I am obliged to you for your letter of even date.  Except in a necessarily limited way Australian representatives abroad and Defence Department officials attached to your Mission neither have nor can be expected to have that intimate and detailed knowledge of the external and foreign policy of this country for which my department and I are responsible. I know you are regarding the London Conference as one concerned primarily with war and defence.
But it is my bounden duty to see that your Mission is as fully equipped as possible to enable you to meet on at least an equal footing the other Prime Ministers if external political policy is discussed. They will almost certainly be accompanied by the permanent heads of the departments dealing with foreign policy and foreign affairs. Mr. Fraser's chief technical adviser will be Mr.
McIntosh, Secretary of the New Zealand External Affairs Department. Therefore I most strongly recommend you to include in your party Colonel Hodgson whose intimate knowledge not only of the general but of the day by day working of our foreign policy may turn out to be important in the success of your Mission.
You can take it absolutely that the administration of the Department of External Affairs will not be prejudiced in any way by his temporary absence. Indeed, I should be assisted as a result of his coming into personal touch with many officers of my department abroad-which is both desirable and necessary. In the circumstances I do not think it would be satisfactory either to you or to me if I nominated any officer of less standing.
My wife and I are delighted that Mrs. Curtin is able to accompany you: and we wish you both every success, all good fortune and good health.
H. V. EVATT