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Historical documents

36 Evatt to Hodgson

Radiogram unnumbered S.S. Argentina, 26 July 1946

1. Thanks your telegram No.12. [1] Whitlam will be available and
if necessary I could requisition additional assistance on arrival.

However main questions will involve far more important decisions
than legal issues.

2. Points upon which you should concentrate are:

(a) Status of Australia at Conference in respect of possible
chairmanships and position on executive secretariat of
representatives of eight delegations. Australia should certainly
be included in chairmanships because of her outstanding war
efforts and initiative in fighting for holding of conference. But
for Australia conference would probably never have been held;

(b) Relationship of major Powers to conference including rotation
of conference chairmanship. This seems quite unacceptable but we
must consider alternative proposals and possibilities. I have
spoken to Beasley about these matters and asked him to contact
you. Please keep in closest touch with him.

3. No doubt you will make our position as to status very clear to
Bidault who should be sympathetic having regard to Australian aid
in New Caledonia. Facts are Russia and France have manoeuvred
themselves into leading position regarding Italy without any real
contribution to victory over Italy. This is most unjust to
Australia and New Zealand who took leading part in ejecting Italy
from Africa. We must see Australia is not outmanoeuvred. In so
doing you should use care and discretion but stick strongly to our
publicly proclaimed position.

4. Following work should be undertaken immediately:

(a) Critical analyses of each treaty from point of principles of
Atlantic and United Nations Charters;

(b) In particular, analyses of plan for dealing with Italian

(c) Plan for Reparations considered as a whole and in detail.

5. Please have fullest information ready for me and definite clear
proposals in order to safeguard Australian position and take
worthy part at conference in accordance with our general attitude
at United Nations of full investigation of facts as preliminary to
just and fearless decisions on facts as proved.

1 Dispatched on 20 July, it had suggested that additional legal
experts be appointed to the Australian delegation to the Paris
Peace Conference.

[AA:A4387, A/46/1A]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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