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Historical documents

280 Commonwealth Government to Cranborne

Cablegram 236 [1] CANBERRA, 14 September 1944


Your 1349, 1350, 1351. [2] Preliminaries of Peace with Finland.

Our understanding of the nature of the proposed agreement is that
the state of war will not be terminated. We are, therefore, in
agreement that it should be in governmental and not Heads of State
form, and that all countries at war with Finland should be parties
to it. Subject to agreement between yourselves and the Soviet
Government on the text and, assuming that other British Dominions
also concur, we will accordingly instruct Australian Minister in
Moscow to hold himself in readiness to sign.

2. It would seem unnecessary to carry over into agreement for
preliminaries of peace the formal provision for instrument of
ratification embodied in the draft treaty of peace. We would hope,
therefore, that you can secure adoption of suggestion for coming
into force of agreement conveyed in paragraph 2 of your 1350. [3]

3. We are in general agreement with comments in your D.1350 on
other articles of agreement and concur in particular with your
views on the question of fixing amount of compensation at this

4. As regards armistice instrument, we would remind you of our
observations [4] respecting form and preamble made in the case of
Rumania and Bulgaria. We would desire that the fact that the
armistice is being signed on our behalf be explicitly stated in
the preamble or at least that it should be stated as soon as
possible after the signing that the instrument has the approval of
all British Dominions.

1 Repeated to the N.Z. Prime Minister as no. 204.

2 Dispatched 13 September. On file AA:A989, 44/970/58. Cablegram
1351 expressed the U.K. Govt's understanding that the agreement
for 'preliminaries of peace' laid down general lines of settlement
which victorious powers would ultimately make with the defeated
power, but that it did not put an end to hostilities. The U.K.

Govt therefore believed the agreement should not be between heads
of state but between govts, so as to make clear the distinction
between it and the final peace treaty.

3 Paragraph 2 read in part: 'We should prefer provision for
agreement to come into force on day of signature. It would then be
possible to dispense with provision for instrument of
4 See cablegram 210 of 29 August and 223 of 5 September, on files
AA:A989, E43/970/27/4 and AA:A989, 44/970/27/5 respectively. In
both cases the Commonwealth Government expressed the hope that the
preamble would state that the armistice was granted by all United
Nations at war with Bulgaria and Romania.

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