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105 Commonwealth Government to Cranborne

Cablegram 79 [1] CANBERRA, 30 March 1944


Your D.434 [2], 435 [3] and 436. [4] Finland.

We have no comment to offer on the basic terms of armistice
summarised in D.436 and additional points suggested in D.435, but
draw attention to desire expressed in our 48 of 22nd February [5]
that terms should expressly cover Australia and other Dominions.

2. Regarding paragraph (f) [6] of D.435 we would draw attention to
the principle expressed in Clause 10 of the Australia - New
Zealand Agreement [7] referring to our participation in any
armistice commission to be set up.

3. The implication of the first paragraph of D.434 [8] is that it
is intended to negotiate a peace treaty with Finland shortly after
the conclusion of the armistice. This suggestion causes us
considerable concern for it has been a cardinal principle in our
approach to the problems of the peace settlements that no final
settlements should be made in respect of any of the enemies until
after hostilities with all of them have been concluded. (See
Clause 8 of the Australia -New Zealand Agreement). This view is
based on the opinion that the piecemeal negotiations of peace will
prejudice the chances of a sound world settlement and that a final
settlement with one enemy or in any one part of the globe cannot
be divorced from the final settlement with other enemies and in
other quarters of the globe. A global war should be followed by a
global peace. Moreover, we consider that there would be advantages
in a period of delay between the armistices and the peace
settlements both to ensure that the peace treaties are fitted into
the post-war world situation and also to avoid distraction from
the heavy tasks of war-time and rehabilitation by negotiations of
peace treaties.

1 Repeated to the N.Z. Prime Minister as no. 67.

2 Dispatched 27 March. In AA:A3195, 1944, Folder, Inwards Most
Secret Master Sheets, from Secdomin nos 33 to 29765, 1.11636.

3 Dispatched 28 March. On file AA:A989, 44/970/58.

4 Document 100.

5 On file AA:A5954, box 437.

6 Paragraph [2](f) read: 'The Armistice Commission. We expect that
a Control Commission will be set up to supervise the execution of
the armistice terms with provision for our participation'.

7 Document 26.

8 Paragraph 1 read; 'So far as we can make out the Soviet
Government have in mind to conclude in first place an armistice
with Finland for suspension of hostilities and later to proceed to
a peace treaty. We are considering what points might in due course
be suggested to the Soviet Government for inclusion in the peace

[AA:A989, 44/970/58]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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