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Historical documents

117 Evatt to Beasley

Cablegram P202 CANBERRA, 16 September 1946


Italian Colonies P.C.40 [1], 43 [2] and 44. [3]

1. South African amendment is open to following objections:-

(a) Although countries which assisted in liberation of colonies
are to be consulted their views may be completely ignored or
overridden by four nations; this is a disturbing position to
Australia which contributed far more to victory over Italy than
did either France or Russia. (b) As 'any other interested
Governments' can also be consulted by Council of Foreign
Ministers, there is no satisfactory recognition of special claims
of countries which assisted in liberation of colonies. (c)
Australia has fought throughout for recognition of democratic
principle that nations which have done the fighting and
contributed to victory have a clear right to make the peace
settlement. If we agree to ultimate reference to United Nations
Assembly as regards Italian colonies, this may create disastrous
precedence to Pacific settlement. For that reason our amendment
would refer matter back to conference of twentyone, if preliminary
conference failed to agree.

2. I realise your difficulties and have given full weight to what
you say. There is no dishonour in losing, but there may well be in
yielding to pressure. Frankly I am disgusted at lack of support by
Foreign Office and some Dominions; their attitude has been one of
appeasement of Russia and forgetfulness of Australia's massive war
effort. You should make supreme effort to get New Zealand support.

3. I would again mention question of treaty revision which would
give some chance of review of unjust claims.

4. You should elaborate on Australia's war effort against Italy-
also other Dominions-and if you prefer to do so, allow Hodgson to
conduct matter although I would prefer that you did it.

5. It is also vital to point out that Australia will not submit to
similar action in relation to Pacific settlement as our life as a
nation may be affected.

1 Document 112.

2 This cablegram from Beasley reported the South African amendment
described in Document 112, note 2.

3 In this cablegram, Beasley had asked for instructions,
indicating the delegation's inclination to support the South
African amendment.

[AA:A1066, E45/19/5]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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