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Historical documents

72 Evatt to Fraser

Cablegram 12[1] , CANBERRA, 26 January 1949, 3.40 p.m.


You will have learned by now that at long last United Kingdom will recognise Israel and will synchronise recognition with that of Australia and New Zealand. You will also have received message from Attlee[2] indicating some perfunctory statement Bevin proposes to make in House of Commons today. Prime Minister and I have wired back;

(1) Agreeing plan of co-ordinating action but suggesting recognition should not be technical and narrow but broad in character.

(2) Any reference to Western Union[3] should be made completely separate from reference to action of other British Commonwealth countries.

(3) It should be made quite clear that the United Kingdom has already consulted Australia and New Zealand on statement that they had proposed[4] but position being, as you know, quite the reverse of this.

I do not know whether it is time for you to make similar suggestions if you approve of these but the begrudging nature of the statement is quite out of harmony with our general attitude towards question and I know with your own also.

At the same time recognition itself represents a complete vindication of the attitude New Zealand and Australia have taken from the very beginning of United Nations consideration of this question. That gives me great satisfaction.[5]

[matter omitted]

[1] Transmitted through the New Zealand High Commission, Canberra.

[2] Dated 26 January 1949.

[3] On Western Union see Document 312.

[4] The draft UK statement read 'propose to consult other Commonwealth Governments'.

[5] Fraser replied agreeing that action should be co-ordinated (cablegram 14, dispatched 26 January 1949). Australia and New Zealand each announced recognition on 29 January 1949.

[AA : A4534, 43/5/3, I]
Last Updated: 11 September 2013
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