240 Cranborne to Commonwealth Government

Cablegram D1080 LONDON, 29 July 1944, 1.30 a.m.

SECRET

My telegram of 18th July D.No. 1036. [1] Civil Aviation.

1. We have been further considering the position in regard to the future of civil aviation in the light of our talks with United States representatives and information which we have received regarding the United States attitude in other bilateral conversations which they have held. We have noted also the extent of United States plans for participation in international air services as shown by the recent announcement of the Civil Aeronautics Board [2] regarding routes considered suitable for United States operators.

2. It seems to us that the time has come when, in pursuance of the preliminary discussions held during the Commonwealth meeting last October [3], it would be profitable to make further progress with practical plans for air services connecting the various countries of the British Commonwealth. We suggest that this might most usefully be advanced by an informal Commonwealth meeting between experts at the official level to make definite recommendations for the consideration of the Governments. Topics which would require to be explored at such a meeting would be- (1) Basis on which the members of the Commonwealth might participate in the organisation of such air services. In this connection we have seen with interest the provisional scheme drawn up by the Australian Director-General of Civil Aviation [4], and can ourselves put forward some tentative proposals.

(2) The routes to be followed.

(3) Matters subsidiary to the foregoing such as ground organisation, uniformity of equipment etc.

3. We hope that you will feel able to agree in principle to this proposal, and should be glad of the earliest possible advice as to your views. Further consideration could then be given to the place and time of meeting which we hope could take place in the near future.

1 On file AA:A5954, box 658.

2 See cablegrams 553 and 554, dispatched 14 June from the Legation in Washington, summarising the press release of the same date which listed twenty international routes considered desirable for post-war operation by U.S. air carriers. On file AA:A989, 43/735/835.

3 See Document 2, note 2.

4 See Document 177, note 7.

[AA:A989, 44/735/832/12]