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29 Evatt to Beasley

Cablegram 90 WASHINGTON, 19 July 1946


Following our telephone conversation it is most important that
everything should be done to see Australia's international
position is recognised in a fitting manner at the Paris
Conference. There will certainly be a Management Committee or
Executive or Steering Committee. On that Australia should be
represented. Addison and Bevin may also stress Canada's claims but
in no circumstances must we accord precedence to Canada which held
back in the struggle to have a Peace Conference and only came in
after I led the way with the support of Smuts and Peter Fraser. My
own feeling is that both Australia and Canada could be included on
such a Committee. In addition to seeing Addison, Bevin and Attlee,
you should see all the representatives in London of the countries
which will be represented at the Conference and try and pin them
down to active support of our claims. Hodgson also should be
approached and asked to secure Bidault's full support. I mentioned
the question to the Secretary of State, Byrnes, in Washington
yesterday and I think we will have general support from the United
States for our inclusion in all leading activities. I am worrying
you now only because past experience shows that a great deal of
manipulation goes on at level of people like Jebb [1] of the
British Delegation and Dunn [2] from United States but I have no
doubt you will be able to unravel the tangle and guarantee that
our interests are protected. Incidentally I think it wrong that
the Chairmanship of the Conference itself should be rotated
amongst the so called Great Powers. In point of fact, as the
Conference will be revising what the Powers have already done for
subsequent consideration by them, justice suggests that the Big
Powers should take a back seat at the Paris Conference allowing
the other belligerents to express our views with the utmost
freedom upon their draft. Otherwise the Big Four will be advocates
for their own draft and I greatly fear they may have made an
arrangement to stick to their drafts unless all of them agree to
variations. if so, that means in effect a veto by each of the
Powers on any alteration which would, in my opinion, be almost
intolerable. I know this is a difficult matter but you and I
always believe in direct approaches in this matter. Outside the
major Powers themselves, Australia stands pre-eminent in the
Security Council and in the United Nations. Our war effort was
even greater than that of Canada. It might be of value for
Dunbabin [3] to prepare a short account for us, both of
Australia's great contribution to the European war effort against
Italy, Germany, etc., especially noting our almost unknown
contribution in the shape of the enormous number of Australian
Personnel participating in the R.A.F. also our efforts in North
Africa were of an epic character. Australia's prestige is of vital
importance to maintain. In New York Cadogan has been most grateful
for the leadership we have recently assumed in the Security
Council and the Atomic Commission. At Paris we must try to
maintain our status to the utmost extent of our power. Good luck
to you. I am anxious to see you. We are on the United States Line
steamer 'Argentina' leaving New York to-day and expected arrive at
Southampton about the 26th. Please have transport to London and
accommodation arranged, also inter-view for me with Attlee or
Bevin also so far as you think necessary with the representatives
of the other Dominions or belligerents to be represented at the

1 Gladwyn Jebb, Assistant Under-Secretary and United Nations
Adviser at the Foreign Office.

2 James Clement Dunn, member of the U.S. delegation to the Paris
Peace Conference, and, from July 25, Ambassador-Elect to Italy.

3 Thomas Dunbabin, Director, Australian News Bureau, London.

[AA:A2910 T1, 412/25/25]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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