368 Department of External Affairs to Mr R. G. Casey, Minister to the United States

Cablegram 427 27 March 1941,

Following from Commerce. Begins.

Prime Minister [1] is at Present discussing with British Government possible effects on Australian food exports of shipping developments and American Lend Lease programme. We are most disturbed at prospects for some of our major foodstuffs particularly meat, eggs, wheat and wheat products, and possible [sic] processed fruits. Minister for Commerce [2] desires Macgregor [3] remain in close touch with all economic developments United States resulting from Lend Lease programme and question arises whether we should appoint Macgregor as liaison officer with authority to enquire on our behalf on all economic aspects keeping closest touch with you at all stages. Page is anxious secure Macgregor's appointment this capacity without delay. Could you make necessary arrangements with State Department which will permit Macgregor commence personal contacts at once. [4] Ends.

1 R. G. Menzies.

2 Sir Earle Page.

3 Government Trade Commissioner in the United States.

4 Casey recommended that Macgregor should instead be accredited as Australian liaison officer to the British Supply Council in North America, but the Commerce Dept insisted that he should be accredited directly to the U.S. State Department. See Document 396 and Casey's cablegrams 237 of 29 March and 254 of 3 April and External Affairs Dept cablegram 442 of 3 April on file AA:A3300, 103.

[AA:A3831, 1941, 493]