390 Commonwealth Government to Mr Clement Attlee, U.K. Secretary of State for Dominion Affairs
Cablegram 168 CANBERRA, 5 March 1942
Your Circular D. 112. 
1. Commonwealth Government adheres to view expressed in our
telegram 819 of 22nd December  that a misunderstanding with
Russia at this moment should be avoided by all possible means.
Course of events since that date has emphasised necessity of
whole-hearted Russian participation in the war.
2. We regard it as a major and immediate objective to do all that
is possible to extend this participation to the war against Japan
whose rapidly achieved successes have endangered the whole of
3. The minimum which could be presented to Stalin in such a
connection would be an assurance, subject to proper safeguards, of
general support for territorial adjustments in Europe, as was
suggested in our telegram 819, and which it is noted is adopted in
a modified form in subparagraph (e) 1 and 2 of your D.112.
4. If these questions are raised at a tripartite conference it is
doubtful whether any real satisfaction can be given to Stalin in
the near future. The whole question might be deferred in an
atmosphere of revived suspicion on Russia's part. At the worst it
might bring into the open conflicting standpoints.
6. In these circumstances we think a wiser course would be to make
a further approach to Stalin, without necessarily awaiting
Roosevelt's reply to suggestion of London conversations. Stalin
should be informed with complete frankness of position that has
arisen and of British readiness to give general support to his
frontier adjustments, subject to consent of peoples concerned
being obtained in a way which is deemed proper, having regard to
7. If, however, Roosevelt desires tripartite conference, Russia
can still be satisfied in accordance with Atlantic Charter Clauses
2 and 3 which embody the general principle of permitting
territorial changes if approval obtained from the inhabitants
8. Above all we urge-
1. That Russia should not be allowed to drift away from us;
2. That while giving Russia's demands bona fide support the
Atlantic Charter can still be obeyed;
3. That Russia's entry into the war against Japan may be necessary
to our ultimate victory;
4. That time is of the essence of the contract.