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POTSDAM DECLARATION

by its absence from the declaration issued at the close of the Potsdam Conference is any direct reference to the war against Japan. This omission is the more noticeable because of the many optimistic unofficial predictions that had been made concerning the Soviet's entry to that war, in which it has hitherto maintained neutrality. Not only is there no hint in the declaration that the Soviet's attitude is to be changed; there is little to show conclusively that the question was even discussed. Agreement is announced concerning the attitude of the three Powers to two Axis countries, now vanquished, and even towards Spain, which, despite the sympathies of its Government, was never a belligerent; but one of the three apparently is to remain neutral in the conflict, in which both its Allies are deeply involved, against the remaining Axis country. When the Soviet's forces were engaged against Germany, in whose defeat their tenacity and final resurgence played so great a part, it could hardly have been expected to involve itself with Japan. Now that its forces are disengaged, the argument for its sharing its Allies' burden in the remaining war is strong—stronger than the arguments by which its devotees in Allied countries endeavoured to force their Governments to open a "second front" when they were ill-prepared. The world is now left to speculate as to whether Mr. Attlee and President Truman found that Generalissimo Stalin had no wish to discuss the subject, or whether they, being convinced that the United States and Britain do not now need Soviet aid to bring about Japan's collapse, refrained from raising the question. Whatever the truth, it is remarkable and regrettable that, at the least, there has not been issued a declaration of the Soviet's sympathy with and moral support of its Allies in their struggle.

' Those who have feared that the Allies' unity in the cause of defeating Germany would be difficult to maintain after her defeat will find encouraging evidence to the contrary in the declaration. Military victory, in one sense the end, was in another only the beginning. There have still to be accomplished the destruction of the German military machine, the eradication of Nazi-ism and, eventually, the reconstruction of German political life on a democratic basis. For the accomplishment of these ends, the Allies declare their continued unity. Their decision to establish a Council of Powers, which will hold its first meetings within a month, will be hailed as a wise measure to ensure that differences which eventually will arise among them, as well as the difficulties that they must overcome in the vast task of administering the affairs of Germany and establishing peace throughout Europe, will be removed and overcome. The final fixing of frontiers is to be left until the peace treaty, but meanwhile it is agreed that the Soviet is to acquire almost the whole of East Prussia, and Poland also is to have an enormous accretion of territory. This has been agreed in advance of the final treaty. There is no hint of similar advance agreements concerning France, and the recovery of Alsace-Lorraine, or Holland and Belgium, which are understood to have claims on German territory in consequence of the devastation which the Germans caused, particularly in Holland, before the end. These circumstances suggest that the Soviet's insistence on the paramount importance of its own wishes, for the sake of its future security, if for no other reason, was very influential at Potsdam, as it was at Yalta. Unity, fortunately, has been preserved, but not without cost., Part of the cost is the abandonment of some of the principles of the Atlantic Charter.

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http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AS19450804.2.10.1

Bibliographic details

POTSDAM DECLARATION, Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 183, 4 August 1945

Word Count
609

POTSDAM DECLARATION Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 183, 4 August 1945

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