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Thursday, 1 August 1946

Sir Earle Page asked the Prime Minister, upon notice -

In view of the opening of the Peace Conference, nill he inform the House of the Government's views of the following points, before any press statement is made from the conference : -

1.   Will the peace terms with Germany and Japan be discussed at this conference, and has agreement been arrived at between the United Kingdom and all the dominions on the main terms of peace desired.

2.   Is the Australian Minister for External Affairs acting as the representative of an integral part of the British Empire at this conference, or as a mouthpiece for the smaller nations? If the latter, are Holland and the republic of Indonesia included amongst the smaller nations for which he speaks?

3.   Will the question of the future position of Egypt, Palestine and India come up for discussion nt Hie Peace Conference nr is th;s an Empire matter? If so, has there been Empire discussion on the problems of these three countries and is there general Empire agreement on the policy being adopted and its effect on the future of the Empire?

Mr Chifley - The answers to the right honorable member's questions are as follows : -

1.   The conference at Paris has been called in accordance with the decision of the conference of the Foreign Ministers of the United Kingdom, the United States of America, and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, held at Moscow in December, 1.945, to consider the treaties of peace with Italy, Roumania, Bulgaria, Hungary and Finland, on the basis of draft treaties prepared by the Council of Foreign Ministers. The terms of peace with Germany and Japan are not therefore on the present agenda.

2.   Dr. Evattis the leader of the Australian delegation to the conference. As such, he will give expression to Australia's policy .on all points at issue.

3.   As indicated in the answer to question 1. the present agenda of the Paris Conference do. not include the question of the future of Egypt, Palestine or India.

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