223 New Zealand Government to Commonwealth

Government

Cablegram 118 WELLINGTON, 16 July 1944, 6.03 p.m.

Received 17 July 1944

SECRET IMPORTANT

Your telegram No. 141. [1] Civil Aviation. We too have been concerned at the developments in this field, but have refrained from communicating with the Secretary of State on the subject pending the return of Mr. Fraser, who as you know had discussions with the United States authorities during the time he was in Washington, and is now on his way to New Zealand. As we see the position it was intended that a Conference of United Nations should be convened to discuss civil aviation in the post-war period and these conversations in Washington were but a preliminary in order to secure some measure of agreement regarding the Agenda for the main meeting. The result of course has been that the United States have secured the initiative and that the orderly and controlled development of civil aviation that we agreed to support and secure if possible now appears likely to be compromis[ed]. We concur in the comment you make in the message you propose despatching, but feel we should as well press for the holding of the international Conference on the subject at the earliest possible date. It is essential in our view that this [2] should be held very shortly since if the present strategy is successful in the European war the opportunity will arise very soon for the institution of civil air services in a large area of the world and if these commence on the basis of bilateral [3] arrangements it will be difficult to secure later even a portion of that control which we both consider so necessary.

2. The position will be discussed with the Prime Minister immediately following his return and we expect to communicate with you further at that juncture.

1 Document 219.

2 A sign here indicated 'mutilated'.

3 In the original this word had been corrected by hand from 'unilateral' to 'bilateral'.

[AA:A989, 43/735/832/1, ii]