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Historical documents

262 Evatt to Mackenzie King

Cablegram 146 [1] CANBERRA, 25 August 1943


Your telegram No. 8 to Australia. [2] War Crimes Commission.

Australia agrees with your insistence that Soviet Government must
be made to understand constitutional and international position of
Dominions. I therefore suggest that in any representations in
Moscow, Canadian Minister should act in co-operation with
Australian Charge d'Affaires. It is intolerable if status of
Dominions is to be questioned in this way. [3]

At the same time I think Canada should be very careful when
combined bodies are being set up with United States and United
Kingdom to recognise that Australia's status is equivalent to that
of Canada and I am sure you will understand that we feel as
strongly on the matter as you do.

I have heard reference to a proposed combined body to deal with
mutual aid. Why Australia should be omitted from such a body I
quite fail to understand. [4] I am quite sure you will not fail to
co-operate with Australian High Commissioner in Ottawa and regard
yourself as representing Australia when for obvious reasons we can
have no Australian responsible Minister on the spot. Best wishes.


1 Sent through the High Commission in Ottawa.

2 See Document 263, note 4.

3 Evatt dispatched a message to Eden the same day stating his
support for the Canadian proposal and insisting that it was 'of
cardinal importance that status of Dominions should not be open to
question'. He also advised that Officer had been instructed to
make joint representations with the Canadian Minister in Moscow.

See cablegram 140 (FA:A3196, 1943, 0.23284).

4 Glasgow advised on 26 August that the Joint War Aid Committee
was a purely Canadian-United States body established to co-
ordinate the operations of the two main suppliers of Lend-Lease
aid. See cablegram 151 on file AA:A989, 43/735/580.

5 Glasgow advised Evatt on 30 August that he had spoken to
Mackenzie King, who had welcomed Evatt's suggestion of joint
representation and agreed that both Dominions should have
equivalent status. See cablegram 156 on the file cited in note 4.

[AA:A989, 43/735/580]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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