321 Evatt to Dixon

Cablegram 1325 CANBERRA, 29 October 1943


Your 1226. [1] Reciprocal Aid.

1. The Government's decision was only made after careful consideration of all relevant factors including considerations raised in your telegram and also the following- (a) Magnitude of our contribution in relation to capacity.

(b) Certainty of Australia being pressed step by step to extend and increase volume of supplies to United States of America.

(c) Prospect of pressure continuing for a considerable time after European war ceases and thus imposing an unreasonable strain on our very small resources.

However, your point regarding Truman Committee is appreciated and in view of this and of our understanding that United Kingdom Government will be forwarding its views next week we are agreeable to deferring the delivery of the message to the State Department for the moment.

3. We shall advise you further. In the meantime it would be unwise for you to enter your [sic] conversations either informally or formally with Hopkins. Please do not discuss matter with anybody and let me have answer to my No. 1324 as soon as possible. [2]

1 Document 312.

2 Evatt's cablegram 1324 of 29 October instructed Dixon to report immediately on any conversations he had had with U.K. or U.S.

officials on the question of Australia's decision on Reciprocal Lend-Lease. Dixon replied the same day (cablegram 1243). Both cablegrams are in FA:A3195/A3196, folder, cables 12.12.43-12.1.44.

War Cabinet again considered the U.S. request for the extension of Reciprocal Lend-Lease to raw materials and foodstuffs on 4 November, but decided to adhere to its original decision not to agree to the proposal; the U.S. State Department was informed accordingly the following day. On 23 December the U.S. Minister to Australia requested that the decision be reconsidered, but on 21 January 1944 War Cabinet once again decided not to do so. All documents cited in this paragraph are on file AA:A2671, 448/1943, supplement 1.

[FA:A3196, 1943, 0.29928]