284 War Cabinet Minute

Minute 793 SYDNEY, 12 February 1941


(Previous reference-Minute No. (740) [2]).

With reference to Minute No. (681) of 7th January, 1941 [3], it was noted that General de Gaulle [4] had agreed to Staff Conversations being held in New Caledonia and that a Military Mission was being despatched to Noumea leaving Sydney on 14th February, 1941.

War Cabinet approved of the notes that had been prepared by the Chiefs of Staff embodying matters for discussion by the Mission with the Free French authorities, and agreed that discussions should be on the basis of the division of responsibility for assistance in the defence of Free French territories in the Pacific as between Australia and New Zealand, on the following basis:-

(a) Acceptance by Australia of financial responsibility for assistance to the Free French Forces in Oceania subject to later adjustments with the other Governments concerned;

(b) The Commonwealth's operational responsibility is to be limited to New Caledonia; and (c) New Zealand will continue to be responsible for assistance in the defence of Free French territory on the New Zealand Station.

1 Dated 11 February 1941 See file AA:A981, New Caledonia 2A, i.

2 Dated 4 February. See AA:A2673, vol. 5.

3 See AA:A2673, vol. 5.

4 Leader of the Free French movement.

[AA:A2673, VOL. 5]