238 Curtin to Bruce

Cablegram 101 CANBERRA, 7 July 1943

SECRET

(1) Please see Dominions Office despatch No. 90 of 30th November, 1942 [1], referring to Article V of the Mutual Aid Agreement.

(2) We have noted the steps the United Kingdom Government is taking to enable them to fulfil the undertaking given in Article V. Somewhat similar procedures have been in operation here from the inception of Lend Lease arrangements.

(3) We have also been giving some thought to the implications of Article V. Our position at the end of the war will be that a large number of factories will be equipped wholly or partly with Lend Lease plant and machinery-our internal transport system will be functioning largely on Lend Lease motor vehicles and some Lend Lease railway equipment-our food production will be organised on a mechanised basis with Lend Lease agricultural, food processing and canning machinery-and we are likely to be holding considerable stocks of industrial raw materials supplied to us as Lend Lease aid.

(4) The withdrawal at the end of the war of all or part of this vital equipment would be exceedingly embarrassing to us and the present uncertainty of the position will add to our difficulties in the formulation of post-war reconstruction plans. We would like to feel that when the time comes we would be in a position to retain selected equipment, if necessary by making cash payment.

(5) From our point of view some clarification of the intention of the United States Administration regarding Article V would be of great assistance, but we are fully conscious of the difficulties of making a special approach on the matter to the United States, particularly at this stage. We feel it would be useful, however, if you were to discuss the matter informally with the appropriate United Kingdom authorities, stress its importance from our point of view and ascertain what their views are.

1 On file AA:A1608, A59/2/1, v. Article V provided that the U.S.

Govt could, at the end of the war, recall articles supplied under the Lend-Lease scheme which had not been destroyed, lost or consumed.

[AA:A1608, A59/2/1, vi]