Hasluck to Evatt

Letter LONDON, 16 August 1945


I have the honour to report that, as your deputy, I attended the opening meeting of the Executive Committee of the Preparatory Commission of the United Nations, at Church House, Westminster, this morning.

A great number of those present had attended the San Francisco Conference and I was able to renew many of the associations we formed there. In many instances delegates asked after you. M.

Gromyko, in particular, asked me to convey his greetings to you and said that, although a number of his most difficult contests had been with the Australian delegation, he had formed a very deep admiration of you. The Netherlands, Brazilian and Chilean delegates were specially cordial and I feel confident that we can maintain the common interests we discovered at San Francisco. I also had a very friendly talk with the delegate of Iran and formed the impression that, so far as that country becomes freer to act independently, we will find that it shares our viewpoint. I had, of course, been in close touch with the Canadians-Pearson [1] and Reid [2] -for some days before the conference assembled.

I have reported on the business of the meeting by telegram and have also forwarded the papers relating to its business to the Department of External Affairs.

There is one other matter to which I feel constrained to refer.

When I made a formal call on Mr. Bruce shortly after my arrival in London, he read to me a telegram which he had addressed to the Prime Minister on August 8th expressing some doubt regarding the adequacy of the Australian delegation to the Executive Committee.

[3] Although it must be admitted that my absence of diplomatic rank may be a disadvantage in such a gathering, I do not by any means share all of Mr. Bruce’s misgivings and I trust that I may still deserve your confidence in my ability to do all the duties required of me on the committee. Although several of the delegations are headed by the Ambassador of the country concerned, it does not appear to be the intention that these leaders should in fact carry out the day-by-day work of the committee and the position of these delegations is not greatly different from that of the Australian delegation, which is in fact headed by the Minister for External Affairs with a senior official as a deputy to attend the business sessions. In view, however, of the intention to press on with the work of the committee as rapidly as possible, I do think that some further expert assistance on the delegation is necessary, and in this belief I despatched my telegram, Precom 1, of August 10th. [4]



1 Canadian Ambassador to the United States.

2 Escott Reid of the Canadian Dept of External Affairs.

3 Document 167.

4 On file AA : A1066, H45/777/2. Hasluck had urged the appointment of at least one additional officer in order that Australia might be represented on all the principle sub-committees. He was at first assisted only by Renouf; they were joined three weeks later by Tange and later still by Terry Glasheen. After arriving in London to attend the Council of Foreign Ministers, Evatt participated in the Committee’s work, notably as Chairman of its sub-committee on trusteeship.


[AA : A1066, H45/777/2]