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Historical documents

107 Commonwealth Government to Attlee

Cablegram 20 [1] CANBERRA, 21 January 1943

SECRET

Your No. 9 of 14th January. [2] Vichy Government interests in
Australia.

The position here is that on withdrawal of his exequatur the
French Consul [3] on 7th December, 1942, asked his Government for
instructions as to whom he should hand over his functions and
authorities. So far, he has not received any reply.

As we see it, the real point in this matter is whether the Swiss
Government still recognises the Vichy Government. We understand it
does, and as Switzerland is most punctilious as regards its
neutrality, we are inclined to the view that the Swiss Government
would refuse to look after French interests in the loose informal
way suggested in your telegram. In any case, with the closing of
the Consulate-General, archives must be taken over by someone, and
the same difficulties you contemplate in case of recognition of a
constituted French Government on the side of the Allies would
arise either in a formal or informal Swiss representation in the
event of the Swiss Government not recognising such French
Government.

In the circumstances, we desire the Swiss Government to be
informed that we have no objection to their safeguarding French
(other than Fighting French) interests in Australia.

1 Repeated to the N.Z. Prime Minister as no. 16.

2 Document 103. 3 C. E. D. Lancial.


[AA:A1608, D33/1/5]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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