345 Glasgow to Evatt

Cablegram 230 OTTAWA, 6 December 1943, 6.14 p.m.


Your 235. [1] Canadian Mutual Aid.

I saw Prime Minister yesterday and indicated position to him along lines of your telegram. I have now received a reply making the following points.

1. Ministers concerned regard it as essential to have general declaration of liberal economic purposes included in all the agreements. It is certain that there will be strong criticism of Mutual Aid procedure at the next session of Parliament and omission of reference to reduction of tariffs from agreements would weaken greatly utility of the proposed Article as part of reply to domestic critics. It could not be omitted from one agreement without being omitted from all.

2. There is nothing in the proposed Article to which the Australian and Canadian Governments are not already bound and it is rather a mild reaffirmation of policies already in effect.

3. Change in course of war makes it more important from Canadian point of view that proposed Article should be included since interest and concern over post-war economic policies are now much more acute.

4. The proposed Article is a declaration of purpose and not a specific commitment.

Prime Minister appreciates position of Commonwealth Government but having regard to foregoing points hopes that Australia will see its way to agree to Article on lines now suggested. I understand that Canadian Government anticipates no difficulty with United Kingdom, China and Russia in connection with suggested draft.

1 Document 338.

[AA:A989, 43/735/152]