Evatt to Makin

Cablegram 469 OTTAWA, 15 December 1945, 3.07 p.m.


I have just had a long telephone conversation with Eggleston [1] regarding Moscow meeting and make the following points.

1. In relation to the Far East and Pacific affairs we must maintain consistent policy that there should be no decisions or even international discussion on such matters unless Australia fully participates in such discussions and decisions on the footing of a principal Pacific power. We are entitled to that status and after our constant and persistent struggle that status is admitted by (a) Australian leadership of the British Commonwealth Force of occupation.

(b) United Kingdom’s proposal that Australia shares trusteeship of the Government of Korea.

(c) Suggestion by the United Kingdom that on the Control Council for Japan the United Kingdom and Australia should act jointly through one representative.

2. All the above indicates that our continued efforts have already met with very substantial success. At the same time the position cannot be driven home too often that Australia is a principal Pacific power and that we can accept no procedure which will deny such status.

3. Therefore, in answer to the United Kingdom telegram [2] regarding Moscow I would strongly maintain the above position requesting that all arrangements come to at Moscow in relation to Far East and the Pacific must be considered as provisional until Australia, exercising her right position in relation to the Far East and Pacific, accepts such proposals.

4. With regard to the general points being discussed at Moscow I would suggest restatement of our position in accordance with preceding paragraph and short additional note as follows:

(a) Trusteeship for Korea: If joint trusteeship established Australia should act as one of the Joint Trustees and cannot admit any position in the Far East and Pacific which would exclude her from position of similar character.

(b) Far Eastern Commission: Australia is irrevocably opposed to the application of the veto procedure which is quite alien to a body which has to carry out and implement an armistice already agreed upon. My experience at Washington, veto system could easily paralyse the valuable work already performed by Far Eastern Commission. My previous cable [3] deals fully with the veto procedure which might put Australia on a status subordinate to that of a principal Pacific power.

(c) Control Council: Australia requests Council of five [with] Australia as originally proposed by the United Kingdom. East Indies last resort. However, I would accept the United Kingdom suggestion of the combined United Kingdom Australian membership on such Council. Former position would be much more satisfactory because contribution of both the United Kingdom and Australia in the campaign against Japan far exceeds that of Russia, and the United Kingdom should be [4] to press hard for its original proposal.

Copy sent to Eggleston.


1 See Document 454.

2 Presumably a reference to Documents 450 and 451, and to cablegram D2222 (see Document 454, note 2).

3 Document 435.

4 A sign here indicates ‘word mutilated’.


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