450 Dr H. V. Evatt, Minister for External Affairs, to Mr Harry L. Hopkins, Adviser to President Franklin D. Roosevelt

Letter [WASHINGTON], 31 March 1942


Dear Mr. Hopkins, I heard from Halifax [1] this afternoon that he had suggested to the President the inclusion of India in the Washington Pacific Council. In our view this would be a great mistake. India is outside the Pacific theatre of operations and the inclusion would extend the membership unduly.

Halifax had previously consulted both Nash [2] and myself separately and he knew quite well that we were both opposed to the proposal, not, of course, on any personal grounds, but solely because of the general policy of our governments.

I hope that you will be the President's deputy on the council, and that, as such, you will preside in his absence.

It is also important to consider, before the meeting to-morrow, the general relationship of the council to such questions as higher strategy, shipping, supply and munitions.

Would it not be desirable that, between meetings of the council, there should be a very small committee to meet if important matters arise? The only three countries which are at present engaged in operations in the Pacific area are the United States, Australia and New Zealand. The three representatives of these countries might act as the committee.

I saw Beaverbrook [3] this afternoon.


1 U.K. Ambassador to the United States.

2 Deputy N.Z. Prime Minister and Minister in Washington.

3 Head of a U.K. supply mission to the United States.