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227 Attlee to Commonwealth Government

Circular cablegram D365 LONDON, 19 June 1943, 11 p.m.


My immediately preceding telegram. [1] Following is the text of
the principles.

(a) The terms to be imposed on any European member of the Axis
should be presented as one comprehensive document covering all the
United Nations at war with that member, and embodying the
principle of unconditional surrender.

(b) If there exists a central enemy government with which we are
prepared to treat, a fully accredited representative of that
government should be associated with its Commander-in-Chief for
purposes of signature; or alternatively armistice should not come
into force until confirmed by that government.

(c) If there is no such government the armistice should be signed
by the enemy Commander-in-Chief only. In that case the provisions
which the enemy Commander-in-Chief lacks authority to execute
would have to be omitted from the armistice, which would thus be
primarily a military document. The non-military provisions should,
so far as necessary, be embodied in a declaration or proclamation
issued by the United Nations.

(d) If there is neither an enemy government nor Commander-in-Chief
with whom we can or are prepared to treat, military resistance
would presumably be brought to an end by a series of local
capitulations. It would, however, probably be desirable that the
United Nations should issue a declaration stating their intentions
in respect of the defeated power. This would be followed by a
series of proclamations issued by the Allied Commander-in-Chief
containing instructions to the local authorities and population.

(e) The administration of any armistice should be placed in the
hands of an Inter Allied Armistice Commission, the President to be
alternately a representative of the United States, U.S.S.R., and
the United Kingdom. The Commission would establish its
Headquarters in the Axis country concerned, and would be
responsible for controlling the execution of the armistice terms;

in the first place, the disarmament and demobilisation of enemy
armed forces, the collection and disposal of surrendered war
material and other mobile property and the handing over of
fortifications and other fixed property. Representatives of the
Armistice Commission would be despatched to liberated Allied
territory to perform a similar task in respect of enemy troops
there located and to regulate their evacuation or internment.

(f) In the absence of an armistice (see paragraph (d)), a Control
Commission should administer the appropriate portions of the

(g) Any armistice or declaration would presumably provide for
occupation, whether total or partial, of the countries concerned.

In the case of Germany the exact method of organising such
occupation should be the subject of technical discussions between
the military advisers of the United Kingdom, United States of
America, and the U.S.S.R. in the first instance.

(h) The United Nations' Commander-in-Chief in any occupied country
should have complete responsibility for maintenance of law and

(j) [2] There should be established a supervisory body entitled
'United Nations Commission for Europe', composed of high-ranking
political representatives of the United Kingdom, the United States
of America and the U.S.S.R., of France and any other European
Allies, and if so desired of any Dominion prepared to contribute
to the policing of Europe. The Commission should be situated at
some convenient point on the continent. The Commission would act
as the supreme United Nations authority in Europe to direct and
co-ordinate the activities of the several armistice commissions,
the Allied Commander-in-Chief and any United Nations' civilian
authorities that may be established; and to deal with current
problems, military, political, and economic, connected with the
maintenance of order. A 'Steering Committee', consisting of
representatives of the United Kingdom, U.S.A., and U.S.S.R., and
of France, if she recovers her greatness, should be established as
the directing body of the Commission. In the 'Steering Committee'
the unanimity rule should apply.

(k) It is likely that a number of civilian authorities will be set
up by agreement between the United Nations, some on a world and
others on a European basis. Apart from the United Nations relief
and rehabilitation administration and inter-governmental
committees which may emerge from the Bermuda Conference [3], the
establishment of a United Nations' shipping authority, and a
United Nations' inland transport authority for Europe have been
suggested. Analogous bodies may well be required to control
telecommunications and propaganda, and to handle reparation and
restitution and other economic problems. These authorities might,
in respect of their European activities, establish their
headquarters in the same city as the United Nations Commission for
Europe, to whom they would be responsible and provide the
necessary technical advice.

1 See cablegram D364 of 19 June on file AA:A989, 43-44/735/1009.

It advised that the U.K. War Cabinet had decided that discussion
should commence on the problems associated with the cessation of
hostilities and asked the Commonwealth Govt to give its views on
the principles set out in cablegram D365.

2 No paragraph (i) appeared in the original.

3 This was an Anglo-American conference on war refugee problems
held in Bermuda from 19 to 29 April.

[AA:A989, 43-44/735/1009]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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