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184 Curtin to Evatt

Cablegram SW22 CANBERRA, 10 May 1943


For your guidance in thinking about the European problem in the
highest consultations which the presence of certain leaders in
Washington [1] makes possible, I give you a summary of my views:


1. The vital immediate policy must be directed towards any
agreement between Germany and Russia. This makes necessary the
directing of diplomacy towards building up the greatest goodwill
and friendliness between Russia and Great Britain and,
notwithstanding the difficulties, America as well.

2. A solution of the Russian-Polish dispute is vital to No. 1.

3. The basis should be capitalising the twenty year Russian-U.K.

alliance and not allowing the Polish incident to undo or undermine
the alliance.

4. The three great powers on our side must accept responsibility
for winning the war and winning the peace. Unless this is done the
smaller powers in Europe will regard the future as a hopeless
conflict in which if Germany wins they will be submerged by Nazism
or if Germany loses they will be overwhelmed by Bolshevism. The
result of this would be either a prolonged war or a negative
peace, more likely the former, thus exposing Australia in view of
our global strategy to total exhaustion in the Pacific war.

5. Russia is still the key to the complete defeat of Germany.

Should Russia negotiate a compromise peace with Germany, the fire
and homogeneity of the United Nations for war to a finish against
Germany and Japan would die out. In Australia our internal
strength would be dissipated in internecine disputation.

6. Therefore, a gesture on the part of Australia in the Russian-
Polish dispute in the absence of action by the U.K. and the U.S.A.

appeared to me not only sound and proper but would also increase
our status and influence. I feel that in the face of the Russian-
Japanese pact that Australia now at war with Japan must keep
Russia solid in the European war otherwise Japan need never fear
Russia which is a present restraint upon her and while the fear
persists lessens the strength the Japanese can project in her
southern perimeter. [2]

1 Churchill and Roosevelt.

2 This cablegram was repeated to Bruce as no. SL9 (on file
AA:A989, 43-44/715/5/2/2), with the preface: 'Your telegrams about
Poland, which I have carefully examined, are best dealt with by
saying that I knew that somebody had slipped through your fingers
and that it would be appropriate to wait on discussions which I
appreciated were to take place in Washington.'

[AA:A989, 43-44/715/5/2/2]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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