right to fullest participation in peace negotiations. We have a right to expect fullest support from United Kingdom and also assistance from United States and France.

2. This is a matter of high policy to be dealt with by foreign ministers themselves and the mere fact that deputies in London have failed to agree on question of participation by other Allied governments in the peace settlement is irrelevant. We expect Bevin to put up fight on behalf of Dominions and other Allied governments.

3. For your information, we have some reason to fear that United Kingdom may favour Canadian proposals even though it might be possible to secure acceptance of better proposals by Council of Foreign Ministers. Canada appears to have come to the conclusion that it is no use holding a further conference on the Paris model.

Although we were not satisfied with the Paris Conference, we think it served useful purpose and something less than that is hardly tolerable. Our primary objective, however, is conference of Allies empowered to take decisions.

4. Representatives of Dominions should not be satisfied with talks with Strang whose views are quite unsympathetic to Australia's claims.

1 Deschamps had reported on a meeting between Strang and dominion representatives in Moscow, where Strang 'gave us the impression that support for Canadian proposals for consultation with associated powers represented the maximum concession which the United Kingdom was able to make ...'

[AA: A1068, E47/15/5/2/6]