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Historical documents

285 Eden to Evatt

Cablegram 225 [1] LONDON, 27 September 1943


Your telegram No. 224. [2] Thank you for your message. Question
raised in paragraph 6 of your Government's telegram No. 244 of
16th September [3] is to come before Cabinet shortly, and
Dominions Secretary will telegraph to you our conclusions. We here
are of course entirely in sympathy with the objective of securing
a united Empire policy in these questions, but, as you know, the
Imperial Conference of 1926 ruled out the conception of the
British Empire formally acting as a single international unit, and
I imagine that the other Dominions would still maintain this view.

But of course our system would in any case provide the fullest
possible preliminary consultation between ourselves and the
Dominions on all matters coming up for discussion between the Four
Powers, so that even if in name it is the United Kingdom which is
one of the Four Powers, in practice the United Kingdom would put
forward a British Commonwealth policy. In this connection I can
hardly credit your suggestion that in these days consultation with
the Dominions is not as satisfactory as it was during the last
war. There is in these days a continuous exchange of information
and of views between the Dominions Office and Dominions
Governments which far exceeds anything which took place in the

Of course in times like these, events sometimes necessitate
immediate decisions, but, in the main, the principle of prior
consultation with Dominions Governments on all major issues of
policy which are of common concern is accepted by all members of
the Cabinet and is practised to the fullest possible extent.

1 Sent through the External Affairs Officer in London.

2 Document 281.

3 Document 280.

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