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239 Bruce to Curtin

Cablegram S127 LONDON, 7 July 1943


Greek Ambassador [1] called to see me recently to ask whether
Commonwealth Government's attitude towards exchange of diplomatic
representatives had changed since his predecessor [2] had raised
the matter (Menzies' telegram to me No. 4241 of 6th August 1941
and my No. 636 of 9th August [3]). He added that the Greek
Minister in Angora [4] had learnt that Turkey was proposing to
approach Australia with a view to the establishment of diplomatic
relations (-I had already heard Turks had this in mind but were
delaying action pending passing of Budget-), and his Prime
Minister [5] had instructed him to see me urgently to try and
ascertain what the position was, 'as the Greek Government would
not like the Turks to get in first, having regard to the close
relations between Greece and Australia as a result of the
campaigns in Greece and Crete'.

On the following day I received a letter from the Turkish Charge
d'Affaires [6] (the Ambassador [7] being at present in Turkey). It
stated that 'the Turkish Government proposed to establish direct
relations with Australia and to open a Legation in Canberra'. They
hoped the Commonwealth Government would be agreeable to this

I learned that similar approaches were made simultaneously to my
Canadian and South African colleagues.

I consulted Evatt, who told me that Commonwealth Government's view
with regard to exchange of Legations remained unchanged i.e. that
for the duration of the war at least we desired to limit these
exchanges to Powers with a direct interest in the Pacific. Evatt
suggested that I should see the Turkish Charge d'Affaires and
endeavour to dissuade the Turks from following the matter up.

Accordingly I asked M. Halulu to call on 2nd July and in a long
and frank talk explained to him the whole position as regards our
past and present policy of diplomatic representation. [8]

He communicated with his Government and came to see me again
yesterday. On this occasion he gave me a very cordial personal
message from the Turkish Foreign Minister [9], who is an old
friend, saying that he accepted the position entirely and agreed
to do nothing further in the matter at the present time. It was
agreed that we should regard the Charge d'Affaires' letter as 'not
having been sent'.

I asked the Charge d'Affaires to convey to Numan that Australia
greatly appreciated the Turkish approach. While I was not in a
position to say definitely what our attitude would be after the
war, I could say this, that we would give every consideration to
any proposal for an exchange of representatives which the Turkish
Government might put forward.

I understand that the South African Government are likely to
return a similar reply, possibly with a suggestion for a consular

As regards the Greek approach, this was merely on the basis that
they did not want the Turks to get in ahead of them. They will not
make any formal approach, at any rate at the present time.


1 Thanassis Aghnides. Bruce's record of this conversation (dated
25 June) is on file AA:M100, June 1943.

2 Charalambos Simopoulos. See Documents on Australian Foreign
Policy 1937-49, vol. V, Document 25.

3 These cablegrams are summarised in note 5 to the Document cited
in note 2.

4 Raphael Raphael.

5 Emmanuel Tsouderos.

6 Siret Halulu.

7 Rauf Orbay.

8 Bruce's record of this conversation is on file AA:M100, July

9 Numan Menemencioglu.

[AA:M100, JULY 1943]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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