Commonwealth Government to Bruce

Cablegram 4 (extracts) CANBERRA, 8 January 1945



1. We are somewhat concerned at manner in which question of reparations in Europe is being approached. We have examined United Kingdom and United States Departmental studies on subject, American submission to Moscow Conference, and proposal last September for discussion in European Advisory Council (see D.1405

_that separate arrangements are being made under successive European Armistices regarding the amount of reparations, allocation and method of delivery . . . Proposals made regarding Hungarian draft armistice (see D.1815 [2]) suggest that United States Government is now accepting piece-meal approach to reparations and is willing to establish separate machinery for supervision of reparations in each enemy country and to lay down principles of reparation payment in each separate Armistice.

[matter omitted]

3. It is important- (A) To prevent reparations from becoming cause of disputes;

(B) To ensure that reparations are used as an instrument for the rehabilitation of Europe and (C) To ensure that they are not an obstacle to post-war trade and prosperity.

4. The seemingly haphazard way in which the subject is now being handled would appear to leave such hopes small prospect of realisation. You are asked to convey informally to United Kingdom Authorities our concern at position and to forward any information that may be available regarding prospects of establishing comprehensive supervision over European reparations.

[AA:A1066, H45/1015, i]

1 Dispatched 18 September 1944. On file AA:A989, E44/360/3/1.

2 Dispatched 16 December 1944. In AA:A3195, 1944, Folder, Inwards Top Secret Master Sheets, from Secdomin, D Series, September- December, 1.44731/32.


[1]). In spite of these comprehensive proposals it now appears