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350 Mr John Curtin, Prime Minister, to Mr S. M. Bruce, High Commissioner in the United Kingdom

Cablegram 1590 CANBERRA, 21 February 1942


Reference exchange of Missions with Russia.

1. New Zealand Government are now considering text of agreement
for exchange of consul with Russia, and have asked our views. [1]
We are asking them to discuss matter personally next week when New
Zealand Delegation arrives here. [2]

2. Some time ago Eggleston strongly advocated Australian
representation in Russia. [3] We have instructed him to discuss it
with Russian Ambassador at Chungking. [4]

3. It is desired you approach Maisky [5] immediately with a view
to general agreement by Russia for exchange of accredited

4. As you know previous Government favoured exchange of consular
representations [sic], and we suggested to you despatch of
representative Goodwill Mission. [6] Matter was then held up at
suggestion of Cripps [7], because of Russia's military

5. Endeavour therefore to reach immediate general agreement on
following lines: U.S.S.R. and Australia will agree in principle to
exchange of Ministers: until it is practicable to initiate new
system, Bruce [8] will be accredited by Australia to Russia and
Maisky to Australia from Russia and direct contact between
Ministers will take place in London. Appointment will be of
interim character but will establish the principle of reciprocal
exchange which each country desires and which will be fully
implemented in the near future.

6. As we were the Dominion which took the lead in these exchanges,
we would like to get the agreement approved before New Zealand


1 See cablegram 55 of 17 February On file AA:A461, D703/1/4.

2 See cablegram 69 of 21 February on the file cited in note 1.

3 Minister to China. See his cablegram 92 of 4 February on file
AA:A981, Soviet Russia 44.

4 A. S. Panyuskin. Evatt cabled Eggleston on to February: 'There
is no reason why you should not make tentative sounding and report
to us present attitude of Soviet Government.' See cablegram 38 on
the file cited in note 3.

5 U.S.S.R. Ambassador to the United Kingdom.

6 See Document 96, note 8.

7 Then U.K. Ambassador to the U.S.S.R. See Document 115.

8 High Commissioner in the United Kingdom. Bruce reported on 24
February that 'Maisky was most responsive and indicated that in
his view an arrangement down the lines you suggest would be both
practical and effective'; Maisky had undertaken to communicate
with his Government immediately and to give Bruce a reply as soon
as possible. See cablegram 99 on the file cited in note 3.

Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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