450 Mr A. W. Fadden, Acting Prime Minister, to Mr R. G. Menzies, Prime Minister (in Washington)

Cablegram 303 12 May 1941,

LEASE-LEND We understand that Australia is not definitely under the Lease- Lend Act and that goods which have been obtained for Australia under the Act (e.g. Lockheed Hudsons, tin plate, etc.) have been obtained by specially approved assignment by the United Kingdom.

There appear to us to be three possible developments:-

1. A continuation of individual approvals of assignments to Australia by the United Kingdom.

2. That the United Kingdom should obtain a blanket authority to assign goods to Australia.

3. That Australia should specifically be brought in under the Act.

(We would, of course, continue to order through the British Supply Council.) It seems improbable that the first course will continue beyond the preliminary stages. So far we have made no representations as to which of the second and third alternatives we would prefer. We feel, however, that if any choice lies with us a deliberate policy decision is required from Australia on this question so that we may press for the alternative which seems more in Australia's interests.

Separate inclusion under the Act might strengthen our hand in dealing with the British Supply Council to ensure full consideration of Australia's needs? If time permits, and you think it necessary, you might take matter up with U.S.A. authorities.

Any advice which would clarify our position would be welcome.


[AA: A3196, 1941, 0.6078]