200 Commonwealth Government to High Commissioner's Office in London

Cablegram 6051 CANBERRA, 21 June 1944

IMMEDIATE

Your PM No. 27 of 17th May. [1] Uranium. Following inspection of Mt. Painter District it appears probable that to be effective underground development will be needed. This will require road construction costing 10,000 plus provision of mining equipment for development at one selected site, together with portable prospecting equipment for three other locations, costing in all, including expenditure on development and prospecting, 35,000 or total including the road of A45,000. This A estimate is subject to completion of work within the allowed time and is subject also to variation accordingly.

We understand from your cablegram that it is an urgent war requirement to determine the potentialities of the Mt. Painter field within the next six months. In view, however, of our overall manpower position we are unable to undertake new projects unless they are absolutely essential. We would be glad, therefore, if you would confirm the urgency of this matter and obtain a definite request from the United Kingdom authorities if they desire us to proceed. Expenditure would of course be chargeable to United Kingdom and it should be clearly understood that the A45,000 mentioned is purely an initial estimate and subject to appreciable increase.

The examination of Radium Hill will be undertaken shortly and further advice will be furnished in this regard.

1 Document 154.

[AA:A3196,1944, O.16818]