Evatt to Chifley

Cablegram EC26 LONDON, 26 September 1945, 5.50 p.m.


The proceedings of the Council of Foreign Ministers have been well summarised in the cables. [1] On the whole the progress made has been small. In effect the Big Three at Potsdam passed the buck to the Council of Foreign Ministers and for the most part the Council is proceeding to pass the buck to their own deputies.

As I have already indicated the procedure of consultation with the Dominions and other smaller countries is not satisfactory and a broader basis of participation will have to be arranged. I discovered that it was seriously intended not to have any form of a Peace Conference at all but merely to have the drafts of the Council’s treaties submitted to other nations for formal signature. I think we shall succeed in modifying this plan so that active belligerents like Australia will play a greater part in the near future.

After consultation with the Dominions Office and the Foreign Office, Dominion representatives here have approved of a statement which I am issuing here for publication in London on Thursday. A copy of this is being sent to Makin by separate telegram. The object of the statement is to make it clear that further improvement is needed in the peace making procedure so that we shall have a more effective voice, particularly in the Pacific settlement. While our main purpose is effective participation in the Japanese settlement, it was necessary to establish that we are also interested in the European settlement. Having established a right to be consulted in connection with certain aspects of the treaty with Italy we have been placed in a far stronger position when the Japanese settlement is being made. Molotov yesterday introduced the question of the Control Commission for Japan. His main object was to show that the Americans were doing in Tokio exactly what the Americans object to the Russians doing in the three Balkan satellite States, i.e. monopolising the armistice arrangement. Our present objective is to keep the Japanese settlement off the agenda of the Council until our participation in the Japanese settlement is accepted both by the United States and the United Kingdom. I should add that relationships with the United Kingdom Ministers, especially Attlee and Bevin, are very satisfactory indeed, although officialdom is still inclined to attempt reduction of the Dominions to colonial status.


1 The proceedings of the Council were summarised in more than thirty cables from the Dominions Office between 11 and 26 September. See file AA : A1066, E45/1/20.


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