Skip to main content

Historical documents

320 Commonwealth Government to Fraser

Cablegram 226 CANBERRA, 17 October 1944


Your early views would be appreciated on the following draft
telegram to Dominions Office.

Your telegram D.1463 of the 28th September. [1] Surrender
instrument for Germany.

1. There appears now to be little chance that the United States
and Soviet Governments will agree to any real participation by
other governments in this very important matter. The situation is
well illustrated in paragraph 3(iii) of your telegram in which the
establishment of even an Advisory Council is described by the
Soviet Representative as a 'trespass on the primary
responsibility' of the three major governments 'for the work of

2. Australian Government has noted your suggestion that provision
might be made for the attachment of Liaison Missions to the
Control Council. This arrangement might have some value for the
European allies in particular matters touching their direct
interests, but it would hardly meet the requirements of Australia
and other Dominions, whose interest in the post-Armistice control
of Germany is general and based on grounds of high policy. Our
real case is that the spontaneous and substantial effort which we
have made in the war against Germany surely carries with it a
valid claim to some form of recognition in the disposition of
Germany after defeat. Public opinion here would find it quite
impossible to understand why such recognition should not be

3. Failing any prospect therefore of an Advisory Council or
separate participation in the High Commission, we would urge that
this is a case where exceptional circumstances of first rate
importance would at least justify resort to the concept of the
British Commonwealth of Nations as an international entity. You
will recollect that a proposal in this sense was put forward by
the Australian Government in connexion with the framing of the
Moscow Declaration of October 1943. [2] A variation of this
proposal is contained in paragraph 4 of Dominions Office
memorandum of May 1944 [3], on 'Association of the United Nations
other than the Three Powers with the High Commission for Germany'
and other variations are also possible.

4. What is essential, however, is full recognition of Dominions
interest in this matter either by one method or another.


1 On file AA:A989, 44/735/1013/2/2.

2 i.e. the Four Power Declaration. See Documents on Australian
Foreign Policy 1937-49, vol. VI, Document 280.

3 The memorandum, dated 7 June and entitled 'Draft Instrument of
Surrender for Germany. Explanatory Memorandum of Draft Text of 25
May', was transmitted with Dominions Office Circular Dispatch D75
of 9 June. On the file cited in note 1.

[AA:A989, 44/735/1013/2/2]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
Back to top