Hood to Dunk

Cablegram EC18 LONDON, 22 September 1945, 8.34 p.m.


The Minister asks that you should have the following summary of the present position here regarding the Council of Foreign Ministers.

The Council’s invitation to the Dominions to present views on the Italo Yugoslav Frontier question was part of the recognition of the important principle which the Australian Government has contended and to that extent two weeks’ efforts here have been vindicated.

Further the actual solution proposed by Australia on this question may turn out to be the only acceptable one vide the Dominions Office telegrams on Council Meeting of September 18th. [1] The Minister has put into the Council Secretariat suggested draft heads for inclusion in the Italian Treaty incorporating proposals for Internationalisation of Trieste and these are being circulated as a Council Document. [2]

In other respects the proceedings of the meeting on September 18th were not satisfactory. The Council heard Australian, South African and New Zealand views in the same way as those of Yugoslavia and Italy, and the Dominions were not invited to join in any discussion of them whatever nor were they invited to the meeting of September 19th on the same subject. This means there is no adequate provision for full consultation with the Council or for the effective association of the Dominions with the Council’s work.

In view of the strength of the case based on the war contribution of the Dominions this position in the Minister’s view is quite unacceptable. The other Dominion Representatives here agree and further steps which might be taken are being considered.

Meanwhile the Council has produced no agreed conclusion at all on any matters of importance. The Council may sit into next week but looks as if most of the real work will have to be done at the meetings of the Deputies which will intervene before the next session of the Council. In the interval efforts will be necessary to extend the basis of the Council Membership so as to turn it into an effective consultative and deliberative body. The case presented on behalf of Australia at the Council Meeting of September 18th has been commended from many quarters.

The Minister has also been attending regularly the United Nations Preparatory Commission Meetings particularly in the capacity of Chairman of Trusteeship Committee.


1 See Document 255.

2 Document 259.


[AA : A1066, H45/1016/5/2]