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Historical documents

286 Bruce to Curtin

Cablegram 173[A] LONDON, 27 September 1943

PERSONAL SECRET

Dominions Office telegrams 664 and 665. [1]

The fact that a decision should have been taken by the United
Kingdom Government approving the text of a draft Declaration in
favour of Austrian independence and that this Declaration should
have been communicated to the United States of America and
U.S.S.R. without any further consultation or communication with
the Dominions appears to me, having regard to your telegram to the
Dominions Office 201 of 4th August [2] and Smuts' telegram
(repeated to you 89 [3]), to constitute strong evidence of the
contention contained in the latter part of paragraph 6 of your
telegram to the Dominions Office 244. [4]

While it may well be that we would after further consultation have
indicated our agreement, I have protested strongly against the way
this matter has been handled, even describing it as 'insulting' to
the Dominions. You may feel it desirable to register your protest
to the United Kingdom Government although, no doubt, it would be
couched in more restrained and diplomatic language than I have
employed.

BRUCE

1 These cablegrams of 16 September (on file AA:A989, 44/85/2/1)
advised that the U.K. Govt had conveyed to the U.S. and Soviet
Govts the text of a draft joint declaration proclaiming the 1938
union of Germany and Austria null and void and favouring the re-
establishment of a free and independent Austria.

2 Document 253.

3 Dispatched 24 August. On the file cited in note 1. Smuts's view
was that it was 'at least doubtful whether it [i.e. Austrian
resistance to Germany] justifies a present promise to Austria of
State independence in future and preferential treatment compared
with Germany'.

4 Document 280.


[AA:A989, 44/85/2/1]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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