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Historical documents

35 Chifley to Attlee

Cablegram 283 CANBERRA, 25 July 1946


1. I refer to the discussion at the tenth Meeting of Prime
Ministers on 2nd May, relative to the disposal of the Polish Armed
forces under British Command. [1] As promised at the meeting, I
have had this matter examined, though you will recall I said
during the discussion that I was not very hopeful there was
anything the Australian Government could do to help.

2. Even if arrangements could be made for the reception and
accommodation of a substantial number of Poles, which would
present great difficulties at present, the problem of transport
would have to be overcome.

3. During the next twelve months or longer, all the shipping
likely to be available for transport of passengers from the United
Kingdom to Australia will be required for the repatriation of
Australians who have been held up in the United Kingdom during the
war, for the wives and fiancees of Australian servicemen, wives
and dependants of British servicemen discharged in Australia and
for British migrants who it is desired to introduce as soon as

4. I regret, therefore, that it is not possible at present for
Australia to render any significant help to the United Kingdom
Government in the solution of this problem.

1 At this meeting, U.K. Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for
Foreign Affairs, Hector McNeil, had asked Dominion governments for
assistance in resettling Polish servicemen and civilians reluctant
to return to Poland.

[AA:A1067, E46/25/3]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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