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136 Attlee to Commonwealth Government

Cablegram 50 LONDON, 13 March 1943, 5.55 p.m.


Commonwealth Government telegram No. 57 of 10th March. [1] Chinese

As Canadian Government may already have informed you they have
concurred in issue and terms of draft Order in Council. [2] New
Zealand and South Africa have also concurred.

2. We fear that the course suggested in last paragraph of your
telegram would not be practicable for reasons given in latter part
of paragraph 2 of my telegram D.570 of 22nd December. [3]

3. Chinese Government have already ratified both the United
Kingdom and United States treaties and have enquired position as
to United Kingdom ratification of treaty of 11th January. We are
therefore anxious to proceed to ratification as soon as possible.

4. We appreciate difficulties of Australia, but it occurs to us
that in any event having regard to period and circumstances in
which the rights in question were acquired, the Chinese might
possibly argue that Australia has no separate extra-territorial
rights to bargain with. Whatever might be the answer to this it
would clearly be better if Chinese were not given opportunity of
raising such contentious issue.

5. In view of political and practical difficulties mentioned
above, we hope that on further consideration Commonwealth
Government may be, able to join other Dominion Governments in
agreeing to Order being issued in the form proposed. [4]

1 Document 133.

2 The Canadian Govt in fact did not inform the Commonwealth Govt
of its intentions until 19 March. See cablegram 2 on file AA:A989,

3 On file AA:A989, 43/305/2, v. The relevant sentence read:

'Any other procedure (e.g. revocation of Order in Council as
regards British subjects other than those belonging to Dominions
which would necessitate subsequent Orders in Council in respect of
Dominions on conclusion of their treaties) would be impracticable
as there is only one Court for all British subjects.'
4 The Commonwealth Govt advised Attlee on 16 March that it was
prepared to join with the other Dominion govts in issuing the
Order in the form proposed. See cablegram 61 on the file cited in
note 3.

[AA:A989, 43/735/313]

Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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