382 Department of External Affairs to Embassy in Washington

Cablegram 404 CANBERRA, 2 April 1947

SECRET

Your 86. Advance Reparations.

(1) You will make clear the importance the Australian Government attaches to reparations especially in view of the outstanding part played by Australia in the Pacific war, the devastation of New Guinea by the Japanese, and the heavy losses of life and the sufferings of Australian prisoners of war at the hands of the Japanese.

(2) It seems plain that subject matter of reparations is concern of peace conference, and not of F.E.C. Still less matter for unilateral action by one of the occupying powers. You will therefore not vote on matter.

(3) You should indicate that in the opinion of Australia time has arrived when arrangements for peace conference in relation to Japan should be put in train; indicate support that you will get for suitable result.

(4) First charge on reparations pool should be compensation for suffering at hands of Japanese. Present plan may be destructive of such an objective.

[AA : A1068, ER47/31/2]