Evatt to Chifley and Makin

Cablegram EC49 LONDON, 10 October 1945, 1.35 p.m.


1. Since the final meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers I have continued my discussions with Attlee, Bevin and Addison. I have also consulted with other Dominion representatives. We have now established a recognition of the principle that active belligerents like Australia will be given the opportunity of full participation in the Peace settlement at a properly convened Conference. It is certain that at first this was not the original intention of the Council. Therefore we have gained a notable victory and the main purpose of the Mission has been achieved. We have done this in full co-operation with Canada, South Africa and New Zealand and with support from the United Kingdom and subsequently from United States of America.

2. However, it is reasonably clear that the larger Conference will not meet for some considerable time.

3. The more important business of the Executive Committee of the Preparatory Commission is approaching conclusion. Very little public attention has been paid to this Commission by the press but Australia has played an important part and as Chairman of the Trusteeship Committee I have also been extremely busy here.

4. Whilst Byrnes was here I made a preliminary block regarding the Japanese and Pacific settlement. We propose to pursue these talks in Washington.

5. I have just received a wire from Dunk in which he states his desire to discuss American Legation and consular matters on the spot before he leaves Washington at the end of the month.

6. The full Preparatory Commission meet in November but as the Executive has done so much of the ground work I do not think my remaining here is justified. The first Assembly is proposed to be called for December in London to deal primarily with organizational matters such as election of Councils and Committees. It is hoped to conclude it before Christmas and then adjourn for the main session to be held probably in March or April. However, it is by no means certain that the assembly will meet until January as that will depend on the decisions and duration of the Preparatory Commission.

7. In the circumstances, after winding up my work on the Executive Committee of the Preparatory Commission I propose to leave so as to arrive in the United States about 26th of this month. I shall continue to discharge the duties of High Commissioner until I hand over to Duncan on my departure. [1]

8. Regarding the High Commissioner’s duties, Duncan will still be Deputy and if it is desired to have a Minister acting after my departure Fraser will be available for that purpose after the I.L.O. Conference. In addition, Fraser could remain in London for the full Preparatory Commission meeting and even the General Assembly if it is held before Christmas. Fraser is willing to stay over for these purposes if so desired.


1 Bruce retired as High Commissioner on 7 October. Evatt acted as Minister Resident from then until his departure from Britain for the U.S. See Document 223.


[AA : A1066, H45/777/2]