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253 Commonwealth Government to Attlee

Cablegram 201 [1] CANBERRA, 4 August 1943


Your telegram D.439, Austria. [2]

Commonwealth Government much appreciates advice of proposals for a
clarification of policy regarding Austria.

We are glad to learn that increased opportunity now exists for the
active encouragement of resistance inside Austria provided the
Austrians can feel assured of their future after the war, and we
note your conclusion that the first step towards providing this
assurance should be the recreation of an independent Austrian

2. On its face your telegram would invite the observation that
this decision of major importance has been taken, not because of
its value to the future settlement of Europe, but because of its
incidental value from the point of view of immediate political
warfare against Germany. We understand, however, that discussions
have been proceeding on the future treatment of Germany and we
would naturally assume that the proposals regarding Austria derive
from the preliminary conclusions reached in that respect.

3. In a matter such as this, which is intimately bound up with the
major questions of the European peace settlement, we trust that
you will share our sense of the importance attaching to
consultation with other members of the Commonwealth before
approach is made to the United States and the U.S.S.R. The
indivisibility of a stable peace settlement compels us to regard
such matters as the future of Germany as of the deepest concern.

From the point of view of general stability there appears to us to
be strong arguments against, as well as for, re-detaching Austria
from Germany, and although we assume that your present conclusion
has been reached after full consideration of all the
possibilities, we would appreciate ampler details.

4. We trust that you will be able at an early date to inform us of
the progress made in the current conversations and allow us an
opportunity of expressing our views before final decisions are
taken and approach made to the major allies.

1 Repeated to the Canadian, South African and N.Z. Govts as nos
16, 96 and 126.

2 Document 247.

[AA:A989, 43/85/7/1]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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